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Harbin International Ice and snow festival

Updated on February 5, 2016

The International Ice and Snow Festival at Harbin is held every year between the months of December and February, welcoming thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Ice and Snow World

Transportation & Weather

It is very convenient to travel to Harbin since there are regular flights, trains, and buses from major cities of China, but it is advisable to book your transport well in advance, as they get tightly booked at the end of November, and the prices gets quite high. Hotels in Harbin range from as low as 200 Yuan/ night to more than 1000 Yuan/ night, depending on your budget and need.

One very important thing to keep in mind is the extreme cold weather of Harbin. The city is regarded as one of the coldest cities of Northern China and that is the reason of the grand Ice and Snow Festival being held at Harbin. Sometimes it reaches as low as more than 40 degree Celsius, so be sure to take some real warm jackets, thermals, mufflers and boots while travelling.


Getting to the park and it's fees

The festival is divided into four different theme parks of Harbin. But the best and most visited place is ‘The Ice and Snow world ‘, being the most expensive one among the four but the cost worth it. It usually opens at 9 am and closes at 9pm. People from all over the world come to visit this beautiful and skillful place.

You can easily take a taxi from Harbin train station to the Ice and Snow world and pay around 40-60 Yuan. The entry ticket varies from 160 Yuan to 330 Yuan, depending on your age and occupation. Students get special discount and have to pay 160 Yuan to enter this beautiful but frosty place. The best time to enter the park is around 10am or 11am in the morning so as to enjoy being there in daytime and as well as at night. The snow sculptures are skillfully carved and look fabulous. Snow white, several movie characters, Disney land characters, angry birds, Buddha, castles, mosque are very few of those wonderful ice and snow sculptures that you get to see there.

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Beautiful pathway made of ice

Amazing features of the festival

The free slides are one of the best adventures there. You can find many slides there; small and big, made on snow and ice castles. There are some really big ones out there as well, always having long queue of adventurers willing to take that slide. There are several other sports as well, like skiing, and

The place is so cold that you need to go indoors after every half an hour or so. There are many restaurants and small cafes where you can warm yourself and enjoy delicious foods and drinks of China. Skiing is another brilliant adventure to go for. Sliding on a wheel over a long path of snow doubles the terror and makes the ride amazingly amazing.

If you reach there early then you’ll get to see and be a part of many interesting activities and events, such as snow carnival, international competitions, ice lantern shows, sliding, ice hockey, ice football, ice-sailing, speed skating, cross-field skiing and Alpine skiing competitions, fishing, swimming, ice and snow film art show, painting exhibition, calligraphy display, photo exhibition, folk song and dance performances and many more. The short you’ll have an unforgettable experience of this snow world.

Sports at Ice and Snow World

At nights, the place is even more beautiful. All the sculptures glow in shiny green, red, yellow and blue lights, attracting everyone towards them. There are many other activities like theater and snow and ice sports; another joyful part of the visit. You also get a chance to ride on a cart at the back of beautiful strong horses. It made me feel like I am in Cinderella’s world. The carts were gorgeously decorated and hairy horses made them the same as in the fantasy world.

The Cinderella ride

Other places to visit

Zhaolin Park is another place where you can find the ice and snow sculptures but it’s a very small area relative to The Ice and Snow world. This park should be visited at night to experience the architecture in beautiful colorful light. Other places include Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo and Songhua River Ice and Snow Valley. All these have beauty of their own but the Ice and Snow Festival gets the best of traffic since it is the largest of all four parks.

A lady selling Chinese artefacts at Zholaing Park

Overall, everything is just remarkably great. The hard work of sculptures from all over the world makes this place remarkably amusing. You will not be willing to come out of the place once you see all the exquisiteness there. Plan at least a one week visit to the city of Harbin and you’ve my words, you’ll never regret it.

So, when are you going to visit the International Ice Festivals of Harbin?

At the exit of Ice and Snow World

4.7 out of 5 stars from 9 ratings of this article


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    • tajoo profile image

      Syeda Akhtar 2 years ago from Shenynag, China

      thanks William

    • profile image

      William 2 years ago

      Nicely presented!