Harbin, the capital of the northernmost Heilongjiang Province, is home to the biggest winter festival in the world: the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. In winter, subzero overnight low temperatures can reach subzero, −40 °F (−40 °C).
During winter the city is a popular destination with its wonderland of iconic ice sculptures, ice mazes, ice bikes, snow sports, and snow slides. Not only this, but Harbin is also close to many ski resorts: the closest one is Jihua Ski Resort and the renowned Yabuli Ski Resort is only 230km away.
What many people don’t know is: Harbin was home to the largest Jewish community in the Far East during the first half of the 20th century. Most of the elegant old Western-style buildings, dating to the early 1900s, were built by the Jews, have been well preserved. There is a museum dedicated to Jewish history and culture.
The 4-day tour focuses on the highlights of Harbin and one day at a ski resort.
On arrival at Harbin airport or train station, you will be met by your local English-speaking guide and transferred to your hotel. Your guide will assist you with check in at the hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to roam and explore at your leisure.
Your guide and driver will meet you at the hotel lobby for a fun-filled day. Your first stop is the Harbin Jewish History and Culture Museum. The museum building is the former Harbin New Synagogue which is the largest synagogue in East Asia. From there, you will proceed to the Sun Island Park, where the Sun Island Snow Sculpture Art Expo is held every winter. You will enjoy seeing breathtaking snow sculptures scattered around the park. Afterward, you will proceed to the Siberian Tiger Park, the largest natural park for wild Siberian tigers.
After lunch, you will venture to the Ice and Snow World (no guide service for a group of fewer than 5 people in the park) – is a city of large buildings made from blocks of ice, cut from the Songhua River. The awe-inspiring snow creations and when lit up at night, will take you on a magical and enchanting journey.
Wrap up warm, as your guide and driver will pick you up and take you to the Jihua Ski Resort at 8:00 am to enjoy your time on the ski slopes. (The ski fee is at your own expense - the cost is CNY180/2hours and CNY240/4 hours).
Jihua Ski Resort, also called Jihua Changshou Mountain Ski Resort, sits in Binxi National Forest Park. With an elevation of 255-463 meters, the resort has 15 different ski slopes that cover a distance of 30 km, catering for beginners, intermediate and advanced-level skiers. 8 chairlifts transport you to the top of the starting point.
You will return to your hotel in the late afternoon, and the evening is free for you to relax.
Today is your last day – pack your bag and be ready for check-out. Your guide will take you on a tour of the city. You will visit the largest Orthodox Church in the Far East - St. Sofia Orthodox Church, and then take a stroll through the Zhongyang Pedestrian Street (Zhongyang Dajie). The buildings along the street include a range of European styles, some reflecting the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Afterward, you will visit Stalin Park, and at the center of the park stands the Flood Control Monument built to commemorate the tremendous victory of the Harbin people in controlling the massive flood of 1957.
After lunch, your tour ends, and our guide and driver will take you to the airport or train station.
Harbin is a great destination if you are looking for a winter wonderland getaway. The city has a lot to offer – the famous ice sculptures, steep in history and culture, and nearby ski fields, it is a great place to explore and enjoy for all.