I came to Harbin and experienced the cold Siberian weather to attend one famous event in this country, the Harbin Ice Festival. The site, outside the city, really became spectacular as soon as the sun is down and lights start to shine.

View of the Entrance door from the Park

Chinese tourists understood this and came by bus to this place around 6-7pm. The organization also noticed this and doubled the price of the entrance ticket at 5.30pm (200 Yuans). The price is the highest that I pay currently in China to visit any tourist places; it can be compared to any other tourist sites in Europe.

Anyway, this site is worth the detour. As soon as you arrived, the entrance door is approximately 30m high and glitter. That is a good start… :)

Ice Festival Entrance door Chinese Church style?

I was like a kid in this amazing park. I was looking everywhere with big eyes and my camera in hand (I took approximately 200 pictures in 2-3 hours). The buildings are made with ice blocks (like igloos) and some neon lights have been inserted in the middle during the construction. It creates an amazing effect with the lights going around the ice blocks.

Different Neon light colors Main Castle Structure

Different kind of structures have been built: Coca-cola bottle, Harbin beer bottle, a Russian Church, Chinese bridge, a Buddhist Temple… All sites can be visited because the architects added some stairs everywhere; it is even more interesting as you can walk inside the ice buildings.

They also created gigantic snow sculptures or block Ice (as in Zhaolin Park) and highlighted them with really nice color lights.

Big Snow Sculpture Small ice sculpture with nice lighting effects

Chinese people, kids and adults, really enjoyed the place because the architects included some slides on their structures. Everybody laughed despite the incredible cold in this place.

The temperature was extremely low (around -25 degrees) in the Festival. Even if I came with three layers of clothes, I was freezing and had to go in their local snack bars to heat myself, drink a hot tea and have something to eat.

I think that it is better to focus on the pictures rather than describe my long visit here…

Snow Buddhist Temple Local Harbin Beer

Russian Church in Ice

Incredible size - comparison between people and structure Walk on the Ice path

Main castle structure from the side

This visit in Freezing North China was a real success. I definitely recommend this place to any expat or traveler who are around in January next year…