Exciting Days, Comfortable Nights

Harbin Ice Festival

11 days  |  Starts/Ends: Beijing  |  from USD $2,605  |   Guaranteed Departures  10 reviews

Discover China this Christmas to see the Great Wall, Beijing's Forbidden City and the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an. Flying to Harbin, New Year's is a 5 star event as we discover the extraordinary, inspiring, enchanting and often incredibly beautiful ice installations of the 33rd Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival.

Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews

Itinerary

Day 1

Beijing

Friday 23 December 2016. Welcome to China and the start of your holiday! Arrive Beijing Airport and included transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day offers free time.
Overnight: Beijing

    Beijing
Day 2

The Forbidden City

This morning, we explore the centre of Beijing, including massive Tiananmen Square and the sprawling Forbidden City. Boasting some 9999 rooms, the city within a city was once the sole preserve of the Chinese emperors. This afternoon we take rickshaws to the Hutongs areas of Beijing. As our trusty rickshaw driver peddles us through the network of alleys, old back lanes, traditional courtyards and compact houses, we gain a fascinating snapshot into the city’s traditional way of life. There is time to meet a local family and take a peek inside their home, before returning to our hotel. It's Christmas Eve and to get you in the festive mood we'll enjoy a tasty Christmas banquet tonight.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3

Xmas at the Great Wall

Merry Christmas! Today we drive beyond Beijing to Badaling, where we can walk a section of the famous Great Wall. Climbing the Great Wall on Xmas day, now that’s something special. The wall is a little steep in sections, but the photo opportunities are worth a million dollars! Afterwards we visit a cloisonne workshop. We celebrate our Christmas in China with a traditional Peking Duck dinner this evening, followed by an astounding acrobatic show.
Overnight: Beijing  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Summer Palace & Silk Alley

Beijing - Luoyang. Today we start with a sightseeing tour of the Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake. The lake may be frozen solid. This afternoon we visit the famed Silk Alley markets, boasting more than 1000 stores and every souvenir imaginable. Later today we drive past the Beijing 2008 Olympic Stadium en route to the train station where we take the late afternoon bullet train to Luoyang. Reaching speeds of up to 305km per hour the journey is an experience in itself! We arrive to Luoyang late this evening.
Overnight: Luoyang  |  Breakfast

Day 5

Longman Grottoes

Today we explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Longman Caves. Carved into the cliffs along the Yi River, the 1300 caves (grottoes) were hollowed out during the Northern Wei Dynasty. Creating temples within the caves they then sculpted and decorated the interior with 100,000 statues and images of Buddha and his disciples. Experts consider the Longman Caves to be the artistic triumph of all Buddhist stone carvings. Later this afternoon we tour the stunning White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China before having a delicious local dinner.
Overnight: Luoyang  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Luoyang - Xi'an

Early this morning we walk to Peony Square to witness and maybe even partake in a little local exercise. Hundreds of local people enjoy their daily exercise by practising ballroom dancing, performing tai chi, sword fighting and play sports like badminton and hacky sack in the early hours of the morning. It's a marvel to watch! After some free time we board a high speed express trains to Xi'an, evening at leisure.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Terracotta Warriors

Today, we visit the Terracotta Warrior archaeological site where some 7,000 warriors stand in battle ready position and a factory that shows how the terracotta figurines were crafted. Tonight, optional Tang Dynasty Bolt-on, with dinner and performance.
Overnight: Xi'an  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Xi'an

Xi’an - Harbin. This morning we bike ride (solo or tandem) on top of the amazing old City Wall, offering unique views of the city and residents going about their daily lives. Visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Muslim Quarter and Great Mosque, with time to explore. Evening flight to Beijing and onward connecting flight to Harbin.
Overnight: Harbin  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Snow Sculpture Festival & Ice World

Today, we hit Sun Island Park for the Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo. The festival is open to visitors from 20 Dec, (though the official festival opening occurs on 05 Jan). This is a wonderful time to visit as sculptors will still be adding final touches to their somewhat massive icy masterpieces.

Later we visit Harbin Snow and Ice World an otherworldly theme park where the incredibly large displays change from year to year. what will be on offer this year is anyone's guess. Imagine sliding down a 100m ice luge resembling the Great Wall of China. You can pick up some serious speed if wearing a slick winter coat. Climbing to the top of a replica of the Emperor’s Summer Palace in Beijing, complete with towers, guard house, moat and seven arched bridge or sail away on Empress Dowager Cixi’s ice marble boat. Living up to its name the ‘Ice World’ is totally beyond imagination, unusual, enchanting, inspiring and a little peculiar.

Tonight we include a hotpot dinner at a local restaurant before making our way to the hotel bar to ring in the new year. Welcome 2017 with a shot of 'Maitai firewater' the local alcoholic spirit to celebrate the occasion.
Overnight: Shangri La Hotel - 5 star  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10

Happy New Year!

Harbin - Beijing. Happy New Year! This morning offers free time before an afternoon visit to Zhaolin Park to see the Ice Lantern Show, also known as the Ice Lantern Art Fair. In previous years we've seen ice blocks standing some 8 metres tall, resembling giant ice lollies are sculpted into the most unusual designs; a rooster, a dragon boat, a pair of cupids fluttering in the heavens and a cavalry about to do battle. Each is lit up with hundreds of Traditional Chinese lanterns and a multitude of neon creating the most spectacular photo opportunities. Later this evening we bid farewell to Harbin boarding our overnight sleeper train to Beijing.
Overnight: Soft Sleeper Train to Beijing  |  Breakfast

Day 11

Beijing departure

Monday 02 January 2017. Upon arrival to Beijing we transfer to our tour start hotel for a hot breakfast. Today offers free time for you to further explore Beijing before included departure transfer to the airport. We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and New Year tour in China! Note: Onward flights should be booked for departure after 2pm.
Breakfast

Visit the caves of Datong

Datong is an ancient cultural city dating back more than 2,000 years, the region’s biggest attraction is the UNESCO-listed Yungang Caves. Built more than 1,500 years ago, the 53 caves are a treasure trove of ancient Buddhist art comprising a fine collection of carved-sandstone Buddhist figures. See our Datong bolt on for more info. Take a look at our other great bolt-ons.

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

We welcome families with youngsters over 12 years of age on this trip. Please contact us for further details.

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates can be guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

Guaranteed Departure
4+ places available
Limited places
Sold out
On Request (Please Contact Us)
2016
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2605
USD $1240
2017
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2605
USD $1240
2018
Price/Person
Single Supp.
USD $2605
USD $1240

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Beijing - Pre-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $80
Beijing - Post-tour accom.
USD $80
USD $80

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Yong An Hotel, Beijing

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Just a 5 minute walk from the Agricultural Exhibition Centre, the Yong An hotel is a modern hotel with great amenities. Guest rooms are classically decorated with large windows allowing lots of natural light. The hotel has a restaurant that serves up both Chinese and western dishes. Complimentary wi-fi is available and the popular buzzing bar street is just a 15 minute taxi ride away.

Rainbow Hotel, Beijing

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The Rainbow is a contemporary hotel accented by the colours of traditional Chinese folk art culture. The spacious guestrooms display character of the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful wooden furniture whilst providing modern amenities fit for international travellers. The hotel also has a restaurant, cafe and bar.

Peony Hotel, Luoyang

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Peony Hotel is an impressive, modern sky-scraper with stylishly decorated rooms that have been equipped with plush furnishings and air conditioning to ensure a good night's sleep. The hotel also has its own restaurant, which serves a range of Cantonese, Sichuan and international cuisine, and a business centre. The hotel is located on Zhongzhou Road in the city centre, close to Wancheng Park. The airport can be reached in 30 minutes and the railway station is 5km away.

Wan Nian Grand Hotel, Xi'an

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The Wan Nian Grand is a comfortable, friendly hotel with light, good sized rooms. Elegantly decorated, the rooms also boast modern amenities and the hotel has a wealth of facilities including an indoor pool and sauna house, a cafe and bar, and well-equipped business centre.

Harbin Shangri-la Hotel, Harbin

Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Overlooking the Songhua River and city centre, the luxury 5 star Shangri-La Hotel is a fantastic place to enjoy the city of Harbin whilst enjoying world-class service. The comfortable guestrooms are tastefully furnished with large windows from which to enjoy the views and equipped with all the amenities you would expect of a 5 star hotel. All guests can enjoy 24 hour room service, complimentary Internet access and the state-of-the-art fitness centre. There is also an indoor swimming pool, outdoor tennis court and health club with three dining options including fine Cantonese dining at the Shang Palace, delicious desserts at the Coffee Garden and cocktails at the Lobby Lounge.

Train - 4 berth soft sleeper cabin, Beijing

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Train

Soft sleeper cabins are private compartments which have four bunks - two upper and two lower. A door separates the compartment from the aisle and bedding and pillows are provided. Each bunk is equipped with a small reading lamp. Temperature controls are installed alongside the door. Generally, the facilities include a clothes rack, slippers, clothes brush, stainless steel thermos, fine porcelain teacup, a waste bin and wall socket.

Trip Highlights

HARBIN INTERNATIONAL ICE & SNOW FESTIVAL including Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo, Harbin Ice and Snow World and Harbin Ice Lantern Show at Zhaolin Park.
BADALING - UNESCO listed Great Wall of China
XI'AN - UNESCO listed Terracotta Warriors, Clay warrior workshop, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, City Wall and bike ride, Muslim Quarter, Great Mosque and market
BEIJING - Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, UNESCO listed Emperor's Summer Palace, Silk Alley markets, Cloisonne Factory, Hutong area of Beijing, Chinese Acrobatic Show
LUOYANG – UNESCO listed Longman Caves and stone carvings, White Horse Buddhist Temple, Peony Square activities

Included

10 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners including a traditional Peking Duck dinner
Flight from Xi’an – Harbin
Touring of Beijing, Great Wall area, Luoyang, Xi'an and Harbin Ice Festival
Rickshaw ride through Beijing's Hutongs
Escorted by an experienced English speaking Chinese Tour guide
All relevant transfers and transportation in private heated vehicles
2 nights 5 star hotel in Harbin, 7 nights 3-4 star hotels and 1 overnight train Harbin - Beijing (soft sleeper cabin)
High speed train journeys between Beijing and Luoyang and Luoyang and Xi'an
Chinese acrobatic performance in Beijing
Xi’an - bike ride on medieval City Wall
English speaking specialist guides at some sites
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 11

Not Included

International flights and visa
Entrance Fees: USD$225-235, paid in local currency
Tip for your tour guide. We recommend you allow USD$3 - 5 per day, per traveller. Tipping your guide is an entirely personal gesture
Tipping Kitty: USD$65-75, paid in local currency

Reviews

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.4 out of 5 based on 10 recent reviews

1  |  2

I was delighted with both my tour and our guides. The entire trip exceeded my expectations. One of the many winning features of an On The Go trip is the easy, relaxed and reassuring manner with which the guides dealt with any unexpected occurrences. I particularly enjoyed the schedule as there was a superb balance throughout the trip which allowed us as a group to see everything whilst also giving us free time to enjoy places on our own but always with the safe knowledge that Feng was never far away. I cannot recommend this tour enough for anyone who wants to travel with the very best tour operator available today.

• Submitted 12 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

We had an fantastic trip. The accommodations were very nice and the transportation was comfortable. The information we received from On The Go Tours before the trip was very helpful and prepared us for what we needed.

Our Tour Guide (Feng) was the very best part of the trip. Our luggage was delayed for 5 days due to the Air Carrier. However, it would have been so much worse had not Feng intervened. She went way above any normal help. She personally made the arrangements so that when our luggage arrived in Beijing it was immediately put aboard another aircraft and sent to the city we were in. Then she arranged to have it sent to our hotel. She also was a wealth of information about China. All the guides spoke excellent English, friendly and eager to answer questions. We will definitely be using On The Go Tours again.

• Submitted 09 Jan 2016
Tour
Guide
Country

Stephanie was very good, everything was organised well. She was always accessible.

• Submitted 05 Feb 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend On The Go Tours. Our guide Feng was amazing, a credit to the company and really made the trip special. Feng was knowledgeable , calm and organised and although we were quite a mixed group, she ensured that we were all happy (not just ma ma hu hu!) all of the time. The local guides Joe in Luoyang and Benny in Xi'an were also great and Stephanie who was in charge of the other group was lovely.

The tour itself ensured that we had a real taste of China with a good balance of culture and fun. It is quite a packed itinerary, so not a relaxing trip, but you certainly make the most of your time there. The only comments we have would be that it was a shame that the hotels in Luoyang and Xi'an did not have a proper bar area for the group to meet up and relax in the evenings. Also the hotel in Harbin was so lovely it would have been much better to have had our new Year's Eve meal there.

Many thanks to all involved!

• Submitted 15 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Our tour guide was great however I did feel that time at some of the attractions could have been less and therefore we could have fitted in other things. ie To long at the grottos and teracotta warriors however when have loved to have seen the light show in xian.

• Submitted 08 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

This tour is such a cultural shock with people spitting everywhere , even on the floor of restaurants. The pollution is overwhelming, but traveling to foreign countries these all add to the experience. Like it or not this is the way of the local people.

Our tour guide Fung was fabulous. enough cannot be said to praise her enough. she went out of her way as most of the tour group was ill at some stage and she escorted them to a chemist for medicine and even a tour member to hospital.

As a train buff I was excited about the high speed trains and was not disappointed. they were fantastic. I would go back just to travel on them again.

Benny in Xian was a particular highlight as he was animated and made that part of our trip so enjoyable i would have been happy to stay in Xian longer. Whatever is done don't remove the bike ride on the wall in Xian as this was a favourite of most of our group.

I must say the tour was very enjoyable but did not follow the itinerary as represented in the brochure. This was not the same as our Vietnam tour where the problems were weather related, but the we felt the tour was misrepresented in regard to some or the activities .

Beijing - Luoyang. Opt for and early morning walk

through the local, market before we set off to see

the Summer Palace, set on Kunming Lake "Didn't happen, wasn't offered. My wife was looking forward to this excursion

New Years Eve was a major disappointment as the only celebrations were drinks in the hotel lobby bar.

"Before the stroke of midnight

we will take a prized position our hotel bar. Ring

in the new year with plenty of lights, ice and ‘local

Maitai firewater spirit’.

Apart from the hotel bar there were no lights, the only ice was in the 'ice bar 'outside.

there was a drinks/nibbles package on offer that was so poorly explained no one in our group took advantage of it. it was only when speaking to the other group "Stephanie" that we realized we missed out on a fairly good deal.. I understand that this tour is a once a year trip but surely the content and the ability of the guide , who has done the trip before should be suitable. .

Our local guide in Harbin "Suzie" was hopeless. A very poor grasp of English and had no interaction with the passengers and spoke as if she was reading from a set script.

Apart from my complaint i wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip as it was a once in a lifetime experience. If the brochure was suitably amended to show the true tour, guides vetted to ensure they have at least some personality and grasp of English and costs explained instead of hidden extras then it would be wonderful experience without complaint.

• Submitted 07 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Fung was an amazing tour guide. She was extremly knowledgable, always had a smile on her face, and nothing was too much trouble if we asked. She definately made the tour

• Submitted 06 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Stephanie was truly amazing - without her, the holiday would definitely not be the superb trip that it was. Not only was she intelligent, supremely fluent in English and extraordinarily helpful and informative, she was funny, kind, caring, knowing, discreet and a true ambassador for China and On the Go tours.

• Submitted 06 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

The tour to China was amazing, our guide Stephanie provided alot of useful information, that allowed us to better understand the cultural differences of this country. I felt that we were able to experience some of the great achievments of the culture, however i felt it lacked in displaying the current social and economic statuses of the regular peoples. It was truly a great experience, and it was 100% thanks to our guide. She handled herself very well in many situations, and ensured that each one of us had their needs met, and was able to enjoy ourselves to the fullest. I would definitely recommend this tour and on the go tours to my friends!

• Submitted 06 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

Stefanie is a fantastic guide, she was always smiling, always friendly and always positive even whilst dealing with what I would consider some very difficult customers. Her knowledge was incredible with no question left unanswered. I would love to go on another tour with Stefanie as my guide.

The tour itself was history rich which interested me in some parts and left me bored in others, but each to their own! I feel like the time in Harbin could have been longer because it truley was beautiful and I could have spent a week there.

I'm not sure if it is a feasible idea but i found that all my layers of clothing just wasn't enough at night time in Harbin. I would have loved to have been able to hire some proper thermal gear, the jackets that the locals were wearing were super thick and stuffed with down, something you just can't buy in Australia or can't justify paying $500 for a beautiful Canada goose jacket for 3 days :)

I can't wait to travel with your company again. It's been great.

• Submitted 06 Jan 2015
Tour
Guide
Country

1  |  2
Tour Details
Starts
Beijing
Ends
Beijing
Departs
23 Dec 2016
Hotel Rating
3 - 5 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 10, Lunch: 2, Dinner: 4

Tour Bolt-ons

Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons

Datong

USD $890 / 4 days

I was delighted with both my tour and our guides. The entire trip exceeded my expectations. One of the many winning features of an On The Go trip is the easy, relaxed and reassuring manner with which the guides dealt with any unexpected occurrences. I particularly enjoyed the schedule as there was a superb balance throughout the trip which allowed us as a group to see everything whilst also giving us free time to enjoy places on our own but always with the safe knowledge that Feng was never far away. I cannot recommend this tour enough for anyone who wants to travel with the very best tour operator available today.

Alison Allbutt
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