Friday, February 12, 2016

Harbin, China

Executive summary by Darmansjah

Why Go Now?

It’s a winter wonderland in Harbin, the famed ‘Ice City’ of northwestern China. Lasting from 5 January till late February every year, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is one of the most renowned ice and snow festivals in the world, with a smorgasbord of festivities, theatrical performances, massive sculptural exhibitions, and thrilling sports competitions including ice sailing, speed skating and mountain skiing.

While you’re in the area, head up north to Songbei Jie and get up close and personal with some feral felines at the Siberian Tiger Park. Revel in these magnificent big cats as they feed and frolic in the open native habitat of their 1.2 million square-metre compound.

How Do I Make It Happen?

Air China (airchina.sg) flies daily from Singapore to Harbin Taiping International Airport, while those departing from Kuala Lumpur can travel via China Eastern Airlines (flychinaeastern.com). indulge in the dramatic Songhua River within the sanctuary of your room at the Shangri-la Hotel Harbin, conveniently located within walking distance of Central Street and Zhaolin Park, the festival’s main stage for its ice sculpture and lantern shows (from US$260; Shangri-la.com/harbin).

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