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China's winter wonderland

14th December 2012 Print
Harbin China

For those who think China does not embrace the winter spirit, Harbin's festivals will be an unexpected delight.

Since 1963 Harbin has hosted the Ice and Snow Festival which showcases an entire themed city cast from ice blocks produced from the Songhua river. The festival includes an international contest in which ice carvers from around the world compete for prizes and in the process create an amazing sculpture garden in Zhaolin Park.

The venues are completely different from day to night. During the day the carvings and slides can be seen as a snowy winterland, but at night the coloured lights frozen into the blocks of ice give the parks a fairyland effect.

The festival will open January 5th and close at the end of February. This is also a great opportunity to see Harbin's other major attractions such as the Siberian Tiger Park or to visit one of the areas ski resorts. Plane tickets and hotels must be booked in advance as the event draws huge crowds every year.

The China Guide offers a variety of customizable tours to Harbin on its web site:

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Harbin China Zhaolin Park Zhaolin Park