Yabuli Ski Resort

Yabuli Ski Resort

Skiing is rapidly growing as one of China’s most popular winter activities. The Yabuli Ski Resort, once a royal hunting ground during the Qing Dynasty, is now the country’s largest and most extensive ski area. Located 190k outside of Harbin at the north base of Mt. Guokui, Yabuli Ski Resort in Yabuli town boasts world class ski facilities and serves as the training center for China’s national ski team. Yabuli sees about 170 days of snow on average annually. Because of its extremely high elevation, the lowest winter temperatures can fall as low as -42 degrees Fahrenheit. Prime ski season at Yabuli typically begins in mid November and usually extends until late march the following year. The resort covers a total area of more than 22sq kilometers and is divided into a competition and leisure skiing section. Competitive skiers have access to a number of high altitude, advanced level trails and challenging training slopes. This area is also equipped with a winter shooting range and indoor gymnasium for athlete training. The resort provides a number of other activities, including mini golf, tennis, hot air balloon rides, and para-gliding, making it a prime summer destination as well.

Some basic Tips

Run/trail colour coding – Green slopes are the easiest, then blue, red and blacks are the most difficult. Ski with care and choose the right grade to start.
Dress Code – Stay warm! It is best to check the weather forecast every morning before you get dressed and ski.
Get sunglasses for the sun and goggles for the shade/cloud.
Have a thermal layer next to your skin instead of a cotton under layer.
Wear one pair of socks is enough- more will actually make your feet colder!
Make sure your outside layer is waterproof.

Protect your skin – from the sun, wind and cold!
Insurance – accidents can happen. Make you sure you get travel insurance that includes winter sports cover. BoutiqueChinaTours buy travel insurance for each client, but we still recommend you to take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any oversea medical cost at your home country.

Tips for the Yabuli Ski Resorts

Winter season starts form Nov to second year Apr. It is also a good choice for fishing, hiking, swimming, grass-gliding and golf from June to September.

Beginners can take training class or hire a private coach.

Sun Island Resort and Snow Sculptures

Harbin Sun Island Resort and Snow Sculptures

Spanning an area of more than 38sq kilometers, along the Songhua River, the Sun Island Scenic Resort is cherished for its simplistically picturesque landscape amidst the northern fields of Sidalin Park. Visitors often frequent the resort to enjoy the scenery over an afternoon picnic or short camping retreat. The beauty of the area was captured by a popular musician, Zheng Xulan, in the 1980’s through the song, “Beautiful Sun Island,” further popularizing the scenic spot. A small handful of islands and sandbars make up the area that has continued to serve as a wonderfully relaxing summer getaway for local Harbin residents. There is much to see and do on the islands. Spots of interest include the Pavilion along the Water, the Long Bank, and Weeping Willow. Visitors can also enjoy the peaceful Sacred Cranes and the Doe and its Young scenic areas. other scenic points of interest within the resort include Sun Lake, Mount Sun, the Sisters Bridge, White Jade Bridge, the Children’s Amusement Park, Flower Garden, and Jingjiang Gallery. Each area only adds to the spectacular scenery that abounds within the peaceful resort. Rushing waterfalls and quiet ponds also contribute to the diverse beauty of the natural environment. The scenic area is home to the annual Harbin Snow Sculpture exposition that attracts thousands of visitors to the artistically fascinating display each year. The season brings along with it a multitude of winter activities to be enjoyed at the resort including ice skating on the frozen river, sliding in ice canoes, driving ice boats, and playing games of ice ball.

Siberian Tiger Park

Siberian Tiger Park

Placed on the endangered species list and on China’s list of most significant protected animals, the extensive efforts to preserve the Siberian Tiger were taken in 1996 with the creation of Harbin’s Siberian Tiger Park. The park occupies a stretch of land along the north shore of the Songhua River just northwest of Harbin. As the world’s largest reserve for Siberian Tigers, the park covers an area of over 1,400,000 square meters. The park is known for promoting a developing eco-tourism industry, serving as an ideal spot to spend a leisurely holiday. Over 500 tigers live within the park, and over 100 of these magnificent creatures are visible to the park’s visitors. The park is also home to a number of other protected species including white tigers, lions, leopards, black pumas, and Bengal tigers, all of which can been spotted when exploring the park. The park is composed of 10 different sections including a separate area for young tigers, mature tigers, king tigers, and a walking platform from which the tigers can be viewed. Because the park is a reserve and not a typical zoo, the tigers are free to roam throughout the area while visitors are guided through the park in busses that travel along a route protected by mesh fencing. The park provides a number of adventurous activities for visitors including feeding the animals. Visitors can purchase poultry or live animals to feed to the tigers so visitors can observe the exciting natural feeding process. A science exhibition hall is also located within the park where visitors can learn more about the cherished, endangered creatures.

St. Sofia Orthodox Church

St. Sofia Orthodox Church

Preserved as one of the state’s Key Cultural Relics in 1966, St. Sophia Orthodox Church proudly stands as a recognizable landmark within the city of Harbin. Considered to be the largest Eastern Orthodox Church in the Far East, St. Sophia is known for its Byzantine beauty. A complex historical past surrounds the church, which was first founded in 1907 using timber posts at the hand of Russian immigrants. Still under Russian observation, the church was rebuilt in 1911 using a mixture of masonry and timber construction. In 1923 the church was again rebuilt, and just nine years later gained widespread acclaim as a monumental architectural and artistic accomplishment. The structure is defined by its Latin cross footprint, which remained intact throughout its multiple reconstructions. It’s four stories reach a height of 53.3 meters, topped by a bell tower that until 1960 housed seven operable bells of varying size and tone. The bells were often used to signify religious festivals. For decades the church was unmaintained and unoccupied, eventually undergoing considerable decline. During this period of time a number of apartment and office buildings were built, surrounding the empty relic. In 1997, the government of Harbin approved a renovation proposal to revive the beautiful church from decades of abandonment. Although many of the original Russian murals have been lost completely due to lack of preservation and a number of the church’s crosses have been removed, St. Sophia’s has been restored to its original magnificence, and is known now as the Harbin Art Gallery.

Heilongjiang Provincial Museum

Heilongjiang Provincial Museum

First established in 1904, the Heilongjiang Provincial Museum remains the largest museum in Heilongjiang Province, covering an area of more than 7,000 meters. Constructed in traditional Russian architectural styles, the main structure is brick and wood, and is separated into two main sections; an exhibition area, and an area reserved for the storage of relics.  The museum is home to an astonishing 107,400 piece collection of historical relics, including 40,000 ancient books, 70,000 fossil specimens, and 30,000 paintings and relics belonging to the region’s minority groups. Encompassing a vast body of information on the areas art, history, culture, animals, and plants, the museum is the primary resource for research in the provincial region.  The exhibition area is subdivided into three spaces displaying historical relics, animals, and ancient animals respectively. The historical hall follows the historical development of Heilongjiang Province through the exhibition of more than 900 cultural relics. In the animal exhibition hall information is revealed about the region’s local animal population including fossil specimens. Information pertaining to the fascinating history of the area’s early inhabitants can be found in the ancient animal exhibition hall. There you can observe fossil specimens belonging to dinosaurs, mammoths, and wolly rhinoceros, explaining the evolutionary processes that occurred in the region.

Harbin Ice Lantern

Harbin Ice Lantern

Harbin’s annual Ice Lantern Festival has been shedding beautiful light on cold winter months since 1963. Although the festival was postponed for a number of years during the Cultural Revolution, it was reinstated as an exciting part of the winter season in 1985. Harbin’s geographical location within Siberia’s icy stronghold makes it one of the world’s most developed winter weather cities, boasting a rich culture revolving around the area’s drastic annual amounts of ice and snow. The renound Ice Lantern Garden Festival begins every year on January 5th and runs until late February. The lantern designs range in simplicity, detail, and intricacy from traditional ice lanterns, to lanterns using the most advanced laser technology. The history of the traditional ice lantern can be traced back to farmers who harvested the Songnen Plane along the Songha River. In order to feed their horses, the farmers developed the ice lanterns as a light source during the dark winter months. Their method involved first freezing water in a bucket, then bringing it back into their home to heat it up slightly, just before it completely froze. They would then separate the ice from the bucket and create a hole in the center of the frozen shape from the bottom. After removing the water that was no longer frozen, a candle could be placed inside the cavity. The lanterns became popular among poorer families during the Chinese New Year because they could not afford to buy real lanterns to celebrate the festival. They soon became a symbol of winter culture, as well as the holiday season. As the lantern design became more advanced and popular the Ice Lantern Garden Festival developed, creating an arena to display the beautiful lanterns for all to enjoy.

Harbin Central Street

Harbin Central Street

Harbin’s visitors always find themselves first at the city’s famous Central Street. The street is considered to be Harbin’s most exotic attraction, displaying uniquely European architectural styles and historical significance that distinguishes it within the city. Central Street, originally known as Chinese Street, was first developed in 1898. It didn’t adopt its current name until the late 1920’s. The street was at first frequented by carts transporting railway supplies until it was paved with square stones at the request of a Russian engineer responsible for the street’s design. The stretch of road soon became a magnet for foreign bars, hotels, and shops, selling everything from woven cloth imported from England and French perfumes, to traditional German medicines. The street was closed to vehicular traffic by the city government in 1997, enhancing the charm and accessibility of the popular promenade. The street stretches approximately 1,450 meters, lined with an array of European style buildings. The structures display a range of architectural techniques including Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern styles of design. The exquisitely preserved street provides a fascinating opportunity to observe the juxtaposition of Harbin’s historical past with its modern cultural influences. It is in a sense an illustration of Harbin’s cultural development as it has evolved over the past 300 years.