China’s Harbin Ice Festival

China,

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12 people
5 days
Code: CBSIS
Activity and Adventure, Festival, Tours
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Overview of China’s Harbin Ice Festival

Embrace the frozen glory of winter in this journey to China’s frigid northeast and experience the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in all its winter wonder. From Beijing head to the remote north of the country to discover a city shaped by Russian as well as Chinese culture and experience a festival that’ll take your (frozen) breath away.

Trip Summary for China’s Harbin Ice Festival

Start Location: Beijing,   End Location: Beijing

Countries Visited: China, 
Meals Included: Breakfast: 0   Lunches: 0   Dinners: 0
Highlights:

    • Built to accommodate Russian engineers working on the Trans-Siberian Railroad in the 19th century, discover Harbin’s Russian and Jewish heritage on a guided walking tour
    • Experience Harbin’s International Ice and Snow Festival, a vast winter wonderland of the biggest and most elaborate ice sculptures in the world
    • Tour the festival with a local guide during the day and again at night, when the frosty re-creations of famous buildings, monuments and characters are lit up in technicolour
    • Train travel is intrinsic to Chinese life. Bunk up with locals and other travellers on an overnight sleeper train from Beijing to Harbin, and experience a high speed train back the other way

 

Day 1 - Beijing
Welcome to China. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. Perhaps arrive into Beijing a few days earlier to explore the city. Visit Tiananmen Square, shop for arts and crafts at Panjiayuan Flea Market or check out the Forbidden City (the largest palace complex in the world). Board an overnight sleeper train to Harbin in the early evening.

Day 2 - Harbin
Arrive into Harbin this morning. Make sure you layer on the warm clothes, as Harbin is colder than Beijing and you’ll be outside exploring the city for a lot of the day. Transfer from the train station to the hotel, where you may be able check in early and freshen up if the rooms are ready. Enjoy a walking tour of Harbin, visiting Saint Sophia Cathedral and the busy central street of Zhongyang Dajie. Your guide will provide a history of the city during the tour, including Russia’s influence on Harbin. In the evening visit a local restaurant and try some typical northern Chinese fare, such as braised pork with vermicelli.

Day 3 - Harbin
Today explore the Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival with your local guide. The festival is the largest of its kind in the world. Tour the various exhibitions of sculptures made from snow and ice, which is sourced from the nearby Songhua River. The sculptures are life-size re-creations of famous buildings, structures and characters, created by master sculptors and artists. In 2015 the festival featured an ice Kremlin, enormous seated Buddha and a supersized Chinese fishermen. Observe the sculptures during the day, and engage in other optional activities such as sledding, ice hockey and ice mini golf. Revisit the festival at night, when the ice is lit up with colourful lights, keeping warm with a coffee or hot chocolate from one of the festival stands.

Day 4 - Beijing
In the morning, board a high speed train for the comfortable journey back to Beijing (approx 7-8 hours) across the winter landscapes of China's north. Transfer to your hotel on arrival and enjoy a free evening to explore the city. Perhaps catch an acrobatic performance at the Chaoyang Theatre or wander through busy street markets. Beijing boasts a world-class gastronomic scene. Feast on roast duck in a traditional restaurant, eat dumplings and noodles in a backstreet eatery or enjoy some of the best international dining in China. Ask your leader for local food recommendations and farewell your group tonight with a feast.

Day 5 - Beijing
This winter wonderland adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities included, so you may depart the hotel at any time.

Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities

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