Harbin Ice and Snow World is the world's largest and most spectacular ice and snow exhibition. The ice carvings on display are some of the most intricate to be found anywhere in the world, featuring entire buildings including bridges, a maze, castles and even a fully-functioning ice hotel. Each year the festival has a theme, which in recent years has seen topics ranging from China's rapid economic development, to ongoing Chinese-Korean relations take centre stage. At night, multicolored light is shot through the translucent ice-sculptures up into the dark sky to become the highlight of any journey to Harbin.
Visitors trying to warm up in the cold might want to try some winter sports at Harbin Ice and Snow World: skating and skiing are to be expected, but ice rock-climbing, ice golf, and ice archery are three of the more unusual pursuits on offer. Less energetic means of entertainment include several special shows based around the theme of the festival.
The Harbin Ice Festival takes place annually in December/January (exact dates vary) and can't be missed by anyone who has ever been entranced by the delicate beauty of ice and snow.