Walk astride the Russian border in this quaint Chinese village 100km from Beijicun, where wandering souls are welcomed with a glancing smile. No tourist tack around here – and usually no tourists, but you will find reindeer roaming freely in winter, and nowhere to go but back south. While there's not much beyond wooden houses and swaths of farmland, it is a quiet, idyllic spot and lays claim to being China's real northernmost village.

From Beihongcun, you can push across to Hēilóng Jiāng Diyi Wan (黑龙江第一弯), the first bend in the river. The 800-plus steps to the viewing point are well worth the gorgeous panorama of the amazing horseshoe bend.