Harbin, often referred to as Little Moscow, is China's northernmost major city and capital of this most northerly Heilongjiang province. Historically, the city has had a lot of Russian influence, in particular after the Russian Civil War of 1918. The influence remains clearly visible in the building styles and foods. The world famous Harbin Snow Festival with its Snow Sculpture Park and Ice Lantern Festival (held between December 31 - mid February) is a family treat not to be missed. The Siberian Tiger Park is another highlight of the visit, especially for children.
Harbin is at the same latitude as Montreal, and winter temperatures is between -10 and over -30 °C.(in the past three years the lowest is around -17 due to the influence of the global warm).
* Ice Lantern Festival at night is poetic and colorful fiesta of ice and light.
* Daytime Snow Sculpture Expo on Sun Island is worldly famous.
* Drive into a park of over 200 free roaming Siberian tigers and lions on snow.
* Watch swimming and diving performance on the frozen river, and play ice Slides.
* Drink in an ice Bar on the street of Russian-influenced architecture.
* Japanese Germ Warfare Base in Harbin is an eye-opening site to get to know the history of World War II in the Far East.
Winter. Travel soon to avoid the peak season starting late January - February.
Harbin Snow Sculpture Expo & Ice Lantern Festival begin officially on the second week of January annually till mid February. But they are actually open to visitors right after Christmas, when ice lanterns are complete and 80% snow sculptures are done. By then, you can see sculptors working on them.
Summer is popular for local tourists.
Weather: -15℃ － -25℃ Please check the forecast before the trip! (try www.weather.com)
What to bring: your passport, fur lined shoes, ear muffs, fur-lined leather gloves, down jacket, several layers of socks, padded pants, hat, scarf and mask
Useful hint: Digital camera batteries tend to use up their power quicker in the cold weather. CCC recommends that you keep your camera inside your jacket until you want to use it or have more batteries to use.
It's suitable for people of any age and is child-friendly. Siberian Park and Snow Amusement facilities (slides and others) are highlights for children.
Hard to aquire train and air tickets
Due to the popularity of the Harbin Snow and Ice festivals and the increased amount of travel associated with the winter vacation and Chinese Spring festival, you may not be able to obtain even a single train or plane ticket. It become tighter from mid-January to Feb.15.
The travel train to Harbin is the one of the best in China. All carriages are equipped with high-class soft-sleepers and washrooms. The quilt is very clean and each berth is set up with a TV with English channels (HBO, etc.).
A mixture of Chinese food with Russian influences. Flavors are not spicy but food is filling. Main cooking methods: braising, double-boiling, steaming and stewing. Specialties: Russian red sausage, Meat Stews, Wild mushrooms, Caviar, Chocolates, cakes and Harbin beer (the oldest beer brand in China). On the CCC tour you have the opportunity to sample local dishes or choose alternative cuisine.
Harbin is famous for selling many Russian products including the Russian Doll Babooshka. Caviar is easily purchased in shops and markets in the city. Harbin is also famous for its Dongbei (northeast of China) Ginseng, wild mushrooms, fur and Harbin red sausage.
Day 1 Beijing/Harbin
Beijing departure: Beijing--Harbin (morning flight）
Shanghai departure: Shanghai Pudong - Harbin around 18:55-21:45
Shanghai Pudong Airport to Harbin in previous night and stay overnight in Harbin.
Other locales: If you go from other locale, we will check the available flights from your locale to Harbin.
(For Beijing travelers, you’re welcome to leave for Harbin the evening prior to the beginning of the tour. Please let us know if you’d like to do this and we’ll let you know the adjusted price.)
- Fly into Harbin in the morning. Upon arrival drive to the Hotel Shangri-la.
- Have lunch ( abundant meal of Dong Bei Specialties)
- Watch winter swimming & diving groups on the frozen Songhuajiang river.
- Visit the Snow Sculpture Festival on the Sun Island Park.
- Join the Ice Sculpture and Lantern Festival
- Dinner and free time to enjoy the night scene of the Central Street.
Shangri-La Hotel Harbin (L)
Day 2 Harbin / Fly out
- Visit the St. Sophia Cathedral, a former Russian Orthodox church in the center of Harbin City.
- Tour the Safari Siberian Tiger Park
Drive into a park of over 200 free roaming Siberian tigers and lions on snow, feed them with flying pheasants or chickens and watch them capturing their prey.
- Lunch in a tropical pant themed restaurant (warm!).
- Three options for the afternoon:
1. Drive to Pingfang District to visit Japanese Germ Warfare Experimental Base and World War II Far East Memorial Park (40-60 minutes' drive – worth visiting, no scary photos as the Nanjing Massacre Museum but interesting sites of Japanese Arm Headquarters, Germ Warfare base constructions and rats & Flea farmhouses).
2. For families with children, you can choose to visit Harbin Aquarium housing whales, penguins, polar bears, seals, foxes, and wolves, and watch a seal and whale performance.
3. Take you back to the downtown and free time for you to enjoy shopping, drink coffee, etc. along the Central Avenue and surrounding area.
- Transfer to the airport and fly back home.
Harbin to Beijing around 19:15 -21:00
Harbin to Shanghai Pudong around 19:00--21:50
Please note that the flights or timing of flights mentioned in the above itinerary may change subject to ticket availability and airline scheduling. Alternative hotels of similar standards will be used if any of the hotels mentioned in the itinerary is unable to provide enough accommodation.
CCC does not offer regular set packages for this tour. However we are happy to help you plan a private custom-made one. Please scroll this web page down to check prices and propose a date and your own group.
2-day bespoke tour prices
10% discount for children under 12
Single supplement RM800 for 1 night
Private English-speaking guide(s) (selected by CCC)
Experienced Chinese-speaking driver and quality, air-conditioned vehicle
All accommodations based on double-occupancy (Five-star hotels or equivelant boutique hotels)
All admission fees and activity expenses, as noted in the itinerary
All meals as noted in the itinerary
What's Not Included:
Domestic flights and relevant taxes
(If you want us to book your domestic flights in this itinerary, please let us know.)
Meals apart from those included in the itinerary
Expenses of a personal nature
Excursions and activities not included in the itinerary
Discretionary gratuities for guides and drivers
Chinese tourist visa, which is required for most foreign passport holders
Travel, health and trip cancellation insurance
We offer our itineraries as suggestions only; all of our tours can be tailored to your individual interests.The above prices may change based on any specific requirements you may have. The extended trip is available upon request.
Prepayment is necessory so we can book your flights/train tickets/car transportation and guides.
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