Many Chinese provincial capitals boast strikingly good science and technology museums, and the Harbin science museum (technically, the Heilongjiang Science and Technology Museum), on the north bank of the Songhua River, is both modern and really rather good. It’s not QUITE to the level of Shanghai’s, where you ride through the digestive system, theme park style, to exit through an authentically puckered anus, but the architecture alone – like an alien spacecraft dumped on a river bank – makes it well worth a visit.
Besides the obligatory tributes to the marvels of Chinese astronauts, aeronautic and railroad engineers, there’s a great deal of interactivity on offer – including a fabulous helicopter flight simulator on the ground floor. There’s some seriously brain-stretching physics for teens and adults, contraptions to measure exercise rates, exhilarating optical illusion set-ups, fantastic, communal Heath Robinson machines, plus an IMAX theatre showing educational movies. For most kids, this will be a better bet than the tiger park.
Heilongjiang Science and Technology Museum
Taiyang Avenue, Songbei, Harbin
+86 (0)451 8819 0966
Admission: 20 RMB