Harbin, this old Chinese outpost, is a place not overly visited by travelers, despite the popular Ice Lantern Festival and many other good reasons to visit. Top China Travel would like to introduce some of the Best places to visit in Harbin, to help you find your way to explore the unspoiled beauty of this charming and mysterious area. Where to visit in Harbin? Travel with us, just let us to be your guide and accompany with you to discover the charms between ski resorts and parks.
Sun Island Park covers 15 square kilometers and is featured by cultural attractions and natural landscapes. It consists of one big island and some smaller islands in the Songhua River, which meander through the north of Harbin. It covers a total area of 3,800 hectares.
In summer, the island serves as a natural river beach swimming resort and sanatorium area. It boasts several fine beaches on either bank, such as a profusion of lakes for boating, swimming pools, sunbathing facilities, a fairground, a water world and an arms museum. The middle and northern part of the island is composed of mainly forested areas and a large garden. Various differently styled recreational buildings were built around the "Sun Lake" and the "Lotus Pond". With hidden paths winding throughout, the park is a nice area to stroll and get away from the crowds, being lushly vegetated with trees and flowers.
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Harbin is a former Russian Orthodox Church and is the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the Far East. It reflects Byzantine architectural features with 721 square meters in area and 53.35 meters in height; it is rated as a First class Preserved Building.
This magnificent structure was built in 1907 and has already been in Harbin for more than 100 years. It was built and completed of timber in March, 1907 as part of a plan to reconsolidate the confidence of the army by building an imposing spiritual symbol. In 1923, Saint Sophia Cathedral was expanded and renovated with a project of nine years. And since this time, it has kelp this appearance till nowadays. The present day St. Sophia Church was hailed as a monumental work of art and the largest Orthodox church in the far east.
Yabuli Ski Resort is China's largest ski resort. The resort provides great skiing with high mountains and good snow. Local skiers enjoy the high elevation and the fact that the snow is neither too hard nor too powdery. The lowest temperature is -47.2 F. Because of the high elevation, snow falls for a long period of about 170 days. The period from November to late March of the next year is the best time to ski at Yabuli Ski Resort.
Yabuli has varied terrain for skiers of every level. There are 11 primary, intermediate and advanced ski runs. The 500-meter-long beginner trails are creatively designed with technical aids available enabling first timers to have their first try and other beginners to progress. The advanced trail 3080 meters in length set 1374 meters above sea level with the vertical drop of 804 meters that will give expert skiers the challenge they are looking for.
The "Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival" is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway Ski Festival.
The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival has been held since 1985. Although the official start date is January 5 each year, in practice, many of the sculptures can be seen before. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas: Enormous snow sculptures at Sun Island (a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city) and the separate "Ice and Snow World" that operates each night. Ice and Snow World features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of ice. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli Alpine Skiing, winter-swimming in Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden.
►More famous attractions in Harbin please click Harbin Attractions
►Highly Recommended Tours: Classic Harbin Tours