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Visiting The Ice Festival in Harbin, China

In North-Eastern China, often referred to as Chinese Siberia, each year they run quite a special event. The ice festival in Harbin. Near the Russian, Mongolian, and North Korean borders. I visited it, and it’s almost -30 degrees Celsius yet the Ice and Snow Festival here is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  I love a good festival and although it’s painful to admit my ignorance I had never even heard of this one until 5 or 6 months ago, crazy I know! Visiting the Ice festival in Harbin is one of the ‘coolest’ things I’ve ever done, check out all you need to know about the festival yourself.

Ice Festival in Harbin
Ice Festival in Harbin

What is the Ice Festival in Harbin?

The ice festival in Harbin is a yearly snow and ice sculpture festival. Hardly any foreigners make it up here to remote China, but over 10m Chinese visit each winter. It’s officially the biggest ice sculpture festival in the world. It has to be seen to be believed, each year they rebuild famous monuments from around the world. Expect 50m tall statues of Liberty, and Eiffel Towers. Bars that you sit on ice stools and drink beers. Slides, and rides, all made of ice. It’s amazing.

Ice festival in Harbin
Ice festival in Harbin

Where is Harbin?

It’s way up in North-East China, what is unofficially referred to as ‘Chinese Siberia’. 1250km northeast of Beijing.


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16 thoughts on “Visiting The Ice Festival in Harbin, China

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  5. hey i will be there in harbin on 29 jan… but i want to know about student discount on various attractions in harbin.. i am a international student in china…. i am pursuring my mbbs from cmu shenyang..

  6. Sounds incredible mate! Not sure about the cold but good tip on the arriving late and seeing it in the dark. All about getting your money’s worth innit?!

  7. The Ice Festival really is gorgeous! Spent a day up there in 2008, I remember it being so cold I had to tuck my point and shoot into my scarf, next to my neck, so the battery would stop dying! And you’re right – the walk around Harbin is absolutely worth it! Especially if you can see the Russian cathedral at night.

  8. We were there three weeks ago. Very cool, but very very cold. Definitely worth a look if you’re in the region.

  9. That does look totally amazing. In a lot of the photos it doesn’t even look too busy, guess the evening tickets are a fair sum of money. Did you take a tripod with you?

    1. i didnt take a tripod sam and i bloody should have! tickets are about $50, not free but not a killer either. The day time it’s empty, everybody just comes for the nighttime but i arrived about one hour before sunset so i could see the buildings in all the different shades, really awesome

  10. I HATE being cold, but I would suck it up if I was able to see that! It looks beautiful.

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