Archive for the ‘Heilongjiang Travel’ Category

Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin

Sunday, December 16th, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Plan your Harbin tour in winter? As the coldest city in the most northern China, Harbin’s coldest months fall on late December through early March. Late November through the whole January is the snowing season and January is the coldest month with the average temperature at -25 ℃.  Harbin’s winter is dry, cold and long coupled with a longer period of snow covering.

Winter is the best season to visit Harbin with the main draws seeing and touching the snow, and January and February are ice and snow festivals in Harbin.  More reasons to visit Harbin, skiing, exploring the Northern China Tigers,  getting close to penguins, local cuisine tasting and more.

If you are going to visit Harbin in winter, we are going to reveal you the top things to do in winter in Harbin.

1. Eat Popsicles on Zhongyang Street 
Zhongyang Street is a unique European-style pedestrian street, 1450m long with lines of edifices, masses of entertainment areas, and colorful cultural life.

All of these buildings are in various styles including renaissance style, baroque style, eclectic style, as well as modern style, the profound history of architecture, a real “Architecture Art Gallery” in China.

For more information on popsicles,  check out the link: Madieer Popsicles in Harbin  .

Please take it and have a bite!

A leisure stroll along the street is a must on your winter trip to Harbin. One thing you must do on the street is to taste the time-honored Madieer popsicles (马迭尔冰棍), a kind of milk popsicles first made in 1906.

Having a bite of Madieer popsicles at the temperature of -25℃ is an interesting experience, wearing down jacket and seeing our own breath, a beautiful “Cold” scene.  You may ask where the Madieer Beverage House is located, no worrying about that since you will easily see people line up and eat popsicles on the street. Check out Zhongyang Street.

2. Winter Swimming on Harbin Songhua River
Songhua River winding through Harbin does bring lots of fun to the city. Local people have a long tradition of cutting and digging a large square hole or pool used as a swimming pool for winter swimming.

For more information on winter swimming, check out the link:  Harbin Winter Swimming.

Jump into the extremely cold water

Visiting a riverside winter swimming pool dug and cut in Songhua River is not missed. You may even join them and take part in the winter swimming.

Winter swimming in Harbin is quite popular, a game for a brave man, even women! Most of the winter swimmers are high ages,in their 50s or even 60s and 70s! They swim, dive, even do boxing on the ice platform.

3. Winter Activities on Songhua River by Stalin Park
Built in 1953,  the Stalin park is located on the southern bank of the Songhua River, extending 1,750 meters from the Songhua River railway bridge to the east and Jiuzhao Park to the west, it is a belt-shaped open park along the bank.

As its name suggests, the park is the evidence of the friendship between Russia and China at that time.

For more information on Songhua River by Stalin Park, check out: Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley.

A huge ice and snow playground

Songhua River freezes solid with a depth of about a meter, naturally creating a wonderful winter sports playground.   Playing on the Songhua River running by Stalin Park is one of the best things to do  for kids  in Harbin, slides, tubes, mats, toboggans,  sledge, skating and more.

4.  Bargaining at Hongbo Square  Underground Shopping Mall
Hongbo Square Commercial centre (红博广场) is only minutes’ walk from the railway station. Around the square are located many high buildings and shopping centers like “Qiulin” corporate – Harbin No.1 shopping center” corporate.

Under the square is the largest underground shopping mall in Harbin. It is a air-shelter turned underground shopping mall.

For more information on Hongbo Square Underground Shopping Mall, check out the link:  Underground Shopping Mall.

Hongbo Square  Underground Shopping Mall

The underground Hongbo shopping mall is like a maze! It actually provides everything from bags, shoes, clothes, silk, tea, table cloth, toys, souvenirs, to pears and jewellery as well all kinds of local products in Harbin.  Check out Hongbo Square for more information.

5.  Tasting Harbin Food
Harbin is oft-lauded as the Eastern Paris, as it is the communication spot between Russian culture and Chinese culture. Naturally in its dining field, there is the mixture of Russian style and Chinese style. Taking the authentic Russian meal is a must in your Harbin tour.

In Harbin the Zhongyang Street and the Huanghe Road are the two centralized dining places. Taste flying dragon, take smoked salmon, eat catsup bone…Dining has been one part of the ice city tour, and the taste is more delicious in the freezing weather.

“Shazhucai”, a kind of local flavor, literally meaning “kill a pig cuisine”. It is a stew dish with the ingredients of pork, Chinese vegetable, inners of a pig.

From the funny name “Sha Zhu Cai”, you can understand a bit about the personality of the people in the northeast China. Traditionally local farmers will raise pigs for about 8 months.

When the spring festival is in sight, they will kill the pig to make various kinds of dishes to improve diet and entertain guests. They will make full use of the pig from head to tail, from skin to blood and bone.  Not interested in “Sha Zhu Cai”. Well, have a bite of baked potatoes!   Check out Harbin Eating.

Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

6.  Getting close to  Penguins  at Adventure Island attached to Harbin Polarland 
In Habrin, you are able to experience the real life of the polar region. Harbin Polarland is the first theme park of polar land scenes in China.

Inside the sea-blue elegant building of Pole Aquarium, you will find pure penguin family of South Polar, the most active polar bear brothers in China.  For more information, check out the link: Harbin Polarland.

There are also the wild arctic wolves introduced for the first time in Asia and the arctic fox brothers who can run on the running machine. The most thrill is the exciting polar land animal show – the performance presented by sea lions.

In addition, in winter season the polarland will build a “Polar Adventure Island” just outside the main building of Pole Aquarium.

The Polar Adventure Island is an ice and snow experience project, allowing people to have more interaction with polar animals, getting close to penguins and snow foxes.  Check out Harbin Polarland. 

7.  Exploring Siberian Tiger Park
The Siberian Tiger Park is located north of Songhua River, about 37 km from downtown Harbin. There are white tigers, lions,leopards, and black pumas as well as Bengali tigers.

The whole park is divided into ten areas including the domesticating area, mature tiger area, young tiger area,  Africa tiger area, the king tiger area, a walking area and a platform for viewing the tigers.

The park also provides a tour bus  ( a safari-like tour ) to meet the need of tourist pursuing stimulate. The bus is protected by reinforcing steel net.  Check out Siberian Tiger Park .

Exploring Siberian Tiger Park

Exploring Siberian Tiger Park

8.  Ice and Snow World Festival
Situated in the opposite of the Sun Island Landscape, is the largest, the most brilliant and the most complete park, which is also named “the Ice Disneyland”.

Blocks of ice are carved into sculptures and buildings and lit from within to provide glittering lights of ice. The structures include tall towers, Buddha Statues and even restaurants made of ice.

For more information,  check out the link:  Ice and Snow World Festival.

A panoramic view of the buildings in the park.

In the Ice and Snow World you will have the unique experiences such as Ice Bar, Ice Hotel, Maze, Climbing Ice Rock, Golf on the ice ground, Football on the ice ground, etc. The ice and Snow World basically starts on Jan 5 and lasts about one month each year.

9. Snow  Carving at Sun Island
The Sun Island lies at the north bank of Songhua River, opposite to the Stalin Park. For its attractive landscape all over the year, the Sun Island is a famous scenic spot and a good reputation place in Chinese north regions.

Once a village for Russians, it is now a water-locked sunny natural bathing place with shady trees and belt beaches.  The renowned Snow Carving Festival will be held on Sun Island.

For more information, check out the link:  Snow Carving at Sun Island.

Snow Carving at Sun Island

Snow Carving at Sun Island

10.  Skiing at Jinhua Ski Resort
Jinhua Ski Resort  is located  50 km to the southeast of Harbin’s city center, one of China’s top ski resorts. The resort features 15 different ski slopes, which cover a distance of 30 km in total. It  is designed to cater for beginner, medium and advanced-level skiers.

For more information, check out the link:  Jinhua Ski Resort.

The resort has a ski school, which provides over 100 professional ski masters. The resort area gets heavy snowfall, with about 150 days of snow every year. It can accommodate 5,000 people at the same time.  All the snow activities and skiing are paid on your own.  After skiing, you will be transferred back to the city of Harbin.

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Harbin Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Harbin:

Harbin China Snow Town 2 Day Tour from US$ 289p/p
Harbin Yabuli China Snow Town 4 Day Tour from US$ 579p/p

Harbin China Snow Town Private Transfer

Harbin 3 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$335 p/p
Harbin 4 Day Winter Tour package  from US$495 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 1 Day Round Trip   from US$85 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 2 Day Round Trip  from US$360 p/p

Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$460 p/p
Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$740 p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$630  p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$910  p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Harbin Ice Festival
Where to Stay in Harbin
Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin
Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo
Harbin Winter Swimming
Madieer Popsicles in Harbin
Harbin Jihua Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

China Snow Town
Scenic Drive from Harbin to China Snow Town
Sunrise Glow over China Snow Village
Night View of China Snow Village

Any questions, just drop a line.

China Snow Town

Friday, November 23rd, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Dear Travelers

We’d like to have the following travel guide to be always updated for the benefit of new visitors coming to Yabuli and Snow Town from Harbin. If anybody having used the piece finds necessary updates, please leave a message or feedback. Thanks!
_______________________________________________________________

If you are thinking of Harbin tour, it is worth having a two-day side trip from Harbin to China Snow Town if you are interested in experiencing the coldest weather and heaviest snow in China.

China Snow Town, also known as China Snow Village or literally Zhongguo Xuexiang (中国雪乡) in Chinese is reputed as the most desirable place to experience the thickest snow and plentiful snow activities in China.

China Snow Town is the nickname of Shuangfeng Forest Farm (双峰林场) in Changting Township (长汀镇) at Hailin City (海林市), Mudanjiang (牡丹江), Heilongjian Province. The forest farm is under the administration of Dahailin Forestry Bureau (大海林林业局).

Shangfeng Forest Farm is located roughly between Harbin (280km to the southeast of Harbin ) and Mudanjiang (170km to the west of Mudanjiang).

The seat of Shuangfeng Forest Farm ( China Snow Town) is a one-street town nestled in a valley surrounded by the thick mountain forest. Like many other forest farms, Shuangfeng Forest Farm is no longer allowed to cut trees for logging trade due to the new policies from the central government. The main task of these forest farms is to raise or take care of the trees in their controlled areas respectively.

Shuangfeng Forest Farm’s unique geological location results in nearly 7-month snowing period in the town, the thickest snow in China. The snow in the town is both thick and sticky, a feature making the town a snow fairyland.

In winter, the traditional houses and courtyards are decorated by the thick snow, creating magnificent natural snow engraving arts – snow mushrooms, snow curtains, snow rabbits, snow horses.

At night, the whole town is lit up by the red lanterns hanging outside their houses and on the streets, making the snow town a romantic place for wandering and unwinding.

Since 2000, Shuangfeng Farm has become more and more popular for its snow landscape featuring the snow arts bestowed by the nature. Gradually Shuangfeng Forest Farm has been transformed from a traditional forest farm into a hot snow destination, attracting thousands of visitors each winter. The RMB 95 entrance fee collected from all visitors have become the main income for the forest farm.

Now China Snow Town has become the password of Shuangfeng Forest Farm which has gradually disappeared from the public. The best time to visit China Snow Town ranges from December to February. Harbin and Mandanjiang are the two main entry cities where you can take long-distance buses or hire a vehicle to get to China Snow Town.

At the time of my writing, there are 7 hotels in the town like Days Hotel & Suites Xuexiang and Xueyunge Hotel. The hotels in the town are far from meeting the increasing demand of tourists coming to the town at peak season.

Most of the workers at the forest farm have turned their courtyard homes into family inns which are mainly composed of several 4-person stone-bed room ( kang ) with shared or private bathrooms. Beside accommodation, they also offer food service, or three meals a day if you prefer. They even go out of their way to help you assisting in planning your local travel arrangement.

Top things to do in China Snow Town
1. Get up early to catch sunrise view at Yangcaoshan Mountain or Tudingshan Mountain. Book your tickets through the official agents or your host family.
2. Hike across from China Snow Valley (雪谷) to Snow Town, a challenging 15-km walking on the snow.
3. Go skiing at Snow Town Ski Resort
4. Taking photos freely on the street or around the houses in the town.
5. Taking pictures at the two paid sites on the street.
6. Just experience the coldest weather.
7. Have a bite of the local food.
8. Enjoy the local Er-Ren-Zhuan (Two-person performance).

Entrance Fee: RMB 95 ( valid for two days )

China Snow Town Tourist Center ( You can buy bus tickets )
China Snow Town is a one-street town. The street is known as “Xueyun Dajie”, about 500 meters long. The tourist center is located in the middle section of the street, near Xueyunge Hotel 雪韵阁酒店.
Enquiry Phone Number in China Snow Town: 15714539911
Enquiry Phone Number in Harbin: 0451 – 84695670
Enquiry Phone Number in Yabuli:    0451 – 83289006

24-hour enquiry in China Snow Town: 400-000-0453

The Highly Recommended Hotel in China Snow Town
Xueyunge Hotel 雪韵阁酒店 ( check out http://hotel.elong.net/90254432/ )
Rack Price: RMB 980 ( Changing with the market )
0453 – 7410858
Add:  This hotel is located in the middle section of the one-street China snow town, close to the tourist center where you can buy the bus tickets for Harbin or Yabuli.

For more hotel booking in Xuexiang ( Snow Town), please check out the link below:
hotel.elong.net/xuexiang/

How to get to China Snow Town?

China Snow Town Tourist Map

China Snow Town Tourist Map

China Snow Town Tourist Map

Nangang Bus Station 南岗客运站
Kindly reminder:  You’d better take the special buses from Nangang Bus Station ( 南岗客运站) in Harbin though there are other on-route bus stops in Harbin.

Nangang Passenger Bus Station Address: No.26, Shenchun Street, Harbin ( just across Harbin Railway Station by the side of Dicos fast food chain restaurant )
Tel: 0451 – 53634528, or 82830118

Very important notice
If you arrive by high speed train at Harbin West Railway Station, you don’t need to go to Nangang Bus Station for the shuttle bus, you can easily take the shuttle bus starting from Harbin West Railway Station to Yabuli or China Snow Town. The shuttle will pass by Nangang Bus Station.

地址:黑龙江省哈尔滨市春申街26号 (哈尔滨火车站出站口正对面的一栋楼,挨着德克士,写着客运站)
电话:0451-53634528或0451-82830118

Harbin – Yabuli – China Snow Town Shuttle Bus Route:
Operating Time:Mid-December to February
Ticket fares:
Harbin – Yabuli Ski Resort RMB 55;
Yabuli Ski Resort – China Snow Town RMB65
Harbin – China Snow Town RMB 120

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( Harbin – Yubuli – Snow Town )
Harbin – Snow Town:  6:00; 10:00 and 13:00 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 5 hours;
Harbin – Yabuli:  6:00; 10:00 and 13:00 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 3 hours;
Yabuli – Snow Town: 9:20, 13:20 and 16:20 (3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 1 hour;

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( Snow Town – Yabuli – Harbin )
Snow Town – Harbin:  7:00; 10:30 and 13:30 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 5 hours;
Yabuli – Harbin:  9:20; 12:50 and 15:20 ( 3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 3 hours;
Snow Town – Yabuli: 7:00, 10:30 and 13:30 (3 times a day); Single Trip takes about 1 hour;

For me, China Snow Town is a paradise for photography with much opportunity for picture-taking.

The One Street China Snow Town

One of the street-front stores

One of the street-front stores

 

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside.

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside

Street vendors are doing business despite of the extreme cold outside

Dreamland (梦幻家园) is a pay attraction with much opportunity for photo taking.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Have a bite of baked potato.

Snow covered houses

Snow covered houses

Snow covered houses

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

Rows of houses and courtyards are blanketed by white snow

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

The snow house resembles a huge mushroom

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Harbin Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Harbin:

Harbin China Snow Town 2 Day Tour from US$ 289p/p
Harbin Yabuli China Snow Town 4 Day Tour from US$ 579p/p

Harbin China Snow Town Private Transfer

Harbin 3 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$335 p/p
Harbin 4 Day Winter Tour package  from US$495 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 1 Day Round Trip   from US$85 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 2 Day Round Trip  from US$360 p/p

Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$460 p/p
Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$740 p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$630  p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$910  p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Harbin Ice Festival
Where to Stay in Harbin
Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin
Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo
Harbin Winter Swimming
Madieer Popsicles in Harbin
Harbin Jihua Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort
Harbin – Yabuli – China Snow Town Shuttle Bus
China Snow Town
Scenic Drive from Harbin to China Snow Town
Sunrise Glow over China Snow Village
Night View of China Snow Village

Any questions, just drop a line.

Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo

Sunday, February 4th, 2018
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, the largest in the world, is mainly composed of two venues – Harbin Ice and Snow World and Harbin Sun Island. Harbin Sun Island has annually sponsored Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo ever since 1988.

Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is an important part of the world-famous Harbin Ice and Snow International Festival. The Sun Island Snow Sculpture is often regarded as the largest snow carnival in the world. Planning your Harbin tour, Sun Island Snow Festival should be on your sightseeing list.

The snow sculpture art expo officially starts on Jan, 05 and lasts about 60-70 days each year together with Harbin Ice and Snow World.

Not far from each other, a visit to Sun Island Snow Sculpture is coupled with a tour of Harbin Ice and Snow World, which are connected by a public double-deck bus no. 29. The bus no.29 also brings you to Zhongyang Street, the most renown European style street oft-lauded as the Architecture Museum in China.

Visiting Time: 2 – 3 Hour
Entrance Fee: RMB 240
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:30
Tel: 0451-88192966
How to Get There
Take bus 88, 29, 119, 125, 126 and 213, or take a taxi from Zhongyang Pedestrian Street, costing about RMB 40.

Now follow me to visit Sun Island dotted with snow sculptures.

Basically each Sun Island snow expo has a dominant sculpture. Eac year has a major theme for sculpture works of art and the year I visited was known as “绽放”,literally “Bursting into life”, a huge snow carving over 160 meters long and 39 meters high, which was one of the largest snow works of art for the past snow expos.

Actually the dominant sculpture was a large piece of snow carving arts based on several phases of snow carving which can bring to visitors different visual enjoyments and unique snow carving experience.

The dominant “绽放” sculpture was a group of sculptures with Russian and Chinese elements – Russian buildings, holy snow, white swans, Longjiang Dragon,etc. This major sculpture was aimed at the booming development of Heilongjiang and China as a whole.

The dominant Sculpture at Sun Island Snow Expo

The dominant Sculpture at Sun Island Snow Expo

The dominant Sculpture at Sun Island Snow Expo

Snow sculptors are still putting the final touches on the huge snow works of arts.

Snow sculptors are still putting the final touches on the huge snow works of arts.

Snow sculptors are still putting the final touches on the huge snow works of arts.

The biggest breakthrough that year was the creative blend of Chinese calligraphy and snow engraving. Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphy were innovatively mixed, creating a new form of arts.

A special snow garden is allocated for showing the new form of arts – Chinese calligraphy and snow carving.

Chinese Calligraphy Snow Garden

Chinese Calligraphy Snow Garden

The snow-walled garden was rife with Chinese traditional Chinese culture – blur-color vases, writing and painting on the snow walls, and snow engraving on the walls as well.

Chinese traditional painting of galloping horses done on the snow wall.

Chinese traditional painting of galloping horses done on the snow wall.

Chinese traditional painting of galloping horses done on the snow wall.

Chinese painting of shrimps done on the snow wall

Chinese painting of shrimps done on the snow wall

Chinese painting of shrimps done on the snow wall

 

The Snow Village opposite the dominant “绽放” sculpture was typical of a Northern China village in snow season.

The Snow Village

The Snow Village

 

A close-up view of the door front of a village house.

A close-up view of the door front of a village house.

A close-up view of the door front of a village house.

The whole island was scattered with snow carvings which mainly fall into three categories – Sculptures by Expo Snow Artists; sculptures selected from College competitions and finally from the national competitions.

Let’s have a glimpse of the sculptures done by the expo snow artists.

The sculpture named “Peace”.
The winged Victory of Samothrace which washolding an olive branch and spreading wings, shows people’s expectation for peace.

The winged Victory of Samothrace

The winged Victory of Samothrace

Ark of Happiness

Ark of Happiness

Ark of Happiness

 

Kingdom of Minions

Kingdom of Minions

Kingdom of Minions

 

 

The Gift of the Apple

The Gift of the Apple

The Gift of the Apple

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Harbin Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Harbin:

Harbin China Snow Town 2 Day Tour from US$ 289p/p
Harbin Yabuli China Snow Town 4 Day Tour from US$ 579p/p

Harbin China Snow Town Private Transfer

Harbin 3 Day Winter Tour Package  from US$335 p/p
Harbin 4 Day Winter Tour package  from US$495 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 1 Day Round Trip   from US$85 p/p
Harbin Yabuli 2 Day Round Trip  from US$360 p/p

Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$460 p/p
Beijing Harbin 3 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$740 p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Bullet Train  from US$630  p/p
Beijing Harbin 4 Day Winter Round Trip by Flight  from US$910  p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Harbin Ice Festival
Where to Stay in Harbin
Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin
Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley
Harbin Ice and Snow World
Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo
Harbin Winter Swimming
Madieer Popsicles in Harbin
Harbin Jihua Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

China Snow Town
Scenic Drive from Harbin to China Snow Town
Sunrise Glow over China Snow Village
Night View of China Snow Village

Any questions, just drop a line.