Archive for the ‘Harbin Travel’ Category

China Snow Town

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019
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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!
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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).

The main entrance Fee for China Snow Town: RMB 95 ( valid for two days );

Below are estimated costs in China Snow Town for your reference. There are some reports about the tourist scams in Snow Town. Just be vigilant!

Room rates at Xueyunge Hotel  ( same class): 400 – 800 yuan per night)
See Sunrise at Yangcaoshan Mountain or Tudingshan Mountain: 280 yuan
Three meals a day: about 100 yuan

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.

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:
http://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

The direct shuttle service between Harbin and Snow Town

Harbin – – Snow Town Shuttle Service:
There are two starting points for the shuttle bus from Harbin to Snow Town. Check out the two starting points below:

1. Depart from the entrance to Longyun Tourism
Add: 4-1 Jiuzhan Street, Harbin
龙运旅游门前 (九站街4-1号)

2. Depart from Beidahuang International Hotel
Add: 175 Hongqi Avenue, Harbin + 60 minutes
北大荒国际饭店门前(红旗大街175号)+60分钟

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( from Harbin to Snow Town)
6:00 – 12:00
8:00 – 14:00
9:00 – 15:00
10:00 – 16:00
12:00 -18:00
13:00 – 19:00

Snow Town — Harbin Shuttle Service:
The shuttle bus starting from the service center of Snow Town to the following places in Harbin:

1.  Beidahuang International Hotel
Add: 175 Hongqi Avenue, Harbin
哈尔滨北大荒国际饭店门前(红旗大街175号)

2. At the crossroad of West Erdao Street, Zhongyang Avenue, Harbin
哈尔滨中央大街西二道街交叉口

3. No.4-1 Jiuzhan Street in Daoli District, Harbin
哈尔滨道里区九站街

Shuttle Bus Timetable ( from Snow Town to Harbin)
7:00 – 13:00
9:00 – 15:00
10:00 – 16:00
12:00 – 18:00
13:00 -19:00
13:30 – 19:30

Bus fare: 120 yuan per person ( single bus trip)
Ticket booking inquiry : 18045399579 / 15714539993
24-hour enquiry in China Snow Town: 400-000-0453

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 West Railway Station

Sunday, July 7th, 2019
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Plan your Harbin tour? Harbin has two major railway stations – Harbin Railway Station ( the old one ) and Harbin West Railway Station (the new one).

Harbin West Railway Station is designed for the high speed trains coming to or out of Harbin while Harbin Railway Station mainly for Z,T and K trains.

Harbin West Railway Station is located at the crossroad intersected by Harbin Avenue and Zhongxing Avenue in Nangang District, Harbin. It lies about 10 km to the southwest of Harbin Railway Station, and 33km to the northeast of Harbin Airport and 11 km to the southwest of Zhongyang Street, the downtown of Harbin.

You are able to take Bus 96 (fast) and Bus 11 (slow) easily from Harbin Railway Station to Harbin West Railway Station.

The exterior of the main building of Harbin West Railway Station that faces to the east, or East Square.

The exterior of the main building of Harbin West Railway Station

The exterior of the main building of Harbin West Railway Station

The exterior of the main building of Harbin West Railway Station

The rail comprehensive building has a huge waiting hall with an area of 16,000 square meters.

Second Floor ( Waiting Hall)
After going through security check, you are able to enter the waiting hall that has 2500 seats for first and second class passengers. There is also a special zone for super class passengers. There are 12 gates for departure on the waiting hall. Eight elevators can bring you to the commercial area for cafe, bar, tea and eating.

Waiting Hall

Waiting Hall

Waiting Hall

On the both sides of the hall, there are 14 ticketing windows respectively, which are responsible for tickets selling, changing and delivery of online booking.

Ticketing hall

Ticketing hall

Ticketing hall

Automatic Ticketing Machines and Online Delivery.

Automatic Ticketing Machines and Online Delivery.

Automatic Ticketing Machines and Online Delivery.

First Floor (Platform)
After having your ticket checked, you can go through the departure gate down to the platform ( on the first floor) and get on the high speed train for your destination. There are 10 platforms with 22 exits.

B1 Floor (For arriving passengers)
The basement floor is designed for arriving passengers who get off their trains and go from the first floor platform down to the B1 arrival floor where they are going to the B2 floor for transportation ( metro, subway and bus ).

B2 Floor (Metro, Taxi, Private)
B2 floor is designed for arriving passengers who are going to use various tools of transportation to leave for the city of Harbin. You may transfer for metro, taxi or private transfer.

B2 Floor (Metro, Taxi, Private)

B2 Floor (Metro, Taxi, Private)

B2 Floor (Metro, Taxi, Private)

The signboard stands on the East Square, east of the main building of Harbin West Railway Station.

The signboard stands on the East Square

The signboard stands on the East Square

The signboard stands on the East Square

South Parking Area
South of the East Square is Harbin West Railway Station’s South Parking Area where there are buses linking Harbin Railway Station and other places.

North Parking Area
North of the East Square is Harbin West Railway Station’s North Parking Area where there are taxis, BRT and sightseeing buses.

Signbaord for North Parking Area and South Parking Area

Signboard for North Parking Area and South Parking Area

Signboard for North Parking Area and South Parking Area

Bus 96 can bring you from Harbin West Railway Station to Harbin Railway Station in about 20 minutes.

Bus 96

Bus 96

Bus 96

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.

Harbin Ice and Snow World

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
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Harbin Ice and Snow World is the brand name of the oft-lauded largest venue for Ice and Snow Festival in the world. The venue is located 3.3 km north of Songhuajiang Road Bridge on the west side of Sun Island in Songbei District of Harbin – the capital city of Heilongjiang Province in the northernmost China. Sculpture thems changes annually, not what you see in the pictures here.

The formation of the branding Harbin Ice and Snow World originally started in 1999 when the Harbin Government proposed and sponsored a mega ice and snow sculpture exhibition show in preparation for greeting the new millennium in 2000.

Before building up Harbin Ice and Snow World, the local government had years’ experience holding annual ice and ice snow festival in Zhaolong Park and other places in Harbin like Sun Island and Stalin Park since Jan 05, 1985.

The creation of Harbin Ice and Snow World has greatly boosted the fame of Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, which is one of the four large ice and snow festivals in the world and the other three are in Sapporo, Quebec and Oslo.

The name of Harbin Ice and Snow World is a little bit misleading due to the fact that the venue is largely focused on ice sculptures with very little space for snow sculptures. For snow sculptures, you are supposed to go to Sun Island which is the mecca for snow sculpture visitors in winter.

Officially inaugurating on Jan 05 every years since 1999, Harbin Ice and Snow actually starts around Christmas and ends in early March, lasting about 80 days. On Jan 05, the whole city will be officially on holiday to celebrate the important day.

Blocks of ice are carved into sculptures and buildings. At night, all the sculptures are lit from within to provide glittering lights of ice. The structures annually change with different themes.

Visiting Time: 2 – 4 Hour
Sculpture theme changes annually, not what you see in the pictures here.
Entrance Fee:
RMB 150 ( daytime: 09:00 – 12:00)
RMB300 (evening time: 12:00 – 21:00);
RMB330 ( Holiday evenings )
Location: An open and spacious area on the west of Sun Island and northern bank of Songhua River.
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 21:00
Tel: 0451-88300616
How to Get There
Take bus 88, 29, 119, 125, 126 and 213, get off at the stop of Sun Island Daokou ( 太阳岛道口站); or take a taxi from Zhongyang Pedestrian Street, costing about RMB 30.

Planning your Harbin tour? Definitely you won’t miss visiting Harbin Ice and Snow World. Now follow me to have a glimpse of Harbin Ice and Snow World in 2015, an important part of the annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

When you approach the ice and snow park, you will be amazed by the huge image ice gate – the famous London Big Ben, 50 meters long and 30 meters high, crossing the boundary between Chinese culture and foreign culture and bringing European elements to the park.

the famous London Big Ben

the famous London Big Ben

In the large ticketing hall, you are supposed to queue up and you have to pay cash for your entrance ticket.

Ticketing Windows inside the ticketing hall.

Ticketing Windows inside the ticketing hall.

If you don’t have cash on hand, you may use ATM in the hall. Most of the local ATMs machines accept Visa and Master.

CITIBANK card and HSBC are also very popular in China because Citibank and HSBC have agreement with UnionPay. For other cards, you may check the ATMs you are going to use and see if they have the logos and signs for your credit cards.

ATMs machines

ATMs machines

You enter the so-called largest ice and snow park in the world through the other side opposite to the ticketing windows inside the ticketing hall.

By the entrance inside the park, you will see the Customer Service Center in the park, selling warm products, medical treatment, Insurance, broadcast and guide service.

Customer Service Center

Customer Service Center

A few large signboard tell you the major sites in the park which is mainly composed of East Part, Middle Part and West Part with the iconic Ice and Snow Fairy Main Tower and Ice Show Theater in the dominating center place.

A few large signboard tell you the major sites in the park

A few large signboard tell you the major sites in the park

The main iconic landmark in the park is known as “Ice and Snow Fairy Main Tower”. The tower is the cultural symbol of Harbin Ice and Snow World.

It is a large 3 D Tower with the main tower in the middle 50 meters high and the two side towers 36 meters high.

Ice and Snow Fairy Main Tower

Ice and Snow Fairy Main Tower

This is the 10 meter high ice field Christmas tree, built by 10 story “weideluo”.

 Christmas tree

Christmas tree

God Drum Square is also called “Peace Drum” and “Jin Glory”, a kind of folk ritual activities.

God Drum Square

God Drum Square

A huge ice train takes the beautiful city of Harbin along the road to its prosperity and harmony.

A huge ice train

A huge ice train

This large ice building is called “Fairy Ice Castle Spring” is a classic work of art,one of the four season series of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The ice consumption is about 3000 cubic meters.

One of the large buildings inside park. The castle change its colors through its edges and lights.

Fairy Ice Castle Spring

Fairy Ice Castle Spring

Three huge snow sheep over 10 meter high welcome you and wish you an auspicious sheep year of 2015.

Three huge snow sheep over 10 meter high

Three huge snow sheep over 10 meter high

This massive structure is known as “Fairy Ice Castle Summer”. It is a classic work of art. The ice consumption is about 3000 cubic meters. One of the large buildings inside park. The castle change its colors through its edges and lights.

This is an ample barn, which indicates Heilongjiang is China’s granary.

This is an ample barn,

This is an ample barn,

Arctic Igloo is a series of ice houses of Inuit allowing you to experience the arctic life.

Arctic Igloo is a series of ice houses

Arctic Igloo is a series of ice houses

Drinking some beer in the ice houses is a kind of interesting experience.

Drinking some beer in the ice houses

Drinking some beer in the ice houses

Ice slides, an interesting ice activity in the park.

Ice slides, an interesting ice activity in the park.

Ice slides, an interesting ice activity in the park.

Get lost in the maze of the ice world.

Get lost in the maze of the ice world.

Get lost in the maze of the ice world.

A panoramic view of the buildings in the park.

A panoramic view of the buildings in the park.

A panoramic view of the buildings in the park.

Many eateries inside the park, offering different Harbin local flavors and KFC as well.

Many eateries inside park, offering different Harbin locals. KFC

Many eateries inside park, offering different Harbin locals. KFC

Several restaurants offer hot drinks and food service.

Several restaurants offer hot drinks and food service.

Several restaurants offer hot drinks and food service.

Numerous vendors in and out, offering you needy service.

 vendors

vendors

Have a bite of sugar-coated haw berries.

Numerous vendors in and out

Numerous vendors in and out

Reluctant to say goodbye to Harbin Ice and Snow World. We’ll come back in 2016.

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.