Ice and Snow Festival

The Ice and Snow Festival

Join the trip of a lifetime to Harbin, a fantasyland where you can experience the world-famous International Ice Lantern Festival. Thousands of ice sculptures, illuminated ice pagodas, bridges, lanterns, and palaces turn the city into a shining crystal palace and the world’s largest man-made winter garden.

Immerse yourself in the rich culture of the warm, friendly, and hospitable local people and treat yourself to northeast China’s favorite Hot Pot feast and the local farmers’ special natural food feast! We will then enjoy three days exploring Beijing, visiting Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City (home of Chinese emperors for more than 500 years), the Temple of Heaven, the Great Wall, and much more.

This tour is carefully planned to avoid the peak tourist season, with its crowds and higher prices. Each year the Harbin Snow Sculpture Expo and Ice Lantern Festival officially begin during the second week of January and extend to mid February. But the Expo and Festival are actually open to visitors right after Christmas, when the ice lanterns are complete and 80% of the snow sculptures are done. Our group will be able to witness China ’s famous ice and snow sculptors at work.

This journey is specially designed for a small group of 15 to 20 people and offers outstanding travel value.
  • Enjoy the world famous Snow Sculpture Expo on Sun Island
  • Experience the Ice Lantern Festival at night and take a romantic ride on an iceboat sailing on the Songhua River.
  • Drive through the Siberian Tiger Park, with over 200 free-roaming Siberian tigers and lions in a snowy setting.
  • Watch swimming and diving performances on the frozen river, and take a ride on the ice slide.
  • Drink in an ice bar on a street with Russian-influenced architecture.
  • Take a specially arranged tour to Harbin’s largest university and interact with students and faculty.
  • Explore the old neighborhood of Beijing and meet local Chinese families.
  • Experience authentic and traditional meals representing each region’s typical menu (our exclusive).
  • Enjoy early morning walks through local parks and tai chi practice with locals.

This tour features the following World Heritage sites:

  • The Great Wall of China
  • Temple of Heaven
  • The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing

See other list of CCE’s tours featuring World Heritage sites.

  • Air and Land transportation within China
  • Services of an English-speaking tour manager
  • 4 star hotel accommodations
  • Admissions and cultural events
  • Meals according to itinerary
  • Dai Ethnic dinner party
  • Local farmer’s special feast
  • Acrobatic or Kungfu Show
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per person
  • Airport / hotel transfers

E. Siderides, CT Customer Testimonial
“Thank you so much for giving us this gift of your country! Our trip to China was truly amazing and we will never forget-the places we saw, the food we ate, the history we learned, but most important, the wonderful people we met. Xie Xie from the bottom of our heart! Read more…

Day 1 Depart for Beijing. Cross the International Date Line to the wonders of China. In-flight meals.

Day 2 Beijing We will be met by our guide at the airport and transferred to our hotel. Welcome Peking Duck dinner tonight. (D.)

Day 3 Harbin Today we will fly to Harbin, the “City of Ice.” Upon arrival, we will transfer to our centrally located hotel. Sightseeing in the afternoon includes the Church of St. Sofia (an Orthodox church that survived the Cultural Revolution), and the famous Russian-influenced Center Street in Daoli District. We will enjoy a specially arranged local Hot Pot feast. (B.L.)

Day 4 Harbin Our full-day excursion begins with a tour of the Songhua River Ice and Snow World. We will attend the spectacular grand opening ceremony of the 29th International Ice and Snow Festival. Boasting the world’s largest man-made winter garden, Ice and Snow World covers some 150 acres, and features over 3,000 flamboyant sculptures, carvings and statues made of huge quantities of ice and snow. In the evening we will visit Zhaolin Park, known for its beautifully illuminated ice carvings. (B.L.)

Day 5 Harbin Today we will be guests in the home of a famous master artist, who will demonstrate his unique ice- and snow-painting style. Then we will enjoy a well-known dumpling feast with Chinese people (with a choice of over 20 kinds of dumplings). This afternoon is reserved for shopping in the local department stores and underground shopping streets (a chance to buy traditional costumes at a bargain price!(B.L.)

Day 6 Harbin Today we will go with Ming to Heilongjiang University. We will tour the campus, visit its Russian-style main building, and then have a cup of tea at a professor’s home. Lunch today will be at the foreign guesthouse with Ming’s former classmates. In the afternoon we will visit Harbin Traditional Medical College to observe Chinese doctors practicing traditional acupuncture. We will then board an overnight express soft-sleeper train for Beijing. (B.L.)

Day 7 Beijing Tour of Beijing today includes the imposing Forbidden City, the secluded and guarded home to the Emperors of China. In front of the Forbidden City is Tiananmen Square, at 98 acres, the largest public square in the world. A visit to the 15th century Temple of Heaven shows you where the Emperors made offerings for the harvest. Later we will visit a cloisonné factory to see local craftspeople at work. (B.L.)

Day 8 Beijing Morning drive to Birds Nest and Water Cube Olympic venues for pictures. Stop over at a jade factory for a brief educational tour. Lunch at a local farmer’s restaurant. Proceed to the Great Wall in the Mutianyu area. You will take a cable car up to the top of the wall and take a wheeled toboggan ride down from the wall on a winding metal track. You will absolutely love this experience! This is the best section of the wall both for adults and kids. Evening optional foot massage or explore Beijing on your own. ((B.L.)

Day 9 Beijing Be a Chinese citizen for a day with a visit to the famous New Year’s Temple Fair, followed by a rickshaw tour of the Hutong area–an old working-class Chinese settlement within Beijing. Here, workers live in typical Chinese houses with carved doors; the neighborhood is laced with canals crossed by small bridges. We will then visit a kindergarten, where we invite you to give small, practical gifts to the children. We will enjoy a Dai ethnic dinner party, followed by the famous Chinese Acrobatic or Kung-fu Show. (B.L.)

Day 10 Beijing/US Our flight regains the day lost crossing the International Date Line. Return home with memories to last a lifetime. (B.)

Tour Date(s):

    December 26, 2012 to January 4, 2013

Tour Cost:

  • $1,599 per adult, double occupancy
  • Single supplement: $420

Special Notes:

  • Price does not include international airfare, passport and visa fees, gratuities to guides, driver, hotel personal and airport taxes.
  • Children over 12 years of age are considered adults.
  • Tour fares are subject to change.
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