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.)
- Check into Hotel Shangri-la.
- Have lunch ( abundant meal of Dong Bei Specialties)
- Watch winter swimming & diving groups on the frozen Songhuajiang river.
- Visit the Snow Sd free time to enjoy the night scene of the Central Street.
(Lunch, dculpture Festival on the Sun Island Park.
- Join the Ice Sculpture and Lantern Festival
- (Lunch and dinner included)
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
(Breakfast, lunch included)
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.
--round flights Beijing/Shanghai-Lhasa
--4 nights accommodation (4-star hotels)
--transfers in customary air conditioned coaches
--entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the program
--all sightseeing and transfers with CCC guides & local English-speaking tour guides
--All meals during the trip
--Gratuities to the guide and driver
--Local travel insurance
Kindly note that we stay in places up to 4,000 m above sea level. Please ask your doctor for advice, if you think that you might suffer from the altitude. However, you will have time to acclimatize. Trips to Tibet require adaptability, improvisation, and flexibility from all travelers.
Children ages 2-4 pay 50% of total tour price. (Single supplement would be applied if there is a need of extra bed)
Children ages 5-7 pay 60% of total tour price.
Children ages 8-11 pay 80% of total tour price.
Children ages under 2 pay nothing for the tour but may incur the transport costs listed below:
Train tickets cost:
If they require their own berthat on the train they will have to purchase an adult ticket
10% of adult ticket if the child does not require his/her own seat
50% of adult ticket if the child requires his/her own seat
CCC calculates its trip prices and books its trip accommodations based on dual-occupancy rooms. Therefore, single travelers who is booking this trip as a lone passenger, and for whom CCC cannot find a room-mate when booking or paying for the trip, will have to pay the “Single supplement”. Should a room-mate be found, the Single Supplement paid shall be refunded.
CCC services include:
--Flights Beijing-Harbin-Beijing or flights Shanghai-Harbin-Shanghai
--1 night accommodation at Hotel Shangri-la. (2 nights for Shanghai participants)
--Transfers in warm customary coaches
--All meals mentioned in the itinerary
--Entrance fee for all sights mentioned in the itinerary
--All sightseeing and transfers with one CCC English-speaking tour leader & one local English-speaking tour guide
--Gratuities to the guide and driver
--Local travel insurance
Payment Terms and Conditions
Payment must be received before published deadline to receive corresponding price. Please refer to the following terms and conditions associated with each method of payment:
Payment at office: CCC must receive the amount (Cash or from credit card) before the published deadline to receive corresponding price.
Credit card: If paying by international credit card authorization form (moto form), CCC must receive your form 2 days before the published deadline in order to have time to process it, and for funds to be received on/by the published deadline.(click to view details)
Bank Transfer: CCC now requires that your payment must be transferred into Chinese RMB before you wire your bank transfer. We must receive a copy of the bank transfer receipt before the published deadline in order to guarantee your price.
Last minute booking: CCC cannot guarantee that we will be able to reserve tickets and rooms at this late stage but we will try our best. Thank you for your understanding.
CCC will respond to every email concerning payment immediately. If you do not hear from us this may indicate that we may not have received your email and we would advise you to call us to confirm. We cannot guarantee that we receive every email so the onus is on you to ensure we receive the payment information before the published deadlines. Thank you for your understanding.