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Badaling Great Wall of China
Beijing Duck at QuanJuDe - 1
Beijing Duck at QuanJuDe - 2
Beijing Forbidden City - 1
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Beijing Forbidden City - 3
Beijing Hutong Tour
Beihai Park Tour
Ming Tombs Lunch
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Ming Dynasty Wax Muesum
Summer Palace Beijing - 1
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Temple of Heaven Tour - 1
Temple of Heaven Tour - 2
Tiananmen Square China

Diecai Hill - Folded Brocade
Elephant Trunk Hill
Fubo Hill Tour
Guilin To Yangshuo Li River Cruise
Guilin Travel & Arrival
Li River Cruise - 1
Li River Cruise - 2
Liu Sa Jie Park
Ocean Aquarium Tour
Reed Flute Cave Tour
Seven Star Park
Solitary Beauty Peak & Princes City
Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Zoo - 1
Xiongsen Bear & Tiger Zoo - 2
Yangshuo Big Banyan Tree
Yangshuo Ju Long Tan Cave

Haikou Evergreen Park
Haikou Hairui Tomb Tour
Haikou One Day Tour
Haikou Wugong Temple
Sanya City Impressions

Dragon Tower Tour
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Ice and Snow World
Impressions of Harbin City
Saint Sophia Church
Siberian Tiger Park Tour
Songhuajiang Gondola Ride
Stalin Park & Flood Prevention
Sun Island Snow Sculpture Festival

Banpo Village
Bell Tower Tour
Big Wild Goose Pagoda Tour
Drum Tower Tour
Forest of Stone Steles Museum - 1
Forest of Stone Steles Museum - 2
Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 1
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 2
Shaanxi Province History Museum - 3
Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Tang Dynasty Cultural Park - 1
Tang Dynasty Cultural Park - 2
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 1
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 2
Terra Cotta Warrior & Solder - 3
Xian City Wall

Yunnan Dali China
Yunnan LiJiang Old Town
Yunnan Shilin Stone Forest

Suzhou Gardens
Tibet Potala Palace
Tibet Travel in China


Harbin Ice Festival in China

Harbin Ice and Snow World

Because Harbin is famous for its ice sculpture festival each winter, there are several Ice and Snow sculpture events spreadout throughout the city. However, the two mains ones are:

  • 1) The Harbin Ice and Snow World Festival (Gigantic ice sculptures)
  • 2) Harbin Snow Sculpture Festival (Xuebo Hui - gignatic snow sculptures)

If you were to visit Harbin, then these two would be the two major tour attraction that you cannot miss. For a foreigner, you may be confused what the differences between these two events are. Both attractions are major winter events held each year in Harbin - when I was in Harbin during January, both events took place on the Sun Island, located in the northern area of Harbin. It's roughly a 15 minute taxi ride from city center. The Ice and Snow World is only about 1km away from the Snow Sculpture Festival.

The Harbin Ice and Snow World festival is the most famous - it's world famous for its massive ice sculptures. I believe the Ice Sculpture Festival began on December 24th (2006), and will end on Feburary 20th (2007). The Snow Sculpture Festival on the other hand, features mostly snow sculptures of all types and sizes.

2007 harbin ice and snow festival
The main entrance gate, shaped like the Forbidden Palace in Beijing.

8th Harbin Ice and Snow World

The 8th Ice and Snow sculpture festival fills an area of 300,000 square meters, and about $40million RMB was invested in developing and setting up the attraction. There are in total 28 main features of this years Ice and Snow Festival, and over 3,000 individual ice sculptures. I learned that at one point, over 7,000 workers, and ice sculpture artists were busy at work developing the tour attraction.

By 5pm it was already dark, and I arrived at the Harbin Ice and Snow World around 6pm.

I can't begin to explain the sight that was before me when I arrived. Simply put, the Harbin winter Ice and Snow World was an amazing sight! Life sized buildings made purely of large ice blocks lit with all colors of lights. There are sculptures of various types of Chinese, russian, and European buildings.

Harbin Ice and Snow World Tour - Entrance

The entrance of the Harbin Ice and Snow World is made like the entrance of Forbidden Palace of Beijing. It's not as large as the actual gates in Beijing, but I would guess it's at least about 2/3 of the actual size. Inside the main area, there is a long sheet of ice, several hundred feet in length, that's pieced together with blocks of ice, and it's packed with green and yellow lights, illuminating the path. And yes, it's very slippery. :)

On the right hand side, is another large gate leading to many large ice sculptures created like ancient Chinese architecture. There are also various smaller ice sculptures of poets, officials, generals, etc... In this area, there is also a gigantic ancient Chinese boat. A bit further in, is a large area filled with walls assembled with iceblocks that are showcasing Chinese art and caligraphy. Behind this showcase, is a gigantic (I mean HUGE) smiling buddha that is carved entirely of snow.

2007 Harbin Ice Festival in China
Ice sculptures of a large boat, pagodas, poets, and more.

Going further inside the ice sculpture festival, is probably one of the main attractions of 2007's ice sculptures. It's an enormous ice building, which I think (guessing) that it's the White Lamaist Dagoba on top of the Qionghuadao Island in Beihai park in Beijing. Of course, this is totally just guessing, since their shapes are similar. :) See my Beijing blog entry about Beihai Park.

2007 harbin ice and snow festival
Photo taken on top of the tallest ice platform - photo of the front court of the park.

2007 harbin ice and snow festival
Photo taken on top of the tallest ice platform - photo of the middle area of the ice park.

It's simply a gigantic ice structure that can fit at least 1,000 people on it. The climb up and climb down, however, is quit dangerous. Although red carpets are laid out in the middle of all the paths, and the ice stairs, many parts were still very slippery, and pretty much everywhere I turned, I saw people slipping. Quite funny indeed, as long as they weren't hurt. :) Once you get to the top of the ice platform, it is the tallest spot of the entire ice festival, and you will get a fantastic panoramic view of the entire ice sculpture park. 

Photo Opportunities

Heading down the stairs, very carefully (still managing to slip 3 times), I came up to a stand where you can get photos with a snow fox. It costs $10yuan to take 3 photos with the snow fox. When I held the white fox in my arms, it was very, very soft and fury, and I could feel (even with gloves on) the thick layer of fat it has under its fur.

Harbin ice sculptures
A photo of me holding the pure white snow fox.

At the center of the park is a gigantic circular, 3 leveled platform, with a large, tall standing ice structure in the center, and a round globe is placed at its peak. I believe this was the tallest standing structure at the park. You can see from the photo that even standing at the top of the ice platform, this structure is taller still.

In the rear area of the ice festival, are mostly russian, and european styled buildings and structures. There is also an ice rink, and a small hill for bobsledding.  In the same area, there were also sevearal large ice slides, where you can climb up to the top, and slide down.

Heading on my way out towards the entrance from the other side of the park, there was also two miniature versions of Xian city's Drum Tower and Bell Tower. Tourists are free to beat the drum and sound the bell. They have several layers of ice blocks as the base, and one building has a large drum, and another has a large iron bell.

Harbin ice sculptures
Photo taken from the opposite side of the ice park showing the Bell and Drum towers, the gigantic smiling buddha, and the tallest ice platform.

After touring around the other area, I headed back out toward the entrance. Near the exit side, there is a large Michilin ice and snow sculpture, advertising for Michilin products – wonder how much money they paid to construction of the ice and snow sculptures.

It's always a pain to find a taxi in Harbin, especially at night. The taxi service in this city is quite terrible. The cab drivers all seem like a bunch of money hungry savages, always trying to pick up more passaengers, and you never know when you'll get taken for a ride! Even the locals told me that harbin taxi drivers are notorious for ripping off tourists and even local residents. Just be wary when you take a taxi in Harbin.

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