Harbin Ice Festival

Old Aug 21st, 2011, 03:06 PM
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Harbin Ice Festival

Has anyone ventured to Harbin for the ice festival? We've seen pictures and they look amazing, but not sure we are up for the frigid cold! Still...it is a future consideration. Just wondering.
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 04:50 PM
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lets go together---i'll bring the rum
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 05:31 PM
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i'm there too...
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 06:25 PM
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Do a search here - there have been several reports on the ice festival.
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Old Aug 21st, 2011, 07:00 PM
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The start time of this festival is January 5 and last for a month. During the festival, there are Winter swimming competition, Ice Hockey, snow football, alpine skiing tournament, ice sculpture competition, an international ice sculpture contest, ice speed skating competition, poetry festival, snow photography exhibition, book fair, snow film festival and weddings on ice and so on ... it is really worth seeing.
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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I'm going to risk it at the end of January. Terrified about the cold but have decided to take the risk given the magic of the landscape and the festivals. We've booked an organised tour for most of the time which travels by train so hopefully won't be too bad.
As we're from Sydney, appropriate clothing was a huge issue. Initially decided just to hire it here before leaving but with the winter sales on, I managed to get a cheap down filled jacket at a reasonable price.
There's lots of advice here and on TA which I am reading and absorbing about dealing with the cold.
I trust that there is some truth in the rumour that alcohol doesn't freeze!
Go on, risk it....
OzJane
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Old Aug 24th, 2011, 07:04 PM
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Please report back after your trip. Would love to hear about this. We haven't been to China yet and would likely do a first trip to the usual tourist locations, but would consider Harbin in the future. As we are from Florida, the cold is also a big issue. We have considered shipping winter clothes to a hotel in Harbin and carrying summer clothes with us. Once we finish in Harbin (a few days only) we would fly to a warmer destination in Asia and ship our winter clothes back home.
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Old Aug 25th, 2011, 12:57 AM
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OzJane
Make certain that you have PLENTY of warm clothes. I was there in January, 2011, and I know this is crazy, but, I didn't get to the Ice Festival.. The reason.. I was slip sliding too much on the road in Harbin, and was concerned of a fall.... Did walking around the hotel etc.

It was MINUS 20C to MINUS 25C when I was in Harbin, so, be prepared.

Get some slip on spikes for your shoes. I ordered some, but, they didnt arrive until I returned home ..yes, post from UK was slow over XMAS.

I have photos of Harbin, but,I am in China now,and Facebook is out of bounds.My VPN isnt working either, so, no Facebook, Twitter etc..
The " Great Firewall of China " has claimed me this trip.
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Old Aug 26th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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We visited Harbin in Jan 2007, but I doubt it's gotten too much colder since then. It wasn't cold at all when wearing proper ski gear -- ski trousers, winter coat, scarf, ski gloves, ear muffs, hat. You can buy hat, scarf and earmuffs at many local shops. One guy with us wore jeans and was cold. I wore regular walking boots and didn't find it very slippery, but I was quite careful.

Oh, and I was 29 weeks pregnant too.

I think you can do it.
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Old Aug 30th, 2011, 03:56 PM
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Finally on Facebook...Photos from Harbin in January, 2011. No ice festival, but, street scenes.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...8ea6915&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...8091797&type=1
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Old Sep 1st, 2011, 10:19 PM
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Thanks gearsau, very much aprpeciated your advice. I read your posts a few weeks ago and decided I HAD to have something to put on boots after your experiences!
have just ordered (Sept 2) the chains for boots as per your recommendation. Hope they will arrive in plenty of time before late Jan departure. So I have benefitted from your experience, many thanks.
Love the photos, thanks, it seems a bit like Europe in winter but I suspect I'm being hopeful.
I think we have the essential clothes but have taken note of the advice to buy there if necessary. Hugely cheaper than Sydney ... just hurts a bit buying clothes that I'll never wear again. Still winter sales at Kathmandu amd Snowgum have helped. At Snowgum the guy who served me was from Siberia so he clued me in. Also said wait until you get there.
Again thanks for all the good advice and will let you all know how it goes. Which reminds me I must organise insurance!
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