Archive for the ‘Harbin Travel’ Category

China Snow Town

Saturday, February 16th, 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).

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:
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

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 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.

Harbin Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
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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. Sculptures change annually, not what you see in the pictures here.

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 330
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.

Sculptures change annually, not what you see in the pictures here.

Basically each Sun Island snow expo has a dominant sculpture. Each 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.