Archive for the ‘Harbin Travel’ Category

China Snow Town

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
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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:
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
Tel: 0451 – 53634528, or 82830118

地址:黑龙江省哈尔滨市春申街26号
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
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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.

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.

Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley

Friday, January 19th, 2018
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If you are going to visit Harbin in winter, definitely you will put two must-see attractions into your Harbin tourHarbin Ice and Snow World, and Sun Island Snow Sculptures. The two sites are the prime draw cards of Harbin, enticing hundreds and thousands of visitors from home and abroad each winter season.

Today I’d like to introduce you to another ice and snow activity in Harbin which is more interactive and entertaining – Harbin Ice and Snow Valley, an important part of Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival.

Harbin Ice and Snow Valley Festival was originally inaugurated in the year of 2000. Since then, the Harbin Ice and Snow Valley is held annually lasting about 50 days starting December 25 and ending in Feb each year.

The venue of the ice and snow valley is located on the Songhuajiang River by the Harbin Flood Control Monument, on the northern tip of Zhongyang Street. Zhongyang Street is the main entrance into the huge ice park, which is also easily accessible from other 5 entries including Jiuzhan Street, Friendship Palace, Tongjiang Street, Wanda and Shangzhi Avenue along the south bank of Songhuajiang River.

Basically each year’s ice and snow valley takes a total area of  about 76 square meters with 8 sections covering leisure, entertainment, food and beverage, folklore, shopping. There are over 50 ice and snow activities going on the huge park perched on Songhuajiang River which include winter swimming, whipping spinning tops, ice slides, snow cars, dogsleds, a large ice and snow maze, the Ewenki Mysterious Land, Inuit Culture Exhibition and more.

Free entrance to the huge park of Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley which includes 8 areas separated from each other on the iced river. But you are supposed to pay any activities inside the park. An advanced radar scanning system imported from Norway is equipped to monitor the thickness of the river ice surface, making sure the all activities on the iced river is safe.

Follow me to have a glimpse of the so-called largest snow and ice playground in the world.

Walking along the famous Zhongyang Street from south to its northern tip, you will see a monument known as Harbin Flood Control Monument standing at the northern end of Zhongyang Street by Songhuajiang River. The monument was set up on October 1, 1958 in commemoration of the successive control of the huge flood by Harbin people in 1957.

Harbin Flood Control Monument

Harbin Flood Control Monument

North of the monument is the ice carved main entrance to Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley made of iced moon gates and pagodas.

the ice carved main entrance to Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley

the ice carved main entrance to Harbin Ice and Snow Happy Valley

Behind the ice carved main entrance is the ice ground on Songhuajiang River, the huge park of ice and snow happy valley with a total area of 76 square meters with 8 sections. Each section is composed of several fenced areas for different ice and snow activities.

A huge ice and snow playground

A huge ice and snow playground

 

Play the spinning top

Play the spinning top

Play the spinning top

Sliding on the ice

Sliding on the ice

Sliding on the ice

Self-guided stool sliding on the ice

Self-guided stool sliding on the ice

Self-guided stool sliding on the ice

 

Drive an ice and snow motor

Drive an ice and snow motor

Drive an ice and snow motor

Ice and Snow Tanks

Ice and Snow Tanks

Ice and Snow Tanks

Ice and snow manual car

Ice and snow manual car

Ice and snow manual car

Skiing on a track

Skiing on a track

kiing on a track

 

The Ewenki dogsleds

The Ewenki dogsleds

The Ewenki dogsleds

Winter Swimming

Winter Swimming

Winter Swimming

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.