Who says winter is the time to escape the cold? Why not embrace it and enjoy a chilled vacation in more ways than one?
Consider a vacation in the Chinese city of Harbin. With an average temperature in winter of -16.8° Celsius it is the perfect place for a winter festival. Harbin is still very much influenced by its Russian past setting it apart from most other Chinese cities.
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival starts January 5th and lasts one month. However the exhibits often open earlier and stay longer, weather permitting.
Start off by visiting St. Sophia Orthodox Cathedral, one of the most magnificent structures in Harbin. Built of timber, today, it houses the Municipal Architecture and Art Museum (Harbin Architectural Art Gallery), showcasing the multi-cultural architectural developments of the city.
Then check out the enormous snow sculptures at Sun Island. A separate Ice and Snow World features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of 2–3 feet thick crystal clear ice directly taken from the Songhua River that flows past Harbin.
Watch the Ice Lantern Show in Zhaolin Park where magical and extraordinary ice lanterns and sculptures make the park an icy wonderland.
A trip to the Harbin Polarland is not complete without the Beluga Show and the Walrus & Sea Lion Show that run multiple times a day.
One of the most thrilling adventures in Harbin can be experience in the Siberian Tiger Park. The park is considered the one and only place in the world to admire the purebred and scarce Siberian tiger, one of the world’s top 10 endangered animals. You can feed the tigers and even take photos with them!
The Stalin Park commemorates the friendship between China and Russia, two communist giants. The tree-lined promenade is dotted with statues, playgrounds, recreation clubs and cafes. In winter, the Songhua River becomes a road of ice with ice skating, sledding, sleighing, ice hockey and ice sailing happening all around. If you are brave enough you can even join the people who like to swim in the gaps in the ice!
To experience a real winter holiday all you need to do is call Lighthouse on (0) 9818905024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.