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Harbin is globally known as the “Ice City” where holds the internationally largest World Ice and Snow Festival every year and provides quite a lot of fantastic sports and entertaining activities which you can experience only there. Besides, it is reputed as the “Oriental Moscow” with multiple flavored Russian styled buildings left in the city. To best explore Harbin, this 3-day CLASSIC itinerary is your most ideal one to catch the city’s essential charm and its conspicuous Ice and Snow Festival for a lively winter vacation.
During the 3 days, you will not miss the must-see St. Sophia Cathedral and Zhongyang Street with 71 historical architectures in diverse foreign styles for a taste of the strong exotic Russian flavor in Harbin, but also, you will of course join in the grand Ice and Snow Festival to see the pretty Ice and Snow World, Sun Island and other alive venues with dreamy large scaled ice and snow sculptures and lanterns. Far more from that, all top best places are covered in these 3 days for your best enjoyment of the winter activities favored by Harbin locals, authentic history and culture, and more of this great “Winter Getaway” and “Oriental Moscow”!
(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.)
Day 1 Harbin ArrivalPick up in Harbin
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 downtown Harbin. The rest of today is on your own to explore this city.
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 visit Zhaolin Park to appreciate the Ice Lantern Fair which is the world largest scale of outdoor ice lantern show. You can walk in relax in the “ocean of ice lantern” with more than 1,500 exquisite colorful ice lanterns formed in the annual World Ice and Snow Festival. (Please note: it holds every year from January 5th to the end of February. Please wear warm down coat and shoes when visiting it at night.)
- Ice City - Harbin
- Harbin Ice Lantern Fair at Zhaolin Park
Day 2 Harbin (B, L)St. Sophia Cathedral - Zhongyang Pedestrian Street - Sun Island - Siberian Tiger Park - Ice and Snow World
Today, after breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel. You’ll first visit 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, continue your fabulous enjoyment to 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
- Beautiful Ice Sculptures at Ice and Snow World
- Holy St. Sophia Cathidral
- Zhongyang Pedestrian Street
Day 3 Harbin & Harbin Departure (B, L)Watch Activities on Ice at Jiuzhan Park - Heilongjiang Provincial Museum - Laodaowai - Goodbye to Harbin
Today, after breakfast, you will 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.
Then, 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.
After that, 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 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
- 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, 2021.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. 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.
My trip with China discovery was outstanding! It was the first time I have ever used a travel agency and I would definitely use them again. Very easy to organise the trip with lots of flexibility. Everything that they promised to do was done. The tour guides were excellent - very knowledgeable and again willing to adapt based on personal interests. I went to Guilin and Zhangjiajie - both destinations were stunning - lots of variety packed into the both parts of the trip. I had an amazing trip and would recommend to anyone who likes the outdoors!
How are you? Hope you are well. You organised a very nice trip for me to Chengdu and Jiuzhaigou way back in 2014.
You requested a review from me but I loaded to the wrong website. I came across the review today unexpectedly in my computer system and I would like to send it to you, to be used by your website. This is because I was very pleased by the trip that you organised for me. I was a lone female traveler but I still remember the lovely tour guides you found for me, especially the one at Chengdu.
I truly had a wonderful holiday and great memories.
I am now back in the UK. I certainly will use your tour service again if I ever travel to China the next time.
Take care in the pandemic.
( Dr Yih Siang CHEN)
I went on a 6 days / 5 nights private tour to Chengdu / Jiuzhaigou in
October 2014.I spent 2 days in Chengdu and the rest in Jiuzhaigou valley.
Since it was my first trip to China and I was a single female traveller, understandably, I was initially apprehensive before the tour. However, all my initial reservations disappeared once my tour began. I have decided to go on a private tour because I could not find a group tour which can come up with the itinery that I wanted.
From the onset, it was a pleasure to deal with Wonder. He made me a detailed itinery, specific to my wishes , down to the hotels that I preferred. I must say that he has honoured and stuck to our contract throughout my tour. He also phoned my tour guides on a daily basis just to make sure the itinery went on as planned and to make sure that I was ok.He was contactable at all times and any problems were sorted out very quickly and efficiently. He was also very accommodating and was willing to make changes in my itinery at very short notice whenever possible.I have found him to be reliable and trustworthy.
The tour guides were all very professional and knowledgeable. I was very happy with them.They spoke fluent English and were very knowledgeable about the places that we visited. They took care of everything, from meeting me at the airport, check- in into hotels, arranging for meals, transport, tickets for shows and checking in for my return flights. I was impressed that they would go out of their way to make my tour comfortable, hassle free and really tried to give me a memorable hoilday. They were prepared to work till late evenings. As a matter of fact, they would wait for me while I watched some shows in the evenings and one of them was even so kind to buy me an adaptor which I had lost in a hotel.
In Chengdu, I visited the Panda Research Centre, Jinli Street,Sichuan Museum and a silk factory at my request. i was not obliged to visit any factories throughout my tour.
Then, I flew on to Jiuzhai Valley and had another 3 days of private tours; 1 day in Huanglong Park and 2 full days in Jiuzhai National Park.I was glad that I flew return to the valley because the roads up there are really winding and being prone to travel sickness , it would have been a disaster for me to be sick.
I was met by another tour guide there. I am really glad that I took a private tour because I had my personal tour guide who walked with me at my pace throughout the Jiuzhai National park. She knew all the scenic spots and pathways by heart and made sure that I did not miss any important spots.Because she knew all the places so well, we could cover most of the scenic spots on foot in detail.She would walk with me and explain every lake, waterfall and other spots. She explained in detail all about the history, myths, customs and religion of the tribes there. It was an eye opener for me.I am sure I would not be getting all these explanation if I had gone in a group tour.Most group tours tend to be rushed but I was not rushed at all. I had ample time to take all the photos that I wanted , time to have meals and some shopping for souveniers and even short rests at beautiful spots where I could linger and just soak up the magnificent natural beauty.
Jiuzhai Valley is an extraordinary , beautiful park. It is my personal opinion that 2 full days are required to do the park justice. It is difficult to rush through the scenic spots in a day especially when there are massive crowds and queues everywhere.It was worth it to pay the hefty entrance fee for 2 days. Because I had 2 full days, I could do a hike with my guide who accompanied me throughout the trails to the 3 major valleys. I came away feeling satisfied and had lots of marvellous photos to show.
I was especially pleased that on one occasion, my tour guide took me through a small path , away from the tourist crowds. We walked at our pace and saw some smaller lovely waterfalls and lakes. I did not have to jostle with the typical crowds and could take my time to take some truly picturesque photos and videos. I am convinced that if I had joined a group tour , I would not have been able to see and explore the national park as much as I did.
My advice to travellers is to go on some fitness training before the tour. You have to be prepared to do a lot of walking for this is the best way to see the best views. Taking the bus to just the best scenic spots would be cheating and would not do the park justice.The only downside of the trip was the crowds. Be prepared for massive crowds, they can get unruly at times, especially when it rains, so do bring a raincoat or umbrella.Also be prepared for the less than ideal toilet facilities. Bring lots of tissues as handwash and tissues are not provided.
Due to my excellent and friendly tour guides and Wonder's meticulous planning, I had a fabulous holiday and a great time in China. I would highly recommend Wonder Wang and his tour agency to all my friends and family. If I return to China, I would certainly go through Wonder and his agency again. So, a big thank you to Wonder and all my lovely tour guides for making my holiday a truly memorable one!
Dr YS CHEN-PELFRENE
Thank you so much for reaching out again! And I was just about to write . As of yesterday afternoon, Mark and I finally received final confirmation that we will be allowed to take our leave, so now we can finally book our trip from 17 - 24 October!! As soon as I send this email, I will look into the flights. I will let you know if/when they are booked.
Also, we were wondering: would it be possible to pay via our American Credit Card this time? I know we normally do we-chat, but due to the amount this time (bigger/longer trip), it is easier for us to use credit-card. We understand that there is a credit card fee. . .could you provide us with the final amount (including the fee)?
Also, I think Mark and I would really enjoy the boutique hotels you chose for us. Could we verify that those hotels are still available for our trip?
And of course: I have really enjoyed working with you. You provide excellent customer service and we believe the quality of the trips are wonderful. My colleagues loved the trip to Zhangjiajie and I have told many of my colleagues about you/your company.
Last question: would you recommend anywhere over the Christmas holiday to New Years (01 January)?
Thank you, Wonder!
Look forward to hearing from you,
We really enjoyed our trip. Thanks!
Fresh air, beautiful mountains….
We were very out of breath in Shangrila, though, so next time, we will get the oxygen.
Our tour guides were very good.
Leeway struggled a little with his English, but we did fine.
Alice had excellent English, and so did Peter.
We are probably tough people to tour around, since we have already been to a lot of temples, so we already have heard a lot of the things that they want to tell us.
So, we tried to ask questions about other things.
We are not standard travelers, but much more experienced.
I think that because we can speak some Mandarin, we are a little bit more independent than other people that they have had to help.
We loved the Indigo Hotel on Lake Erhai.
Opening the curtains in our room every morning and being able to look out at the lake was fabulous!
They also had a very good breakfast.
And, we enjoyed walking by the lake, down to the bridge and hiking up the mountain behind the hotel.
We had no air conditioning in the Songstam Hotel in LiJiang, and at the Shangrila Hotel, and so our rooms were very hot!
So, we had some trouble sleeping.
I think if you are there in the Winter time, it is probably fine, but the weather for us was warm outside, so we struggled with the temperature in the room.
We might ask for some help to get a fan for our rooms next time.
All of the Ancient Cities.
We probably would have like a little more time to explore those.
The BaXi and NiXi Ancient towns were beautiful, and it was wonderful to walk the streets there, and the learn about the 3000 year old pottery in NiXi.
We also loved seeing traditional Tibetan houses and trying the butter tea and cakes.
Our driver, Mr. Gu, was very nice and funny.
Thanks for a lovely vacation.
The Upper Yubeng village hotel was a little rough. Beds were hard as a rock. Maybe provide options at different cost points for that next time. Otherwise no other considerations. Was great.
"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!
Harbin is suitable to visit all year round, and winter season during November to March is the best time to experience its charm as the Ice City with romantic snow scenery. However, the hot Harbin World Ice and Snow Festival is held usually from late December to late February and even early March, which is slightly different every year. So to have best fun in the big gala of ice and snow, you are most recommended to visit Harbin during December and February.
Remember to wear much to keep warm! Harbin is located in the very Northeast of China and has severe cold winter with average temperature of -14.2℃ (6.44℉) during that season. To help you keep warm, it is best to wear thick clothes and warm shoes, such as down coat, thick jacket, mouth-muffle, gloves, hat, wool socks, snow boots, etc. Besides, sunglasses are necessary to visit the Snow Sculpture Art Fair at Sun Island.
Since Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, it offers a large number of accommodations at different levels, including 5-star international brands, 4-star comfort hotels, budget hostels and inns. You can find one very easy in the city. Usually, for travelers to Harbin, we suggest you arrange your accommodation in Daoli District where offers most of the tourist attractions and that is very close to Sun Island and Harbin Ice and Snow World, convenient places for eating, shopping and entertaining. Besides, Nangang, Harbin West Railway Station and nearby area, and Songbei District are also good places to stay.
We China Discovery have rich experience to provide Harbin tour arrangement and customization services for global visitors. If you are would like to extend your Harbin tour to more attractions, such as the nearby Yabuli Ski Resorts with exciting skiing and other winter activities, China Snow Town with lovely snow sceneries, etc. or more interesting destinations like Jilin, Dalian, Changchun, Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Yunnan, etc., please feel free to tell us about your ideas, and our professional travel expert will help you to customize your travel to Harbin and the whole vast China with their knowledge and sincerity!
Harbin / China Snow Town / Harbin
Harbin / Yabuli Ski Resort / Harbin
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >
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