Let it snow! Let’s take a trip like no other to the frozen northeastern China, the glorious Dongbei, to see the world’s largest and most elaborate ice sculptures, brilliantly illuminated Ice Lantern Show, and enjoy all kinds of snow and ice activities at the International Ice & Snow Festival in Harbin this winter. This grand ice and snow festival is usually held during every January and February. To begin your winter adventure, you will visit embrace the splendors of Beijing first, including the magnificent Forbidden City, sublime Temple of Heaven, beautiful garden of Summer Palace, and hike the spectacular Mutianyu Great Wall as well. A modern, fast and comfortable high speed train will take you to arrive at Harbin after your Beijing sightseeing. I will be a wonderful memory in your travelling life.
The high speed railway between Beijing and Harbin goes as long as about 1,330km, with 14 stations along the line at Beijing, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, etc. There are usually 6 (sometimes more) high speed trains you can take each day.
Day 1 Beijing ArrivalAirport or railway station pick up and check in hotel
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Ni Hao, welcome to Beijing, the iconic city as well as the capital of China! You will be met by local tour guide at the arrival hall of Beijing Airport and escorted to check in your hotel in downtown by a private comfortable vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to relax. If you want to explore nearby, feel free to get some practical suggestions from your tour guide.
- Modern Face of Beijing
Day 2 Beijing (B, L)Today's highlights: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Hutong Rickshaw, Summer Palace
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After breakfast, start to explore the historical face of Beijing with a brief visit to Tiananmen Square, now the largest city plaza in the world. Tiananmen Gate on the northern side of the square was the site where Chairman Mao announced the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Stepping into the Tiananmen, you will see one of the world’s five most important palaces – the Forbidden City, a huge palace complex of more than 9,000 rooms where 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties lived. Pass through various doorways in this magnificent structure to admire the beautiful and well preserved buildings decorated with yellow-glazed tile roofs, white marble bases and splendid colorful paintings.
Next activity is to hop on a rickshaw to experience Beijing Hutongs – small alleys made of neighboring quadrangle dwellings. Shuttle among different Hutongs to feel the old Beijing life style, meet various antique shops and small boutiques, feel the historical changes of Beijing, also pay a visit to a local family’s home in the traditional Hutongs.
After lunch, drive to the outskirts of Beijing to spend an enjoyable time in the Summer Palace, the largest and best-preserved royal garden in China. Stroll around ancient pavilions, mansions, temples, bridges and corridors while feasting your eyes on the vast lotus in Kunming Lake and the colorful paintings in the Long Corridor.
- Forbidden City
- Summer Palace
Day 3 Beijing Great Wall Tour (B, L)Today's highlights: Mutianyu Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Bird’s Nest and Water Cube
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After breakfast, drive from your hotel to visit the imperial site – Temple of Heaven. It was originally used to pay homage to Heaven and pray for harvest, now becomes a bustling place for locals to take part in traditional activities, such as Tai Chi, dancing, kite flying, water calligraphy, etc.
The rest of today is to drive about 70km to witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Wall. You will visit the Mutianyu, a less crowded yet well-preserved segment of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty. It will more than live up to all of your expectations! This great wall, linking Gubeikou in the east and Juyongguan in the west, was served as the vital military strategic point in the ancient time. Moreover, Mutianyu section is the “longest great wall in China” so far and since protection work is well done here, tourists can now see its original appearance and enjoy the real ancient culture of great wall. Also, spectacular natural scenery in Mutianyu Great Wall always impresses visitors here for its abundant vegetation. You’ll take a cable car to ascend the Great Wall, then hike the most beautiful and interesting part of Mutianyu. It's a wonderful experience to climb up its rising towers to enjoy scenic views and take brag-worthy photos of the wall wriggling along mountain ridges. After the exciting time, descend Mutianyu Great Wall by cable car. (Note: If energy permits, you can hike up or down which takes about 40 minutes to climb steps. Please tell your likes to your travel consultant.)
After the Great Wall visit, drive back to Beijing city and take a short stop at the Beijing Olympic Village to see its famous Bird’s Nest and Water Cube from the outside.
Optional activity: After the whole day’s tour, treat yourself a great dinner to taste the famous Peking Roasted Duck at Quanjude.
- Temple of Heaven
- The Great Wall Family
Day 4 High Speed Train to HarbinToday's highlights: Bullet Train Experience, Ice Lantern Show in Zhaolin Park
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After breakfast, you will be taken to the railway station to catch a high speed bullet train to Harbin, the most popular tourist destination in the China’s northeastern region, shortly known as Dongbei. The railway stretches as long as about 1,330km , with 14 stations along the line at Beijing, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Changchun, Harbin, etc. After about 7~8 hours interesting ride on the fast and comfortabel bullet train, you will arrive at Harbin West Railway Station. Your local tour guide is ready to pick you up and transfer you to check in your hotel in downtown. The rest of today is on your own to explore charming ice city of China.
In this evening, you can get to Zhaolin Park with the largest scale of outdoor ice lantern show in the world. (Please note: it holds every year from January 5th to the end of February. Please wear warm done coat and shoes when visiting it at night.)
- High Speed Bullet Train to Harbin
- Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern
Day 5 Harbin (B, L)Today's highlights: Sun Island Scenic Resort, Ice and Snow World, Siberian Tiger Park
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After breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Firstly, you'll visit the Sun Island Scenic Resort, which is a major venue to hold the International Snow Sculpture Art Expo on Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in winter. Walk into this vast pure lovely fairyland of 60,000 square meters and meet the incredible “white visual storm”. Have a close look at the thousands of excellent large-scaled artistic snow sculptures of landscape, cartoon, figures, buildings, etc., which will make you wow at the outstanding talent of the craftsmen who inject life into the cold snow. With so amazing backdrop, you just can’t help taking some great photos to record the nice moment (You are highly advised to wear sunglasses to visit the Snow Sculpture Art Fair since the glary from sunshine on the snow is really intense.)
Then, be escorted to the nearby Siberian Tiger Park, the largest breeding center in the world for endangered Siberian Tigers that. Over 1,300 purebred Siberian Tigers are raised there. You’ll not only pay a safe walk to observe different kinds of tigers (Siberian Tigers, White Tigers, White Lion, Leopard, Liger, etc.), but also take a tourist bus with wire-mesh protection through the park to closely see the tigers and lions and take some photos.
After dinner, you will head to the incredible gorgeous Ice and Snow World, the highlights of annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Start your freedom stroll in the dazzling magical world of ice where to appreciate over 2,000 pieces of sculptures of ice and snow including pagodas, towers, famous world architectures, landscapes, and so forth dyed with romantic colorful LED lights, which can easily make you want to stay longer in such an “Ice Wonderland in Harbin”. Besides the sightseeing, if you would like to enjoy the festive atmosphere to the fullest, you can choose to have fun with the world longest sliding, or other winter activities on ice, such as ice maze, ice climbing, skating, etc.
Note: 1) Please wear enough layers of proper clothes and warm shoes to keep you away from the freeze especially when you want to stay here longer to enjoy the beautiful scenery. 2) An indoor Ice and Snow Paradise with smaller scale is built in the scenic area of the Ice and Snow World, and tourists could also enjoy the ice and snow there as well when the festival ends. 3) There may be long queues in front of some hot activity items in the Ice and Snow World during traditional Chinese Lunar New Year and weekends, and you could visit there during other dates to avoid crowds.
- Snow Sculptures in Sun Island
- Siberian Tiger Park
- Gorgeous Ice and Snow World
Day 6 Harbin & Harbin Departure (B, L)Today's highlights: St. Sophia Cathedral, Zhongyang Pedestrian Street, Laodaowai Baroque Styled Architectures, Watching Activities on Ice at Jiuzhan Park
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Today, after breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel. You’ll go to Sophia Square to admire the holy appearance of the St. Sophia Cathedral from 1907. This must-visit site is a typical Byzantine architecture with a large green dome and was once the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East. The cathedral is the symbolic architecture in Harbin and at present is used as Harbin Architectural Art Gallery and displays some souvenirs. Then, you’ll visit the nearby exotic Zhongyang Pedestrian Street from 1900. Stroll along this 1,400 meters long historic street to appreciate the 71 precious buildings in different styles with long history, including Renaissance, Baroque, etc. (The Stalin Park is very close to the pedestrian, so if you are interested and time permits, you could walk there to admire the Russian architectures and enjoy many creative artistic sculptures.)
Then, make a historical visit to Laodaowai, where Harbin originated. This popular featured street block is so far the largest Chinese Baroque street block in China where boasts many meaningful old Baroque styled architectures with rich romantic color from early 20th century. Walk free along those old streets and alleys to appreciate the ancient buildings with western façade but traditional Chinese courtyard and interior designs and interesting folk sculptures, and hear the good telling of the old life of Harbin people and history of Harbin in the past 100 years. After that, visit the Jiuzhan Park along Songhua River. Here you will watch some winter swimmers including some elders up to 60-70 years do winter swimming in the so cold water under the frozen water surface, and many people having fun on some interesting activities on ice, such as skating car, sliding, winter fishing, etc. on Songhua River.
After the tour, your guide and driver will escort you to the airport or train station for your flight / train to next destination or home. Service ends!
- Songhua River Winter Swimming
- Holy St. Sophia Cathidral
- Zhongyang Pedestrian Street
- Laodaowai Street Block
1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2020.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.7. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
I am back in Australia after my Sanctuary Yangtse Explorer cruise with my sister-in-law from England.
All the arrangements went very smoothly, many thanks, and we very much enjoyed our cruise.
I was particularly impressed with the guides on our various tours, especially the young lady in Fuling, who struggled with her English, (so much better than my Chinese!) but had the courage to continue, and put all her effort into giving us a genuine insight into her city. She, and the other young ladies, were lovely. We had many helpful experiences from people during our brief time in China, which is much appreciated when trying to learn a new country.
If I plan another tour in China in future, I will be in contact again,
I will share some photos once I have been through them. I have responded to the questions below which I hope is of value.
1.How about your tour arrangements?
Tour arrangements were perfect. Having previously visited China we were very particular about where we wanted to visit this time and Echo was very accommodating and helpful with the initial itinerary.
Echo’s patience with some unavoidable delays in obtaining our Chinese visa was commendable and I very much appreciated the support and patience.
Our pickups an drop-offs to and from our transportation was perfect with a guide waiting for us with a clear sign in a very visible area each and every time was fantastic. That and the friendly and helpful nature of all of the guides really made our trip into a highly pleasurable experience.
2.Are you willing to recommend our service to those who would like to come to China ?
Absolutely, I did quite a bit of research before deciding which travel company to choose and I couldn’t be happier with the service provided by China Discovery and Echo Gou.
3. Your general opinion on us?
My opinion is that China Discovery provides a first class service to anyone wishing to visit China without the normal problems associated with travel arrangements.
4. What will be your suggestions regarding how to improve our services?
The service was perfect! I cannot think of any advice which would improve it.
5.Do you plan to write (or have already written) a travelogue or a story to share with your friends? Would you like to share it with us and our clients? We would be happy to publish it on our website. Photos often tell more than words and we would appreciate if you share some of them with us.
Yes, we travel often and I do go through all of my photos and make a selection of the best ones, which I would be happy to share once that enormous task is completed. We travelled for 10 weeks and have over 7000 photos to go through, but once that task is complete I will send a selection of photos.
Finally the tour of our is coming to the end. We are on our way to the Airport now. We really enjoyed our trip. Everything was really good. Beijing was very hot and humid. Unfortunately the car air conditioner was not very efficient and it wasn’t cooling properly.
Thanks for organising an excellent itinerary and good arrangements all over.
Sure. Very honestly I and my friends are very happy with your services. Even without your asking I was going to write a very good review on trip advisor for the benefit of all Indians.
I would definitely visit China once again and use your services. I would love to visit Chengdu, Chongqing and Tibet next time.
We're back home.
We would like to thank you and all the guides and drivers for the great service and care afforded to us during our 2 weeks stay in your beautiful country. With so much left for us to discover, there will definitely be more visits in the future.
Zoe was a great guide and like Ruby before her, she was very knowledgable on anything related to our tours in Xian. She made sure everthing went smoothly. In fact during our visit to Mt Hua, she was checking on the mountain guide (Henry) to ensure that we were both doing well.
Jo Jo doing the Beijing tour was very well prepared on the subjects and did well in handling a large group. We were very impressed with the great wall and in fact we thought that 2 hours allocated to this awesome site were too little.
Thanks again for the perfect organisation. Cynthia will definitely leave a positive review on trip advisor, and I will recommend your services to colleagues and friends planning a China visit.
Well done to you!
All is going very well.
We have especially loved Huangshan Mountain and Bishan. Gerry in Hangzhou was a very good guide and Jerry in Huangshan was outstanding. We are now on the train to Guilin. Everything has gone perfectly smoothly. Thank you.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Below are some important things to know regarding of train travel tips, traveling documents, hotels and food, weather, booking guide. Traveling with China Discovery, you only need to focus on enjoying your holiday time. We will take care of all the details. Our travel consultants are always ready to help you if have any questions about the trip.
Harbin / China Snow Town / Harbin
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