Archive for the ‘Heilongjiang Travel’ Category

Top Things to Do in Winter in Harbin

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017
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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.

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. So eating popsicles is not the right for summer.

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.

Eat popsicles on Zhongyang Street

Eat popsicles on Zhongyang Street

2. Winter Swimming on Harbin Songhua River
Songhua River passing 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.

Visiting a riverside winter swimming pool cutting 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.

Winter Swimming on Harbin Songhua River

Winter Swimming on Harbin Songhua River

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.

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.

Winter activities on Songhua River by Stalin Park

Winter activities on Songhua River by Stalin Park

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.

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, thet 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.

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, lynx, 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.

In the Ice and Snow World you will bring you a unique experience such as Ice Bar, Ice Hotel, Maze, Climbing Ice Rock, Golf on the ice ground, Football on the ice ground, etc. which will make your ice dream come true. The ice and Snow World basically starts on Jan 5 and lasts about one month each year.

Ice and Snow World Festival

Ice and Snow World Festival

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.

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. Jiihua Ski Resort has become China and Asia’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.

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.

 Skiing at Jinhua Ski Resort

Skiing at Jinhua Ski Resort

 

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.

Suan Cai Jiaozi – New Year’s Soul in Dongbei

Sunday, February 7th, 2016
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Suan Cai, literally “sour vegetable”, is a traditional Chinese pickled Chinese cabbage. Jiaozi are a kind of Chinese dumplings eaten across China, especially popular in Northern China.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai fillings mixed with minced pork are the most festive food during Chinese New Year in Dongbei ( Northeast China ).

China Snow Town

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Dongbei (Northeast China) is historically known as “Manchuria”. It now mainly encompasses China’s three northmost provinces – Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, economically and politically among the most important regions of China.

China’s Northeast is favored by travelers with the main draws being skiing, sledding and skating all winter.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Spring Festival ( Chinese Lunar New Year ) is the time for family reunion. Dongbei people working and living in other provinces are returning home.

Fatherd and mothers in high ages at villages and the end of street alleys are eagerly waiting for their sons and daughters coming home.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

Beside expecting the bonding time, every Dongbe wanderer would be nostalgic of the fragrant smell of Suan Cai Jiaozi! Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai and minced port fillings are most favored by Dongbei people,  the common Chinese New Year’s atmopshere in Dongbei.

China Snow Town in Dongbei

China Snow Town in Dongbei

On the New Year’s eve, a host would  take out Suan Cai preserved in a big jar, mincing port and making dough. The family members will get together, and make dumplings, talking and laughing.

Not long, the making of Jiaozi is finished. The host would put Suan Cai Jiaozi into a boiling wok. In a few minites, delicious dumplings will be placed on the table.

Take a pickled Chinese cabbage preserved in a big ceramic vat.

Take pickled Chinese cabbage preserved in a big ceramic vat.

Jiaozi with Suan Cai fillings have a bit taste of sour, a appetizer for drinking Baijiu (Chinese spirit) and favored by Dongbei people who like drinking alcohol due to the cold weather.

Plan your Northeast China Tour (Dongbei tour)? Don’t miss having a bite of Suan Cai Jiaozi!

Pickled Chinese cabbage

Pickled Chinese cabbage

 

Chopped pickled Chinese cabbage

Chopped pickled Chinese cabbage

 

Suan Cai Jiaozi fillings: pickled Chinese cabbage and minced port

Suan Cai Jiaozi fillings: pickled Chinese cabbage and minced port

 

Mixing chopped Suan Cai with minced port

Mixing chopped Suan Cai with minced pork

 

Making Jiaozi

Making Jiaozi

 

Finished Jiaozi

Finished Jiaozi

 

Boiled Suan Cai Jiaozi

Boiled Suan Cai Jiaozi

 

Eating Jiaozi (Dumplings)

Eating Jiaozi (Dumplings)

Some of the photos from internet, any questions, just drop a line.

Add On
Top 10 Places to Visit in Northeast China (Dongbei)

Harbin Ice and Snow World

Saturday, July 11th, 2015
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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.

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
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.