If you are planning a trip to China, you may wish to consider having a winter holiday, rather than visiting during the summer. Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province in the north-eastern region of the country, and every year they hold a spectacular ice festival.
Their ice festival is quite popular but you can check out the news that touches on how Harbin hosts snow and ice sculpture festival if you have not heard of it before. The festival lasts from January to the middle of March and is a major attraction for both Chinese and Western tourists. Below you can find some excellent reasons to make this your next destination for your holiday.
Deciding To Visit Harbin
A lot of people when planning a holiday will go away during the summer, looking for warm climates and maybe a beach. However, you could be missing out on some beautiful places if you disregard a winter holiday.
There are tailor-made China tours and holidays 2019 that you can book, and the beauty of a tailor-made tour is you get to choose where you will visit. Harbin is a must-see destination though, just as The Forbidden City in Beijing is, and here are some of the reasons why.
The Annual Ice & Snow Festival
One of the biggest reasons to visit Harbin is the ice and snow festival which is well-known throughout the world. Between January and March every year there are many different sculptures and displays made from ice and snow. You will see not only beautiful designs, but they are also lit up at night, making for some breath-taking visuals. You will also be able to see some of the biggest ice sculptures in the world with the Crystal Castle from a recent festival being 48 metres tall, and it has an excellent pedigree with the festival visited by over 18 million visitors in 2017.
See The Artists At Work
A good time to visit is just before the festival starts as you will also be able to watch the sculptures being made by the artists. The ice that is used for the creations is taken from the Songhua River, and deionised water is also used to create transparent ice blocks. The artists use a combination of swing saws, chisels, ice picks and other types of saws to create the sculpture, and they are also adorned with multicoloured lights, making night time an excellent time to visit. You will want to ensure that you dress up warm when visiting, especially at night, as the temperature can get as cold as -35°C.
Take A Visit To The River
It is also worth your time to visit the Songhua River where the ice for the sculptures comes from, as during winter this turns into a veritable playground, with lots of activities. You can go biking, take a ride on a pony, play with the miniature tanks, as well as go skating. There is a lot to see and do when you visit Harbin, so you may wish to add this to your bucket list!