We had a fabulous time in China. This was our second trip with Remote Lands...We received extraordinary service because of your introductions and behind-the-scenes monitoring.
China's most prominent northern city, Harbin is famous for its brutally cold winters, some of which reach -36 degrees Fahrenheit (a chilly -38 degrees Celsius). Located in the northeast, the traditional homeland of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, for centuries Harbin was off-limits to non-Manchu settlers. Following China's opening to the world, however, Harbin became an increasingly cosmopolitan, prosperous city, and soon fell under the influence of Russia. Following the 1917 Soviet Revolution, a mass exodus of White Russians, or supporters of the Czar, fled to Harbin. Today, the Russian influences live on in Harbin's architecture and cuisine, and the city itself is pleasant and comfortable.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald lived in China for 7 years and returns often. She loves trekking in the rice terraces of Ping An, and hugging baby pandas in Chengdu!
If visiting in January or February, visit the Harbin International Snow and Ice Festival, held in various locations around Harbin. Massive structures, including replicas of the Roman Coliseum and the Forbidden City, are finely crafted out of snow and ice, entire blocks of which are cut from the nearby Songhua River, creating a frosty wonderland of epic proportions.
Take an early morning stroll down Center Street, the main artery of Harbin’s old city. Enjoy the beautiful early twentieth century Russian architecture, a rare sight in modernizing China.
St. Sophia Cathedral
See the St. Sophia Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Christian church built in
1923 that houses an architecture museum of the city of Harbin.
Siberian Tiger Reserve
Drive to the nearby Siberian Tiger Reserve, where you can see hundreds of tigers and witness a feeding.
Yabuli Ski Resort
Spend the day hitting the slopes at Yabuli Ski Resort, China’s largest ski resort and host of the 1996 Winter Asian Games.
Shangri La Harbin
Situated on the bank of the Songhua River in the center of Harbin, the Shangri La is the city's finest hotel and the perfect base for exploring this historic city or visiting the annual Ice Festival. The hotel has 404 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, all with high speed Internet access, satellite television, electronic safes, mini-bars, and impressive views of either the city or the river. Its in-house restaurants include Coffee Garden, which serves an international buffet/a la carte menu all day, while the upscale Shang Palace serves fine Chinese cuisine. Amenities include a pool, spa, gym and tennis court. The Shangri-La Harbin lies 45 minutes from Harbin Airport.