the Degree Confluence Project

China : Hēilóngjiāng Shěng

11.2 km (7.0 miles) N of Zhaohui, Hēilóngjiāng, China
Approx. altitude: 527 m (1728 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest OpenStreetMap ConfluenceNavigator)
Antipode: 53°S 57°W

Accuracy: 6 m (19 ft)
Quality: good

Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: GPS Reading #3: Ground Zero #4: The Confluence Biker #5: Scene in the Forest Fire Museum #6: Mòhé Town #7: The Amur River Valley #8: Shop in Túqiàng #9: View directly at the Confluence #10: Former Gravel Pit filled with Water #11: Burnt Trees Nearby

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  53°N 123°E  

#1: The Confluence as seen from the Knoll

(visited by Rainer Mautz)

30-Jul-2008 -- This is the 18th out of 23 confluences that I visited on my bicycle trip to the North-East of China. The story starts from 40°N 117°E.

From Mǎnguī (满归真), the town next to my last confluence 52°N 122°E I had to cycle two days until I reached this place. On day no.1 I crossed a mountain pass from Mǎnguī in Inner Mongolia to Mòhé Town in Hēilóngjiāng Province. Mòhé is China’s northernmost town (县城). It is a very special place due to many reasons and it is a famous tourist destination. In 1987 a fire had burnt down the town and the whole district (including this confluence!). In Mòhé Town you can visit the fire-museum that gives you details of the disaster. Now, Mòhé has been pompously rebuilt. The danger of fire however is still existent – all measures are taken to avoid another burn out of the densely forested district.

On confluence day, I started from the district town Mòhé (漠河), 40 km west of the confluence point. About half way, I had a great view over the forest and meandering Amur River. In Túqiàng (图强镇), which is 15 km from the confluence, I saw some Russian signs. These were the only advertisings in Russian that I ever observed in China.

At a distance of 7.5 km, the main road made a sharp bent to the south and was useless for the final approach. Fortunately there was an intersection with a minor road that pointed in the right direction. Unfortunately there was a barrier with guards. When I showed up, they began to interrogate me. What should I answer to the question why I want to travel this way? There is nothing but forest behind the gate. So I opted for telling the truth (simplified): I want to visit a point 8 km in this direction. As I predicted, this was not a satisfying answer. “There is nothing” and “it is dangerous” were some of their comments. I saw already myself loosing this confluence…

But when they argued that their main concern was me getting lost in the forest, I got out my GPS receiver. This was my last counter-argument I had and I knew that it could bring me into trouble. But as soon as I got out the GPS, a wonder happened: “OK, we see that you are able to find your way.” With these words they opened the gate for me.

On the road I reached a distance of 1600 m and a side road helped me to get within 940 m. From there, I could follow a meanwhile abandoned track to a former gravel pit. In the area I could see burnt trees from the forest fire 20 years ago. With only 130 m to hike, I could reach the confluence within 10 minutes on foot. I had to climb a steep hill, but found the confluence on the other side, just 6 m from this steep knoll. Due to the dense vegetation the pictures at the confluence are meaningless. But just 6 m to the east on the hill, there is a good view to the forests and mountains. Near the gravel pit there are also some burnt houses (150 m from CP). Now this place has been abandoned.

I rode the same way back to the barrier and continued my trip to Tǎhé (塔河), where I stayed for the night.

CP Visit Details:

  • Distance to an asphalt road: 7.5 km
  • Distance to a road: 940 m
  • Distance to a track: 130 m
  • Distance of parking the bike: 131 m
  • Distance to houses: 13 km
  • Time for hiking: 10 minutes
  • Time at the CP: 8:54 a.m.
  • Riding time (distance) from Mòhé: 2:50 hours (45.2 km)
  • Measured height: 531 m
  • Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
  • Position accuracy at the CP: 6 m
  • Topography: rolling hills, steep slope right next to the confluence – probably not a natural knoll.
  • Vegetation: reed, grass, young trees and old burnt trees.
  • Weather: sunny, 20° C (felt temperature)
  • Description of the CP: In the northern most part of Hēilóngjiāng, but also the northern most confluence of China (shared with four others). On forest land that had burnt down in 1987.
  • Given Name: The Burnt Forest Confluence

Story continues at 52°N 125°E.

 All pictures
#1: The Confluence as seen from the Knoll
#2: GPS Reading
#3: Ground Zero
#4: The Confluence Biker
#5: Scene in the Forest Fire Museum
#6: Mòhé Town
#7: The Amur River Valley
#8: Shop in Túqiàng
#9: View directly at the Confluence
#10: Former Gravel Pit filled with Water
#11: Burnt Trees Nearby
ALL: All pictures on one page