This specialist small-group tour takes in the 36th Annual International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival 2020 in Harbin, which lies in China's north east. This incredible event originated from a traditional ice lantern show dating back to the 1960's, and today showcases local and international talent in the unique art of snow and ice sculpting. Don your best winter woollies and wonder at the sheer scale and artistry of the pieces on display. Many are lit from within to create a stunning effect, with the ice appearing many different colours and sometimes making you feel like you've stepped into a magical wonderland.
Arrive into Harbin where you will be met and transferred to your hotel (roughly 1 hour). The remainder of the day is at leisure to recuperate after your flight or explore Harbin.
With your group and guide, visit the Museum of War Crime Evidence by Japanese Army Unit 731. This is a fascinating, albeit sobering, exhibition dedicated to the relics left behind by Japanese army unit 731 during WWII, who conducted horrific experiments on the local Chinese population. Learn about the germ warfare undertaken and China's War of Resistance. Later, move onto the Snow carving at the Sun Island, a superb piece of art. In the evening, have some fun in the Large World of Ice and Snow, exploring under your own steam. (B,L)
This morning, visit the Jinyuan Tourist Area in Acheng City, about 23km from downtown Harbin. This is where Wanyan Aguda unified the Nuzhen in 1115 and established his capital and the Jin Dynasty. Later, visit Centre Street and tree-lined Stalin Park, home to statues, playgrounds, and cafés which attract locals and visitors alike. Wonder at the bordering Songhua River, which freezes up to 1m thick in the winter and becomes an arena for ice skating, sledging, ice hockey and ice sailing. Make some time to wander among the ice sculptures also on display here. In the evening, visit the Harbin Ice Lantern Fair at Zhaolin Park. (B,L)
Today's excursion takes you to the beautiful Harbin Volga Manor, a Russian-style forest garden. The manor boasts stunning scenery with large gardens and buildings constructed in the Russian fashion. Enjoy the gardens, likely to be prettily shrouded in snow, which in the summer is a wetland that teems with wildlife. Later, drive back to the city to visit the Chinese Baroque Buildings before heading back to your hotel. (B,L)
Start the day with an early morning transfer to the train station to catch your High Speed G Train to Beijing, which you'll enjoy in first class. Upon arrival in Beijing, you will be met by a local guide and escorted to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure in Beijing. (B)
Enjoy free time until you are due to be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
This tour will operate with a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 12.
Please speak to a Regent specialist to extend your time in China on either side of the tour.