Harbin (12 days) Summed up

One off our bucket list

Harbin was an item on our bucket list, well not exactly our but at least mine. Yat Thong and I disliked cold places and in all our travelling we avoided visiting places that went into “winter. This was our first winter trip and we thought if we could survive Harbin we could survive any other cold place.

Harbin was freaking cold and the trip was a  “different” experience for us. Having visited once we would say we would not come back again. Not because the place was “bad” more like there was no “pull” to revisit.

Keeping warm was a tedious task

During our trip, the winter temperature was between -15 to -20°C. Contrary to our worries we found that it was possible to keep warm when we were outdoor. It was all about layers of the right materials. Woollen thermal layers, down jacket, ski gloves, woollen hats, neck gaiters, woollen socks, wool lined boots, heat pads.

Keeping warm was easy, just piled on the layers and stuffs. It was the putting on and taking off that was tedious. The outdoor temperature was -15 to -20°C while the indoor (building and bus) temperature was 30°C. So even for a short distance between bus and restaurant, bus and hotel or bus to any builidng we would be adding on layers and then taking them off soon.

Even with all these precautions Yat Thong and I still ended up catching a cold. My cold came on day 7 and Yat Thong’s on day 9.

Land Tour versus total DIY tour

We flew in and out of Harbin on our own. Then joined a land tour for 8 days and after the land tour extended our stay for three more days. Our land tour was not with a China tour agent but a Singapore tour agent, Dynasty Travel.

I guessed I was just being “lazy” so instead of doing more researches and online “shopping” for some reliable China tour agents I picked a Singapore Tour Agency that we were more familiar with. If Harbin did not have such extreme weather we would be more gamed and adventurous to just fly into Harbin, wandered about on our own and “shopped” around one or two lands tours.

This was our first winter trip to such extreme coldness and we seriously worried that we might hate. To lighten our concerns we decided to travel with a tour agency so as to be as “taken care” of as possible.

Getting Cold wears in Harbin

One of the best things Dynasty Travel did was to ship all us to a winter clothing store and got us to stock up on the “right” winter attires. We were pretty surprised when we were told that our Timberland winter boots (SGD299 a pair) would be useless when we visited some of the colder places like Harbin Snow town, ShiLi HuaLang and JingPo Lake. And the ugly plasticky/rubbery boots with woolly interior costing (¥220 or SGD44) would save our feet from freezing. Similarly for the hands ski gloves were recommended.

The store was stocked up with everything and the same items that were sold in Singapore were also sold at half the price in this Harbin store!

Highlights of our Harbin Trip

We did not just visit the sights of Harbin we travelled eastward to visit snow town and JingPo Lake.

Volga ManorVolga Manor

ShiLi HuaLangShiLi HuaLang

China Snow TownChina Snow Town

YangCao ShanYang Cao Shan

Diao Shui Lou Ice Waterfall

Diao Shui Lou Ice Waterfall

Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture FestivalHarbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival

Harbin Ice and Snow WorldHarbin Ice and Snow World

11 thoughts on “Harbin (12 days) Summed up

  1. Yee Yee

    May I know when you were there? late Dec 2018? Wanted to visit Harbin ice and snow world and also Harbin international ice and snow scripture

    1. jaikyong Post author

      We were in Harbin from 4th Jan 2019 to 15th Jan 2019. Each year the OFFICIAL opening of the Ice & snow world and the International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival falls on the 5th of January. Usually entrance into both start as early as 25th December. If you visited the parks before the official opening some last minute works may still be going on.

      1. Yee Yee

        Thank you for your reply … wondering in the city is there any places for the kids to play snow? Or need to go to the snow village?

  2. Chom

    Hi thanks for such an informative and interesting post. May I know whether you have the contact of the china local ground tour because I would like a similar tour. Thanks

    1. jaikyong Post author

      Hi Chom,

      Sorry I do not know of any China Local ground tour. We went with a Singapore Tour Agency but only opted for its “land option” package because we wanted to buy our own air tickets to get in and out at our own timing.

    1. Jaik

      Hi Penny,

      My land tour package with Dynasty Travel was $2376 for two. Return flight to Harbin from Singapore for two was $917.

      Dynasty Travel is a Singapore Travel Agency.

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