Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival
Spring is just around the corner, so I decided to share a wonderful winter experience in China to say goodbye to winter!
The majority of people may not have heard of Harbin, it is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang province, China. The city is generally known because of its annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival that has been held since 1985. The Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is one of the four largest ice and snow festivals in the world! It is usually open to the public from January 5th to February 25th every year.
The two main exhibitions to visit are Sun Island and Ice and Snow World. There are many activities to do here including ice slides, ice skating, dog sledding and dodgem bumper cars on ice etc. Ticket prices for these two magnificent expositions cost roughly 200-300RMB each for adults. It is possible to get discount if you have a valid Chinese student card. These prices may seem expensive but in my opinion, it is a truly magical experience. Pictures do not do this place any justice! As well as these two main expeditions, other tourist attractions that I would recommend are going to see the Siberian Tiger Park, visiting Saint Sophia Cathedral and shopping in Central Street (Zhongyang Dajie).
Harbin has its own unique Russian influence and freezing cold temperatures (-25/-30 °C). It is also well known for its distinct hot coca cola, hot orange juice and famous Harbin ice cream which you can purchase for a very cheap 5RMB, you definitely need to try this! It is easy enough to travel around Harbin by bus; I would recommend doing this instead of getting taxis because they tend to charge high prices and rip you off, especially if you are a 外国人(foreigner). I would recommend spending no more than three days in Harbin, as it is so cold, if you stay longer you may not survive! Don’t forget to wear a lot of layers, bring hot packs and drink hot water to keep your body warm. I hope other travellers will consider visiting this place as I promise it will be a magical experience!
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