Tucked all the way in the far north east of China, Harbin the capital city of Heilongjiang province hosts the world’s largest and most awe-inspiring ice & snow sculpture festival every year from the end of December to the end of February.
The festival includes giant frozen castles, bars & restaurants within igloos, massive ice towns, ice-slides, ice-skating, view over two thousand spectacular sculptures, and hundreds of unique snowmen on over 600,000 square meters of land.
Located just outside of Harbin is Unit 731, a Japanese covert biological and chemical warfare research and development facility that were conducting inhumane experiments on over 10,000 Chinese, Soviet, Korean, and Mongolian civilians as well as Allied prisoners of war. The museum recently built on the former facility grounds shows exhibits and records of what the Japanese did and tried to hide come the fall of World War II and the outcome of the Americans wanting to downplay the war crimes as communist propaganda.
Extend your stay in Harbin for another day to include seeing the major sights this gorgeous Russian influenced Chinese city and visit Central Avenue, Stalin Park, Saint Sophia Church, spectate winter swimming, Heilongjiang Provincial Museum and Chinese Baroque Streets.
Harbin is easily accessible by highspeed rail, overnight sleeper trains or flights from Beijing, Shenyang or Dandong. Our one or two-day extension can be added before your after your North Korean tour. We can arrange your transportation to and from Harbin and your accommodation whilst in the city. Please contact us for more details.
1 day tour cost – 1 person – €295, 2 people – €239 per person, 3+ people – €195 per person
2 day tour cost – 1 person – €445, 2 people – €295 per person, 3+ people – €265 per person
Tour cost includes all entrance tickets, transportation, local English-speaking guides and driver.
• Local English-speaking guide and driver will collect you from your hotel lobby at 8:30am and drive 1 hour to Pingfang
• Visit 731 Museum and explore what’s left of the Research & Development grounds (closed on Mondays)
• Head back to Harbin city
• Lunch – optional and extra cost, our guide can assist you
• Head to the Snow Sculpture Art Exposition on Sun Island Park opposite the famous frozen Songhua River and featuring hundreds enormous snow sculptures. We recommend to visit this during the day so the intricate designs of the sculptures are better seen.
• Dinner – optional and extra cost
• Explore the Ice and Snow World in the evening – this event is so huge and brightly lit up with LEDs, spot lights and fireworks it can be seen from anywhere in the city.
• Local English-speaking guide and driver will collect you from your hotel lobby at 8:30am
• Explore Central Avenue – Over 1.4km long, Central Avenue is currently the longest pedestrian street in China and the only cobbled street in Harbin. Originally built by the Russians in 1898 when the city was at its semi-colonial period.
• Visit Stalin Park – situated alongside Songhua River with spectacular views of the frozen review
• Saint Sophia Church – completed in 1907 soon after the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway this gorgeous Neo-Byzantine Orthodox Church stands over 50 meters high and brings Russian memories of Moscow’s Red Square
• Lunch – optional and extra cost
• Spectate winter swimming – locals gather as they compete or simply go for a leirsure swim in sub-arctic temperatures.
• Visit Heilongjiang Provincial Museum –Holds exhibits and dioramas of the region’s power struggles for thousands of years between the Japanese, Koreans, Chinese, Mongolians, and Russians. Harbin itself began as a Russian city.
• Visit Chinese Baroque Streets – Laodaowuai District holds the largest area of Baroque buildings in China with aged streets, old shops and antique houses lined along the streets.
• Dinner – optional and extra cost