Harbin International Festival occurs every year in winter, typically from January to February when temperature averagely reaches -35C. Harbin is situated in China where the first ice lantern party show was held at garden party in 1963.
Since then the festival is held annually, however in few years it faced obstacles. Currently it is one of the world’s biggest festivals and is appreciated by both tourists and natives. You must be curious why is the festival highly popularized, Thus I will highlight few great attractions to visit during the festival.
- Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival: Highly skilled people make 3 dimension shapes, buildings or statues from ice and compete with each other. In 2007, it earned a space in Guinness world records by making two gigantic sculptures named ‘Niagara Falls’ and ‘Crossing the Bering Strait’ which in altogether 250 meters long and 8.5 meter high.
- Siberian Tiger Park: You might have visited few safari parks, but I may bet not like this one, where more than 600 trained Tigers (endangered animal) exist to make you excited and little fearful too when they jump up on your highly protected jeeps, and you may be even lucky to feed them with meat.
- Harbin Ice and Snow World: It was built in 1999 to welcome the millennium, and up to now it has expanded to more than 500,000 square meters being one of the top must visit sites in the world. It is a theme park full of colorful lights; along with it you may participate in various cultural and sports activities every year.
- China’s Snow Town: Also named as ‘Home of Snow’ with 500 hectares area, it is 280 kilometers away from Harbin. Thanks to Shutterbugs who discovered the hidden paradise after which it got huge popularity. Many famous films have been shot here; a few include winter of the Wacky King, The Police Commissioner and The Northern Morning etc. It’s a mountainous area with wooden houses where snow reaches up to a height of 2 meters in winter.
- Harbin Ice Lantern Show: At first Ice Lantern concept was used for fishers in night, then for personnel decoration but now an art which persuade visitors to come again and again both local and foreign. Huge iconic buildings, current popular personalities or the ancient legends are created with crystal ice while at night it is enlightened to make them magnificent for every eye.
- Yabuli Ski Resort: The oldest resort in china but is equipped with latest technology, communication and transportation infrastructure to assure the highest modern times facilities are provided to the tourists. Other than that there are variety of small shops, entertainment centers, sauna baths, luxury hotels and inns. Moreover, don’t forget, it has the longest toboggan in the Asia, hence ski run fans get ready for adventure sports while those who are not good in ski run may enjoy chair lifts
- Harbin New Synagogue: In 1918 it was built on an area of 2400 square meter where Jewish people used to meet for social, economic, political or religious reasons, but since 1950s they had left Harbin. Due to massive contribution of Jews in ancient times, to give them honor, it was transformed into a Harbin Jewish history and culture museum in 2004.
- Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental 731 Base: You might have heard on news channel about disputes between china and Japan over an island but really it is nothing as compared to what happened in 1930s to 1940s at Japan army occupied experimental base. If you have a big heart then visit the base that has been turned into a museum now. Here you will find brutal pictures, sculptures and tools used or diseased faces by Chinese, Korean, Russian, Mongolians and other prisoners. Yes you would find captions in English.
Do they sound great? Well it was just a brief outline of popular places in Harbin festival because in reality there is much more fun in festival. So, why not to plan a trip to China this time!