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8 Days Northeast China Tour with Harbin Ice & Snow Festival

Indepth Exploration of Winter Landscape and Culture of Northeast China

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Attending the famous Ice & Snow Festival in Harbin and enjoying the charm of snow in Northeast China, including the amazing rime scenery of Jilin Wusong Island, unique imperial culture and historic relics in Changchun and Shenyang and the romantic harbor view of Dalian City! You will not only appreciate the amazing snow-white landscape of this area, but also learn more about the past, the present and the future of these cities from this tour.

  • Learn the local culture and history of the destinations;
  • Enjoy the amazing snowy landscape and the Ice & Snow Festival;
  • Relaxing yourself on the beautiful beach and sea in Dalian City.

(Warm Tip: Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is usually held during late December to late February or early March every year, please plan your trip accordingly. Besides, if you want to attend the Opening Ceremony of Harbin World Ice and Snow Festival and appreciate its fabulous firework show at Ice and Snow World on January 5th every year, you can enjoy the tour around that date. Furthermore, rime scenery in Jilin usually occurs during December to middle February, with January being the most frequent month, please plan your trip accordingly!)

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Harbin / Jilin / Changchun / Shenyang / Dalian
Travel Length:
Tour Code:
CD-NCT-08
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureFestivalPhotograph
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day (Can Be Customized)

Day 1 Harbin Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Harbin, the Capital of Heilongjiang Province, which is well known as the "Ice City" in China. Your local guide will meet you at the arrival hall of airport / railway station. Then you will be escorted to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is on your own to explore this city.

Arrival Ideas:

Harbin Taiping International Airport is 41 km’s driving distance from downtown area. It has flights from Beijing (2 hrs), Dalian (1.5 hrs), Qingdao (2 hrs), Jinan (2 hrs), Xian (3 hrs), Shanghai (3 hrs), Chengdu (3.5-4 hrs), Ordos (2.5 hrs), Hangzhou (3 hrs), Guangzhou (4-4.5 hrs), Xiamen (4-4.5hrs), Wuhan (3-3.5 hrs), Sanya (5 hrs) and more destinations in China, and more international cities like Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Moscow, Phuket Island, etc. While Harbin West Railway Station has high speed trains linking Harbin with Beijing (7~8 hrs), Changchun (1 hr), Shenyang (2.5~3 hrs), Dalian (4~5 hrs), Jilin (2-3 hrs), Tianjin (6.5 hrs), etc.

Evening Ideas (Explore on your Own):

In this evening, you can go to Zhaolin Park to appreciate the largest scale of outdoor ice lantern fair in the world. Complimented as “the non-repetitive fairy tales”, Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern Show is one of the three exhibitions that make up the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. Spend 1-2 hours to enjoy all the colorful ice lanterns and ice sculptures. (Important Note: It is held every year from January 5th to the end of February. It is suggested to visit after 18:00 when all the lights turning on.)

Ice City - Harbin Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern
Day 2 Harbin ( B,L )

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 IslandGorgeous Ice and Snow WorldYong’s group from Malaysia - Siberian Tiger Park
Day 3 Harbin & Jilin ( B,L )

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.)

After that, you’ll go to visit Heilongjiang Provincial Museum that keeps the European Baroque outside building from 1906. In this museum, a great number of valuable cultural relics of bronze, gold, jade, ceramics, paintings, etc. are on display to tell the 40,000-year long human history and culture of the whole Heilongjiang Province, from the remote era, to the rising and declining of different ethnic minorities, from the origin of the last empire era in Chinese history, to the modern time changes and development with the whole nation. Besides, you will see a rich array of imitating scenes and historical relics to know the life of Russian immigrants and their influence to make Harbin rich of Russian flavor today.

Then, you will be escorted to Jilin city about 215 kilometers away with about 5.5 hours' drive (about 310km), the second largest city in Northeast China.

Holy St. Sophia CathidralKayla Williams's group - Zhongyang Pedestrian StreetHeilongjiang Provincial Museum
Day 4 Jilin & Changchun ( B,L )

You will get up early today! After your breakfast at the hotel, your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel and then drive about 1.5 hour to visit Wusong Island (Rime Island for its beautiful rime scenery). With the best type of rimes with outstanding thickness, density and structure, much more beautiful than those in the rest of China, Wusong Island is the best place to see the natural miracle of rimes in the whole country.

Walk to say hello to the sunrise of the day. As the sun rises, more radiance sends out to to change the sky into golden, orange, pink, rose, purple, etc., and the mists over the water rise gradually to make the outline of the trees partly hidden and partly visible, which is a superb dreamy visual feast of this winter! Press your shutter as free to record such gorgeous natural masterpiece. Then, after the sky gets bluer, walk around the snow covered path, along the water and under the trees to admire the white and silver rimes decorating like the special winter jade flowers on the new dressing from winter. Enjoy your romantic dating with the fabulous sightseeing and take more amazing photos!

(Best Time for Wusong Island rime photography: rimes usually occur from December to middle February in winter, and January is the month with more frequent rime days. As rimes drops after noon hours, 07:00-11:30 is the best time for shooting the rimes and the sunrise of the day with 10:00-11:30 being the best time for rimes with blue sky.)

After that, you'll continue to visit Songhua River, enjoy the outlook of Catholic Church and discover Sika Deer Farm in the city.

After the tour, be driven to Changchun.

Wusong Island SunriseWusong Island Rime
Day 5 Changchun & Shenyang ( B,L )

Today's tour starts from the Puppet Emperor's Palace, the official residence created by the Imperial Japanese Army for China's last emperor Puyi to live in as Emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo in the early 20th century. The main structure of the palace can be divided into two parts - the residential quarter for daily life and the administrative quarter for political activities. Now they are informative museums displayed with many antiquities (including artifacts and annals) detailing the history of the fake Manchu Dynasty. Next, visit the Eight Ministries of Puppet Manchuguo Regime from the outside, which were established as a way for the Japanese invaders to legitimize their claim to the territory of Northeast China. You will view the different architectural styles there.

After that, moving on to Shenyang for 4 hours and check in Hotel.

Puppet Emperor's Imperial Palace
Day 6 Shenyang & Dalian ( B,L )

Good morning! Today after breakfast, you will be escorted to Mukden Palace to start your culture exploration. Mukden Palace, or called Shenyang Palace Museum or Shenyang Imperial Palace, is a miniature Beijing Forbidden City with unique Manchu features. In history, it was the imperial palace of Houjin, which later became Qing - China's final imperial dynasty. The glory of Mukden Palace faded in 1644, because Qing moved their capital to Beijing and chose Beijing Forbidden City to take its place as the imperial palace. However, as a vital witness of Qing’s rise and grow up, Mukden Palace is always a good history teller and well worth an up-close visit for Chinese culture fans. Being one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the best proof. Here, you will trace its ancient glory while wandering around its elegant and exquisite pavilions, towers, stone carvings, theaters, archways, etc.

Thereafter, you will be driven to nearby Marshal Zhang Mansion, which was the residence of famous army marshal Zhang Zuolin and his son Zhang Xueliang. This building cluster is also the largest scale of and best preserved residence of celebrities in Northeast China. Upon arrival, you will see a vivid statue of Zhang Xueliang. Then, stroll around the old offices, living rooms and houses of the marshal and his wives and a private bank to take a glimpse of the life of this notable family. Besides, admire the beautiful furniture and over 7,000 pieces of collections to trace the history during then.

After lunch, you will be driven for about 7.5 KM / 0.5 hours or so to visit Beiling Park and Zhaoling Tomb. First, spend your leisurely early afternoon to take a park tour. Indulging yourself in the peaceful atmosphere and the picturesque lake and garden views. Later, visit Zhaoling Tomb behind the park. Zhaoling is one of the Three Famous Tombs in Mukden, which was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004. It is the tomb of the first Qing emperor, Hong Taiji, and his empress Xiaoduanwen.

After the tour, take a high speed train to Dalian!

Marshal Zhang Mansion - The Residence of Army Marshal ZhangZhaoling Tomb (UNESCO World Heritage Site) inside Beiling ParkShenyang Imperial Palace
Day 7 Dalian ( B,L )

Good morning! Today after breakfast, you will be driven for about 1.5 hours to visit Golden Pebble Beach (Jinshantan Scenic Area). First, head to its core scenic area - Jinshitan Coastal Geological Park. Here, stroll up and down along the coastal wooden trails to admire the broad sea views and strange rock formations. You will certainly be amazed by the amazing stone shapes. Some are like elephants, rocs, tigers, tortoises, dinosaurs, etc. And there is a unique reef, which is said to like the face of Beethoven. Later, hop on a sightseeing bus to the Golden Beach. Spend some leisurely moments here to have sand fun with your family or friends.

Thereafter, be driven for about 60 kilometers (1.5 hours around) to Fujiazhuang Park on Binhai Road. Upon arrival, enjoy a 4-kilometer-long coastal hiking along the wooden trails. The Binhai Road wooden trail is the longest in the world, which once broke the Guinness Records. And you will hike its most beautiful section. After the hiking, be driven back to your hotel to stay overnight. Have a good night!

Golden Pebble Beach Geological Park
Day 8 Dalian & Dalian Departure ( B )

Good morning! After breakfast, let's visit Tiger Beach Ocean Park, which is about a 0.5-hour drive from your hotel.

Tiger Beach Ocean Park (Laohutan) covers a large area of over one million square meters and occupies a winding coastline of more than 4,000 meters. It is extremely a surprise for family with kids and those who are into the lovely and mysterious marine animals. First, start your marine exploration from Coral Hall (Reef Aquarium), which is the largest one of its kind in China. Here, meet with diverse kinds of corals and jellyfishes in red, blue, yellow, purple and more colors. The lovely fishes swimming in between the corals are also fantastic. Then, visit the big highlight - Pole Aquarium. You'll find beluga whale, dolphin, polar bear, walrus, penguin and so forth and enjoy dolphin performances and acrobatic shows here. Later, be taken on a spectacular underwater safari on underwater tunnels and everywhere you look you'll find amazing tropical fish and awesome sharks swimming over your head or by your two sides! You're in their world now! Followed the visit of Pole Aquarium are shows performed by funny clowns and sea lions at Animal Show Arena. Continue the visit to Marine Mammal World. Enter the dramatic ship-like building to say hi to seals and sea lions. The last stop is Bird Forest, where there are red ibis, flamingo, grey crested crane, hornbill, black swan and other rare birds. Watch an interesting Parrot Show here.

Please note: The outdoor performances in Animal Show Arena and Bird Forest may be canceled when there are severe weather like heavy rain and wind.

After the ocean park tour, be driven to Xinghai Square, the landmark of Dalian City. Here you can enjoy an awesome view of the city as well as the sea.

Optional activity: Next to Xinghai Square, there is a Dalian Shell Museum and also an amusement park. If your time allows and you like, you can admire the largest number of shell exhibits in the world at the museum, or try whirligig, roller coaster, big pirate ship, etc. (extra fee needed) in the amusement park.

Later, be driven to the airport/train station to catch your flight / train to your next destination or home. Service ends!

Departure Idea: You are suggested to book a flight / train departing after 19:30.

Tiger Beach Scenic AquariumTiger Beach Ocean ParkShows Performed at Animal Show Arena

Recommended Add-on Options

+ 2 days more to Changbai Mountain

Known as Ever White Mountain in Chinese and Changbaek-sanjulgi in Korean, Changbai Mountain range forms the border between the Chinese provinces of Liaoning and Jilin and North Korea. It is one of the top ten famous mountains in China, where the top of the mountain is covered with snow all year round. It is a dormant volcano boasting rare animals, lush forests, clear lakes and bubbling hot springs. The most beautiful one among the lakes is Tian Chi (Heavenly Lake), the deepest alpine lake in China. There are three scenic areas (North Slope, West Slope and South Slope), and North Slope is the most recommended one because of many small attractions and convenient transportation.

 Changbai Mountain Heavenly Lake Summer View (North Slope)

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