Harbin Ice Festival Express - 5 Days
Let it snow! See the world's largest and most elaborate ice sculptures this New Year at the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. Magical, other-worldly and with New Year's Eve spent exploring the brilliantly illuminated Ice Lantern Show in Zhaolin Park, this is a holiday like no other.
Friday 29 December 2017. 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 for you to explore. Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven are all located within the vicinity of our hotel.
This morning, we set off to see the UNESCO protected Great Wall of China at Juyongguan Pass. At one time perhaps nearly 9700 kms long, the wall was garrisoned by 1 million soldiers and featured over 1,000 fortified passes and 10,000 beacon towers.
Juyongguan is one of the three great mountain passes of the Great Wall. Built during the Ming Dynasty the fortified structure stands as the first line of defence for protecting Beijing. Big battles were fought here against Jurchens and Mongols. Genghis Khan also led his army to the pass in 1213. Juyongguan Pass offers a different perspective of the wall than that of Badaling. Aside from far less tourists visiting the area, Juangguan is incredibly scenic and offers picture perfect views of the ruinous wall zigzagging into the distance.
Overnight: Harbin | Breakfast
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 masterpieces.
This afternoon is filled with thrills and spills as we make our way to the dreamlike theme park known as Harbin Snow and Ice World today. Imagine sliding down a huge ice luge resembling the Great Wall of China or 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. You could also sail away on Empress Dowager Cixi’s ice marble boat. The creations of Snow and Ice World are beyond imagination, enchanting, inspiring, otherworldly and often a little bizarre. What will be on offer this year is anyone's guess.
This evening we include dinner at hotpot restaurant before returning to our hotel to take a position our hotel bar to ring in the New Year. With plenty of lights, ice and ‘Maitai firewater', (the local alcoholic spirit) we welcome in the coming year.
Overnight: Shangri La Hotel - 5 star | Breakfast, Dinner
Happy New Year - Harbin Ice Lantern Show
Harbin - Beijing. Happy New Year! This morning offers free time before we visit Zhaolin Park to see the enchanting Ice Lantern Show, also known as the Ice Lantern Art Fair. The small and sometimes giant frozen displays (ice lanterns as they are known) change from year to year but often include both modern and ancient spectacles and supernatural creations. There is time to marvel at the magnificence of the beautifully illuminated ice sculptures, many incorporating Traditional Chinese lanterns and revel beneath the thousands of fairy lights adorning the park. This evening we bid farewell to Harbin boarding the express overnight sleeper train bound for Beijing.
Overnight: Soft Sleeper Train to Beijing | Breakfast
Tuesday 02 January 2018. Arrival into Beijing we return to our holiday start hotel to enjoy a nice hot breakfast. You are welcome to leave your luggage at our hotel and head out head out to explore Beijing, returning prior to your included departure transfer to the airport arranged to coordinate with your international flight. Please ensure that flights departing Beijing are booked after 2pm, in case of delays. Post tour accommodation is also available if you require.
See the Terracotta Warriors
If you would like to see more of China on your holiday, opt for our Harbin Ice Festival - 11 day tour that includes touring of the Forbidden City and a rickshaw ride through the Hutongs of Beijing, the Great Wall at both Badaling and Juyongguan Pass, Luoyang - home to the giant Buddhist statues at Longman's Caves and Xi'an - home to the UNESCO listed, famed Terracotta Warriors.
See our Harbin Ice Festival - 11 day itinerary for more info.
Prices & Dates
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Yong An Hotel, Beijing
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.
Harbin Shangri-la Hotel, Harbin
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.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in China, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.
On The Go's Signature group tours place local interaction and authenticity at the heart of your cultural travel experience. Upping the comfort stakes, this range is a clear cut above our OTG Adventure range.
Appealing to a wide age demographic from the 20s to 60+, we maximize your days with excitement and awe and then bring you home to a comfortable 4* hotel with western amenities, air-conditioning, WiFi and, where appropriate, a swimming pool. Hotels can sometimes be of 3 or 5 star standard too, ensuring you get the best value for your holiday.
Visiting all the main attractions you’ll be accompanied throughout by our highly qualified English-speaking local guides too. Group size is typically 18 with a maximum for 28, apart from festival tours, where group sizes can be larger due to the one-off nature of these events.