Harbin Ice and Snow Festival small group tours
A small group tour for senior couples and solo travellers to Harbin, located in the north-east of China, is now home to one of the four biggest ice and snow festivals in the world. Harbin is one of China’s most popular winter destinations. The Harbin Ice and Snow festival began in 1963, each year the city has sought to create a festival that exceeds the artistic creativity of the previous festival. Harbin is called “Ice City,” and the winters are bitterly cold, but the conditions are just right for the ice festival.
- 1. Visit the magnificent Yu Gardens, considered to be one of the most lavish of Chinese gardens.
- 2. Gain an appreciation for Shanghai’s unique historical legacy.
- 3. Experience the winter magic of Harbin, one of China's most popular winter destinations.
- 4. Visit to the Bund Area, generally regarded as “A Gallery of World’s Architecture."
|03 January 2023 |
Ends 12 January 2023 • 10 days
|03 January 2024 |
Ends 12 January 2024 • 10 days
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival
Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across China and beyond Asia. We explore China's beauty, its ancient and Imperial heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and world famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of China, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.
This Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Small group tour for senior travellers explores the wonders of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. This ice and snow festival has been held annually since 1963. The Harbin Ice and Snow festival is one of the world's greatest winter festivals. We will see world record-sized snow sculptures longer than two football fields, as well as ice buildings, palaces, monuments, and statues some 50 metres tall. These technologically sophisticated displays use computer-controlled LED and regular lighting to put on stunning displays of shifting colour and design.
The Harbin Ice and snow festival takes place in Northeast China. Harbin is referred to as the "Ice City." Harbin is one of China’s most popular winter destinations. The bitterly cold winters provide perfect conditions for the ice festival. Also included are visits to Shanghai and Beijing, among the most popular destinations in China. Odyssey assists you in securing clothing to protect you from the Winter.
Touring the Harbin Ice and Snow Winter Festival
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Small group guided tour begins in Shanghai. Here, we take time to explore one the world's most urbanised cities. Professional local guides lead us first hand through the magnificent Yu Garden, one of the most lavish Chinese gardens in the region. Following this, we visit the Bund Area, famous for the buildings along the Huangpu River. It is a “Gallery of World’s Architecture,” so local guides will escort you along the Bund. We learn about the Bund's history and develop an understanding and appreciation of Shanghai’s unique historical legacy.
We will continue with a trip to Xin Tian Di, the representative of Shi Ku Men. Here, we enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and soak up Shi Ku Men’s nostalgic atmosphere. The remainder of this tour for mature travellers takes in the wonders of the Harbin Ice Festival, with time set aside to explore the remainder of the city, before we travel to Beijing, where the tour draws to a close. There is a full day of touring in Beijing including a visit to the Forbidden city. Join us on this unforgettable tour of China, and discover the spectacle of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and other cultural sites for yourself!
The Harbin Ice and Snow Festival Small group tour is a short tour, lasting 10 days. It is paced for the mature couple or solo traveller who seeks to explore the eastern seaboard of China in winter. Additionally, to ensure you're prepared for the cold weather, you must pack appropriate winter clothing. Odyssey will assist you with securing this clothing in China at the start of the tours.
For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.
You can also check out all of Odyssey Traveller's tours to China.
The Guardian newspaper published these photos of Harbin 2018 that you can see when you click through on this link.
Day 1: Shanghai
Accommodation: Ocean Hotel or similar accommodation.
On arrival in Shanghai, we will individually come to the hotel, where we meet for a welcome drink. Our first night will feature an acrobatics show after dinner.
Day 2: Shanghai
Accommodation: Ocean Hotel or similar accommodation.
Today’s tour will bring us to visit the magnificent Yu Garden, which is considered to be one of the most lavish Chinese gardens in the region. We will continue on to visit Xin Tian Di, the representative of Shi Ku Men. We will enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and experience Shi Ku Men’s nostalgic atmosphere.
This is followed by a visit to the Bund Area, which has long been famous for the buildings along the Huangpu River. It is regarded as a “Gallery of World’s Architecture.” An expert local guide on the Bund history will escort us to develop our awareness, understanding, and appreciation of Shanghai’s unique historical legacy.
Day 3: Shanghai
Accommodation: Ocean Hotel or similar accommodation.
Today we will visit the modern skyscraper of the Shangai Financial Centre, which is the tallest building in Shanghai. Here we will enjoy a panoramic bird’s eye view of this energetic city. From there we will visit the famous Old Shanghai Museum. We will have some free time to stroll around the Nanjing Road.
Day 4: Shanghai – Harbin by air
Accommodation: Bermen Hotel Harbin or similar
Today we will board our flight to Harbin, which is the biggest city in Northeast China. The city is famous for its ice and snow festival in the winter. Upon arrival in Harbin, we will be taken to Heilongjiang Provincial Museum and, after dinner, check into our hotel. There will also be some leisure time.
Day 5: Harbin
Accommodation: Bermen Hotel Harbin or similar
Today we will visit the Sun Island Snow Carving Expo, featuring snow carvings created by carving experts from all over the world. Then we will visit Tiger Garden, the biggest tiger sanctuary in the Northeast. After dinner, we will visit the Ice and Snow Grand World Park and enjoy the sights of splendid ice light and art.
Day 6: Harbin – Beijing by train
Accommodation: Overnight train to Beijing.
After breakfast, we will observe the Winter Swimmers on the Songhua river. Then we will visit Stalin Park, on the river, to see the cenotaph built after the floods of 1957. Later, we will take a walk down the central street of the city where we will see a collection of European style architecture, as well as some of the city’s most famous shopping destinations. We will also visit the biggest Orthodox Church in far-East region, St. Sophia.
Day 7: Beijing
Accommodation: Presidential plaza Hotel Beijing or similar.
On arrival in Beijing, we will transfer to a visit to the Temple of Heaven, a UNESCO world heritage site. In the afternoon, we visit the Hutongs and experience a rickshaw ride. Tonight we will be treated to a welcome banquet of Peking Duck at a local restaurant named Huajiayiyuan, which is a Siheyuan (Courtyard) restaurant. Huajiayiyuan is famous for their Peking Duck, as well as other local dishes. Huajiayiyuan is located on Guijie, which is a famous dining destination in Beijing.
Day 8: Beijing
Accommodation: Presidential Plaza Hotel Beijing or similar.
Today we will have a full day with visits to the ancient Great Wall at Mutianyu with return cable car, as well as the Avenue of Spirit Guardians at the Ming Tombs.
Day 9: Beijing
Accommodation: Presidential Plaza Hotel Beijing or similar
Today we will have a full day of sightseeing, starting with an early morning visit to Tiananmen Square and a walk through the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” to the Forbidden City. In the afternoon, we will visit the Summer Palace. After dinner, we will be taken to the Lao She Teahouse for some evening entertainment.
Day 10: Beijing
Tour concludes after breakfast.
- Itineraries may change if availability, and other inclusions have to be amended prior to departure.
Includes / Excludes
What’s included in our Tour
- Gratuities and necessary tips.
- Nine breakfasts, six lunches, and nine dinners.
- Services of tour leader for the duration of tour.
- All lectures, excursions, entrance fees, and local guides.
- Economy flight from Beijing to Shanghai.
- Nine nights of hotel accommodation.
- Economy flight from Shanghai to Harbin.
- Rail services.
What’s not included in our Tour
- International airfares and departure taxes. For competitive air fares contact Odyssey Travel.
- Shanghai airport transfer (AUD$95)
- Comprehensive travel insurance.
- Visa service and processing fees.
- Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, moderate walking on uneven surfaces between 3 - 5 kilometers per day. Suitable for most fitness levels
Make it a private tour
Easing your journey
Crossing international borders with restrictions
The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:
For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.
Book With Confidence
If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.
See Terms and conditions for details.
Peace of Mind Travel
The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.
See Peace of Mind Travel for details.
Reading List Download PDF
Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity
Shanghai today is a thriving, bustling metropolis. But does its avid pursuit of the modern trappings of success truly indicate that it will once again become the shining example of China's commercial and cosmopolitan culture? While history continues to unfold, eminent China scholar Marie-Claire Bergère takes readers back to when Shanghai first opened to the world in 1842 to narrate the city's tumultuous and unique course to the present.
Shanghai: China's Gateway to Modernity is the first comprehensive history of Shanghai in any Western language. Divided into four parts, Bergère details Shanghai's beginnings as a treaty port in the mid-nineteenth century; its capitalist boom following the 1911 Revolution; the fifteen years of economic and social decline initiated by the Japanese invasion in 1937, and attempts at resistance; and the city's disgraced years under Communism. Weaving together a range of archival documents and existing histories to create a global picture of Shanghai's past and present, Bergère shows that Shanghai's success was not fated, as some contend, by an evolutionary pattern set into motion long before the arrival of westerners. Rather, her account identifies the relationship between the Chinese and foreigners in Shanghai—their interaction, cooperation, and rivalry—as the driving force behind the creation of an original culture, a specific modernity, founded upon western contributions but adapted to the national Chinese culture.
Eclipsed for three decades by socialism, the wheels of the Shanghai spirit began to turn in the 1990s, when the reform movement took off anew. The city is again being referred to as a model for China's current modernization drive. Although it makes no claims to what will happen next, Bergère's Shanghai stands as a compelling and definitive profile of a city whose urban history continues to be redefined, retold, and resold.
By Marie-Claire BergèreAmazon
Blue Skies over Beijing: Economic Growth and the Environment in China
Over the last thirty years, even as China's economy has grown by leaps and bounds, the environmental quality of its urban centers has precipitously declined due to heavy industrial output and coal consumption. The country is currently the world's largest greenhouse-gas emitter and several of the most polluted cities in the world are in China. Yet, millions of people continue moving to its cities seeking opportunities. Blue Skies over Beijing investigates the ways that China's urban development impacts local and global environmental challenges. Focusing on day-to-day choices made by the nation's citizens, families, and government, Matthew Kahn and Siqi Zheng examine how Chinese urbanites are increasingly demanding cleaner living conditions and consider where China might be headed in terms of sustainable urban growth.
Kahn and Zheng delve into life in China's cities from the personal perspectives of the rich, middle class, and poor, and how they cope with the stresses of pollution. Urban parents in China have a strong desire to protect their children from environmental risk, and calls for a better quality of life from the rising middle class places pressure on government officials to support greener policies. Using the historical evolution of American cities as a comparison, the authors predict that as China's economy moves away from heavy manufacturing toward cleaner sectors, many of China's cities should experience environmental progress in upcoming decades.
Looking at pressing economic and environmental issues in urban China, Blue Skies over Beijing shows that a cleaner China will mean more social stability for the nation and the world.
By Matthew E. Kahn (Author), Siqi Zheng (Author)Amazon
For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History
In the dramatic story of one of the greatest acts of corporate espionage ever committed, Sarah Rose recounts the fascinating, unlikely circumstances surrounding a turning point in economic history. By the middle of the nineteenth century, the British East India Company faced the loss of its monopoly on the fantastically lucrative tea trade with China, forcing it to make the drastic decision of sending Scottish botanist Robert Fortune to steal the crop from deep within China and bring it back to British plantations in India. Fortune's danger-filled odyssey, magnificently recounted here, reads like adventure fiction, revealing a long-forgotten chapter of the past and the wondrous origins of a seemingly ordinary beverage.
By Sarah RoseAmazon
The Making of a Chinese City: History and Historiography in Harbin
The history of Harbin, ruled by the Russians, by an international coalition of allied powers, by Chinese warlords, by the Soviet Union and finally by the Chinese Communists - all in the course of 100 years - is presented here as an example of Chinese local-history writing.
By Soren Clausen and Stig ThogersenAmazon
Along the Bund
Take a tour of the Shanghai Bund with this visual guide. This guide on the Shanghai Bund provides some historical insight as well as a sampling of the culinary delights that can be found on this world famous stretch of river front. Come follow the detailed map and sample the food that the Bund has to offer you.
By Arnold LauAmazon