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Chill out: the Hāěrbīn Ice and Snow Festival

TIME : 2016/3/19 16:51:39
China’s northern Hēilóngjiāng province may be cursed with one of the coldest climates in Asia, but its capital Hāěrbīn has made the best of a bad thing with its International Ice and Snow Festival. Held in the depths of winter, the festival revolves around an amazing array of fanciful and elaborate ice sculptures, including re-creations of famous buildings and structures. Past displays have included a scaled-down Forbidden City and a Great Wall of China that doubled as an ice slide.

The bulk of the sculptures can be found in central Zhaolin Park and Sun Island Park, while the hardiest of festivalgoers can join Hāěrbīn’s winter swimmers for a dip in the frozen Songhua River. Temperatures in Hāěrbīn can drop near to -40°C in February, so bring every bit of warm clothing you’ve ever owned. Stick around until the festival’s end for the fun of destroying the sculptures in an ice-axe free-for-all.