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Ice & Snow Festival



14 January 2019 7 Days





Sun Island, in the middle of the frozen Songhua River, is home to incredible snow sculptures created by international competitors representing Russia, Japan, Canada, France, South Africa and many more. The intricacy and detail of the exhibits are outstanding. Some are huge, but the quality and creativity of the work is what leaves you enthralled. We access the island itself by cable car (weather permitting), high above the frozen river with wonderful views of the waterfront, river activity and the city. We’ll also take the opportunity to watch a private demonstration of ice carving to see for ourselves the personalised skill involved.



You see pictures of this amazing spectacle on TV news broadcasts every January. There is nothing else like it on earth! A large area is dedicated to half size reproductions of world icons, famous palaces, and huge sculptures. They are built from blocks of ice carved from the Songhua River, and highlighted at night by fluorescent lighting from inside.



he Harbin Ice and Snow Festival is a totally unique artistic and cultural event, originally started in 1963. Interrupted for several years by China’s Cultural Revolution, the Festival then recommenced in its current format in 1985 and has run annually ever since. The festival now attracts a million visitors to Harbin over its approximately six weeks duration, and is recognised as the most outstanding of the four major ice and snow festivals in the world.


he best shopping area is also here, focused around Asia’s longest pedistrian mall and its cobbled side streets. In the 1930’s, 16 countries maintained consulates in Harbin, with over 160,000 foreigners from 33 different countries calling Harbin home. The waterfront promenade (Stalin Park) along the banks of the Songhua River is a great winter veiwing platform for activity on the frozen river. In summer, Harbin is an important Chinese port city but in winter the river completely freezes. Remaining boats are locked in frozen ice and the river itself hosts ice skating, husky sleigh rides, horse drawn carriages on sled runners, ice fishing, slippery slides made entirely from ice and even a swimming pool cut from the river ice!

Harbin sits on the same latitude in the northern hemisphere as Dunedin NZ in the southern hemisphere but is much colder. Temperatures can reach as low as -35°C, meaning the warmth and comforts of a good base hotel are essential. Harbin will surprise you! It is one of China’s largest cities, growing over 100 years from a base camp for Russian engineers surveying for construction of the eastern end extension of the Trans Siberian rail line. It was also home for up to 25,000 Jews fleeing persecution in the early 1900’s. Prior to the Second World War, this area was considered (along with Palestine and Morocco) as a possible permanent home for the Jews. In 1945 most Jews departed for Israel and Japan, but a significant Jewish presence still remains, The historic influence of foreign cultures can best be found in Daoli District, the oldest and most interesting part of town.


The Songhua River is frozen solid in winter, but a swimming pool is cut into the river ice to allow locals to swim in the freezing water flowing under the thick surface ice cover. It’s quite a spectacle, and of course we’ll be there to see it all.

Visitors to Harbin in winter are treated to this especially unique Ice and Snow experience. It is visually unforgettable, photographically magnificent, and culturally unique. Like everything else, the food is a product of Harbin’s cultural mix and its cold weather. Atmospheric Russian, Chinese and Western restaurants serve appropriate fare.. Wonderful Chinese dumplings, Mongolian lamb hotpots, and a range of other appetizing specialities, washed down with the local Hapi beer or chilled vodka. In fact China’s first brewery was built in Harbin by the Russians in 1906.


There are ice sculptures decorating the local streets and parks, but the best competitive exhibition is in Zhaolin Park. These are smaller sculptures carved with incredible skill into creative shapes that leave you speechless. The Park is also lit in the evening, so we’ll be taking the best opportunities to see these works of art at the very best time of the day.


The endangered Siberian Tiger, ancestor of all tiger species, has less than 700 remaining in the wild. They can grow up to 4 metres long and up to 300kg in weight. The Park is just 15kms from Harbin. It started with just 8 tigers in 1986, but now houses about 50 tigers and several hundred other animals. Tigers are bred at the Park and protected. We see them close



ST SOPHIA CHURCH - This magnificent Russian Orthodox Church

is Harbin’s most famous landmark, and the largest of its kind in the Far East. Originally built in 1907 by the Russian Army, its Byzantine architecture and 52 metre spire, now houses the excellent Architecture and Art Exhibition, tracing the historic Russian influence and architecture of Harbin.

CENTRAL STREET PRECINCT - Harbin’s major shopping area is

1½km long pedestrian mall, the longest in Asia, with atmospheric cobbled side streets showcasing the architecture and cultures of historic foreign influences. It runs at a right angle to the waterfront, through the oldest part of the city. The frozen waterfront and river are alive with activity - horse and husky sleigh rides, local ice games, ice fishing etc.

JEWISH SYNAGOGUE - Once the centre of Harbin’s vibrant Jewish

community, this three story temple proudly displays the Jewish history and culture of Harbin, and the outstanding contribution the early Jewish community made to the social development of the city. We have a private visit and hear from a local about this quite amazing and dynamic contribution.

NIGHT LIGHTS Harbin also celebrates its Winter Festival with a wonderful array of night lights where the main avenues are ablaze with colour. All the major round-abouts and many buildings are showcased with carved ice displays highlighted by special lighting.


Prior to WW2, the Japanese Army operated a number of germ warfare experimental bases around the world, but the most notorious was operated by the Japanese Army Medical Unit 731 just 30kms from Harbin. It was a top secret base only exposed in the 1980’s by a Japanese journalist. Up to 10,000 POW’s were used for experimentation - mainly Chinese, Russian, Korean, British and American. We make a visit to the Centre which today portrays the graphic story, in what is left of the original buildings.

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INCLUSIONS • • • • •

1 night Pullman Guangzhou (5-Star) 5 Night’s accommodation at Shangri-la Hotel (5-Star), Harbin/Riverview rooms Return flights Brisbane, Guangzhou, Harbin with China Southern Airlines Breakfast, lunches and dinners included (as per itinerary) Entrance fees: Ice and Snow World, Sun Island Snow Sculptures, Zhaolin Park Ice Sculputures, Ice Swimming, Siberian Tiger Park, Germ Warfare Base, St Sophia Church, Buddhist Temple, Cable Car Private Ice Carving Demonstration Transfers and land travel in and around Harbin by coach with English speaking guide Full time services of an experienced English speaking guide in Harbin and Tour Escort ex Australia All tipping related to everything included in this package

• • • •


Depart Brisbane 9.55am. Arrive Guangzhou 5.00pm. O/N Pullman Guangzhou (5 Star)

Tuesday 15 Jan Guangzhou to Harbin. Depart Guangzhou 8.15am. Arrive Harbin 12.30pm. Transfer to Shangri-la Hotel (5 star) (Breakfast/Dinner)

Located in the Daoli district and on the river, the 5-star Shangri-la is recognised as the best hotel in Harbin. It lies across the river from the famous Ice and Snow World, and features two restaurants offering a hearty international breakfast buffet. The Lobby Lounge has a full service bar and light snacks. There is a fitness centre, heated indoor swimming pool, spa tub, steam room and sauna.

Wednesday 16 Jan St Sophia Church, Buddhist Temple, Flood Control Monument & Stalin Park. Evening tour to Zhaolin Park Ice Sculpture Show (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) Thursday 17 Jan Morning visit to Songhua River to watch ice swimming. Horse ride possible. Afternoon tour to Sun Island by Cable Car. Visit Snow Sculptures, with Ice Sculpture demo. Dinner at Russian restaurant. (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner). Friday 18 Jan

Morning - Germ Warfare Museum. Afternoon - Siberian Tiger Park and tiger feeding. Evening - Ice and Snow World



Saturday 19 Jan

Morning - Visit to Jewish Synagogue & Afternoon - Visit to Academy of Agricultural Sciences

& Greenhouses. (Breakfast/Lunch). Sunday 20 Jan

Depart Harbin 1.20pm. Arrive Guangzhou 6.00pm. Depart Guangzhou 9.10pm. (Breakfast)

Monday 21 Jan

Arrive Brisbane 8.30am

Meet Your Tour Escort The tour will be escorted by Neil Kirby, Managing Director of Travel Masters. Neil will travel with you on this outstanding itinerary, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and travel experience - and a passion for people, places and different cultures. You will find that Neil will take every opportunity to make this tour one of life’s most outstanding memories. We hope you can join this exciting tour in 2019.

Package Price 7 Days - $4,995 per person ex Brisbane Departing Brisbane: 14 Jan 2019 Returning Brisbane: 21 Jan 2019 Single Supplement $895

Harbin Ice & Snow Festival


FIRST PASSENGER Title: ________________ Surname (as shown on passport): ____________________________________________________________ First Name(as shown on passport):_____________________________ Preferred First Name:_______________________________ If sharing what would be your room preference? TWIN / DOUBLE Do you require single supplement? YES / NO Would you like us to keep an eye out for a possible twin-share on your behalf? YES / NO (Please note that Single Supplement will be payable if we are unable to assist with a suitable twin-share for you) Do you require Premium Economy upgrade? ($450pp) YES / NO Do you require Business Class upgrade? ($2500pp) YES / NO Are you a China Southern Frequent Flyer Member? Member No: _____________________________________________ Do you have any dietary or seating requests: ______________________________________________________________________ Do you hold an Australian passport? YES / NO If No, please state the nationality: ___________________________________ Passport Number: ______________________________________Date of Issue: ______/______/______ Date of Expiry: ______/______/______ Date of Birth: ______/______/______

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Harbin Ice & Snow Festival 2019  
Harbin Ice & Snow Festival 2019