Ice City, Harbin
Harbin – A Winter Wonderland!
Known for its subarctic climate and commonly referred to as ‘Ice City’, our second destination on the map after Beijing was Harbin; welcoming us with a striking minus 20 degrees!
Our local friends in China told us we were crazy for wanting to go to Harbin in the winter, but winter was in fact the best time to visit the place. Many tourists brave the cold to see the beautiful ice sculptures, partake in winter activities and see the famous Snow & Ice Festival which is what attracted us to the city initially. At times we would forget how cold we were because we were in awe with the gorgeous detailed sculptures and bright colourful lights that swept the place.
Harbin’s the capital of the province ‘Heilongjiang’ which neighbours Russia. You can see the influence in the architecture, street signs (with both Chinese and Russian writing) and the hearty northern-style food. We sampled grilled sausages, fresh bread, pork ribs, potatoes and stews to name a few. You’ve got to fatten up to survive the the frosty weather here!
The city has its own unique culture, vibe, dialect and the locals here know how to slap on a jacket, get on with it and embrace the cold.