Beijing Longqing Gorge (Longqingxia) is best known in winter for its outdoor gallery of massive blocks of ice carved into animals and figures of all shapes and sizes. When illuminated at night they create one of those rare must-see-to-experience visuals. The mountains around the gorge will also be illuminated, forming a lighting Great Wall - a beautiful background for the Ice Lantern Wonderland in the middle basin. Performances and toboggan add to the festival's fun. Longqing' s winter wonderland is a fun option for families who want to spend the day somewhere close, cheap and more comfortable than biting Harbin.

It starts from mid January till mid of February, but with yearly temperatures rising, the festival's window is getting smaller, so make sure you call ahead to check exact dates if you go on your own. Over 400 ice sculptures made by both Chinese and foreign artists are exhibited there. Minority ethnic songs and dances are presented on the central stage.

Advice:
1. Wear shoes with friction. It is slippery.
2. Wear warm enough because you will visit at night in the mountain area, which is colder than Beijing
3. Not a lot of walking or climbing is involved. It is sutable for both children and senior citizens.
4. It's a good idea to pack yourself a picnic since there are no food & hot drink stalls, only two mediocre touristic restaurants nearby.
5. All cars and buses have to stop at the parking area, which is quite some distance to the entrance, and transfer via their golf cars (RMB 10 two ways transport) to the park. Or you have to walk 20 minutes in the cold dark night.

For minimal hassle, book a place on a tour with CCC , which includes transport, hot drinks, entrance fee, golf car ticekt.

Bus leaves from the China Culture Center, Chaoyang District, Beijing, and returns to CCC the same night at around 10pm.
  • RMB 250 (includes ticket, transportation and entertainment fee - cave visit, toboggan ride & ice slide )

  • Phone: 86-10-6432-9341 (Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm); 86-10-6432-1041 (after hours, rerouted to mobile phone) Both tourists and expatriates are welcome to join. Registration is essential. No pre-payment is required.

  • Distance: 80 kilometers (56 miles) north of Beijing center.

    Drive time: 1.5-2 hours

    Admission fee: RMB 100

    How to get there: Badaling Expressway (past the Badaling Great Wall exit), Yanqing district, Beijing (6919 1020)