Top 10 Places to Enjoy the Winter Snow and Hot Spring in China
If it is said that the most romantic season of the four seasons, it must be winter. The winter in northern China, wrapped in silver, decorates the earth into a pure and white snow world. The most interesting of the four seasons must also be winter when you can experience skating, skiing, ice car, sleigh, and other exciting snow and ice activities.
During this romantic and fun season, here are the 10 best places in China for snow and hot springs, where you can see rime, snow mountains, glaciers, frozen lakes, forests and villages covered with thick snow, etc., and experience the medicinal (Chinese or Tibetan herbs) hot spring that can only be enjoyed in China. Each one of them is a great plus during your China tour in winter.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, Heilongjiang Province
As the capital city of Heilongjiang Province, Harbin is located in northeast China and famous throughout China for its ice and snow culture, and is known as the "Ice City" and "Oriental Moscow". Winter is from November to March, long, cold, and dry. The average temperature in January is minus 15℃ to minus 30℃.
Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival is the first international festival in Chinese history with ice and snow activities as the content. It lasts for one month and is usually held between January 5th and February 5th. This is a festival unique to Harbin people, rich in content and diverse in forms. During the Ice and Snow Festival, winter swimming competitions, ice hockey games, snow football games, alpine skiing games, ice sculpture competitions, ice speed skating games, ice and snow photography exhibitions, ice and snow film art festivals, ice weddings, etc. are held.
At this time of the year, the streets and squares of Harbin are illuminated with colorful lights, and activities are carried out in a silver-white world. Traveling here can not only experience various activities in the ice and snow world but also feel the folk customs of local people.
Wusong Island and Changbai Mountain, Jilin Province
Jilin Province is located in the central part of Northeast China, bordering Russia and North Korea, and is located in the geographic center of Northeast Asia. Jilin is very cold in winter, with an average temperature below -11°C. This also makes Jilin extremely beautiful in winter, like a fairyland. Rime Island and Changbai Mountain are the two most gorgeous places in Jilin in winter.
Rime Island is a small island on the Songhua River, located in Manchu Town, Jilin City, Jilin Province. The best viewing season for rime island is from late December to the end of February each year. The ideal Rime shooting time is between 10:00 am-11:30 am every day. Rime is ice crystals condensed on branches and leaves when fog and water vapor meet. The terrain here is lower than that in Jilin City and is surrounded by rivers. In addition, the trees on both sides of the Songhua River are luxuriant. In the cold air, the trees condense into frost, which is called "rime" in meteorology and "tree hanging" by local people. This is one of China's four natural wonders.
Changbai Mountain, located on the border of Jilin province and North Korea, is a dormant volcano that erupted several times before forming its current landscape. From October to April, nearly half a year is the snow season in Changbai Mountain. Although the top of Changbai Mountain in winter is bitterly cold, tourists have gradually increased after mid-November to enjoy its beauty. Ice-covered lakes and the magnificent ice falls are top attractions in Changbai Mountain, in addition, it's also an ideal place for Skiing because the snow here is loose and thick. There are also venues that meet the standards of the Winter Olympics.
China Snow Town (Xuexiang), Heilongjiang Province
The often talked "snow town", generally referring to Heilongjiang Xuexiang (Snow Town) National Forest Park, which is located in a forest farm under the Dahailin Forestry Bureau of Mudanjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, 260 kilometers away from Harbin.
Here, the snow period is long and the snowfall is frequent, and the snow cover period is as long as 7 months. The snow volume is the highest in China, it also has good snow quality and high viscosity. Snow Town is surrounded by layers of snow, and the residential area of hundreds of households is like a connected "snow house". Xueyun Street, the only main road in Snow Town, is only about 500 meters long. The road is filled with all kinds of local specialties, such as Ganoderma, mushroom, matsutake, Codonopsis, ginseng, etc., travelers can also find the Customer Service Center, as well as some restaurants.
Snow Town has four ditches and two villages, and the hillside along the road is a good place to take pictures of sunrise and sunset. In addition, there are snowfields, which mainly provide snow activities such as skiing, horse-drawn sled, dog-drawn sled, and snow circle.
Kanas, Xinjiang Province
Kanas generally refers to Kanas Lake, located in the northern part of Burqin County, Altay Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is located in the golden zone where China borders Kazakhstan, Russia, and Mongolia. Kanas is a comprehensive scenic spot integrating glaciers, lakes, forests, grasslands, pastures, rivers, ethnic customs, and rare animals and plants.
The autumn in Kanas is like an oil painting with distinct colors. When winter comes and the snow falls, it turns into the most primitive appearance of ice and snow. Kanas's winter is like a wonderland of ice and snow. The snow here has the toughness of the northern snowfields of China, and the poetry of the small bridges in the southern snowy days. The vast snowfields and quaint wooden houses reveal the unique charm of Kanas.
Kanas is not crowded in winter, everywhere brimming with leisure. The beautiful scenery is only one aspect of winter tourism in Kanas. There will also be many themed activities in Kanas, including Ice and Snow Festival, winter snow photography season, wild snowboard competition, snow sculpture invitational competition, etc.
Hailuogou Glacier and Hot Spring, Sichuan Province
Hailuogou is located in Luding County, southeast of the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. On the eastern slope of Gongga Mountain, it is an extremely high mountain on the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Located at the foot of Gongga Snow Peak, Hailuogou is famous for its low-altitude(2,850m) modern glaciers. It is a comprehensive tourist scenic spot that integrates ecologically intact virgin forests and alpine hot springs.
The best time to travel to Hailuogou is winter, from November to April of the following year. There are more sunny days, fresh air, and you can see the white glaciers in the distance. The giant ice waterfall on the glacier is 1,080 meters high and 1,100 meters wide, which is the highest and largest ice waterfall ever discovered in China.
It is a great experience to take the cable car to overlook the glacier at Hailuogou Camp No. 4 (3,600m), and you will definitely be impressed by the magnificence in front of you. In addition to the glacier beauty, hot springs are also a major feature of Hailuogou. The hot springs are located in Hailuogou Camp No. 2 (2,660m), where a large number of boiling springs gush out from the ground. The temperature of the outlet water reaches 90°C, which is enough for cooking tea and boiled eggs.
Chinese Arctic Village, Heilongjiang Province
The Arctic Village, formerly known as Mohe Village, is located in Mohe Country, Da Hinggan Ling Prefecture, in the north of Heilongjiang Province. It is bordered by Russia's Amur Oblast and Zabaykalsky Krai. It is China's best observation point for viewing the northern lights and the white night scenery. It is also the coldest place in China in winter, with an average temperature of minus 30.6 degrees Celsius in January.
Around the summer solstice, the Arctic Village has almost 24 hours of daylight a day, while winter is as short as 6 or 7 hours of daylight. In winter, making a trip to the Arctic Village, you can see a very pure snow scene and experience the feeling of minus 40°C. The winter is cold and long here, the snow falls early, the snow quality is good. The annual snow cover is 180 days and the skiing period has been as long as 8 months.
There are many ice and snow entertainment activities in the Arctic Village. The ski resort here combines polar, aurora, and Christmas culture. Skiing here, across Heilongjiang and Russia, with a panoramic view of the exotic scenery on the other side.
Tianshan Tianchi National Park, Xinjiang Province
Tianshan Tianchi (Heavenly Lake) is located in Fukang City, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. It is a natural scenic area centered on mountains and lakes, 97 kilometers away from Urumqi. It is a half-moon-shaped lake on the north side of Bogda Peak, surrounded by mountains, spruce, and tower pine.
The Tianshan Tianchi Lake looks like a silver world in winter, with white snow-covered, and glacier snow gleaming with silver light. It contrasts with the clear blue lake, forming a wonderful natural landscape. Looking at the Lungeda Snow Mountain from afar, the lakes and mountains reflect each other, and being in it is like a fairyland. The reflections of ice peaks, blue sky, and white clouds in the lake constitute a wonderful picture.
There are only fewer tourists in Xinjiang in winter, and Tianshan Tianchi is surrounded by white and flawless surroundings, shrouded in magical silence. Every year from mid-November to the end of March of the following year, the "Tianshan Tianchi Ice and Snow Festival" will be held. You can go to the Tianshan Ski Resort near the scenic area for skiing and other ice and snow projects.
Yangpachen Hot Spring, Tibet Autonomous Region
Yangpachen Geothermal is located in Damxung County, 90 kilometers northwest of Lhasa City, Tibet Autonomous Region. The temperature is maintained at about 47°C. It is the first wet steam field developed in mainland China and the highest geothermal power station in the world. There are large-scale fountains and geysers, hot springs, thermal springs, boiling springs, and hot water lakes in Yangpachen.
The hot spring water here contains a lot of hydrogen sulfide, which has a therapeutic effect on many chronic diseases. The hot spring site is an open-air swimming pool, and you can see snow mountains from afar. It is very romantic and pleasant to enjoy the hot spring here in the snowy winter.
Due to the high altitude and location (on the way to Namtso Lake), travelers usually visit Yangpachen hot-spring together with Namtso Lake, and enjoy the hot spring on the return day, to wash away the long trip fatigue and fully enjoy the high-altitude hot-spring with better physical conditions.
Xiling Snow Mountain (Serdang snow mountain), Sichuan Province
Xiling Snow Mountain, located in Dayi County, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, is only 95 kilometers away from Chengdu. It is a world natural heritage and giant panda habitat. At an altitude of 2,200-2,400 meters, it is China's largest and best-equipped large-scale alpine ski resort, a large-scale snow playground, large-scale grassland.
In winter, here is the world of ice and snow, the kingdom of fairy tales. The snow-packing period is from the beginning of December to the end of March of the following year. Xiling Snow Mountain Scenic Area has many ice and snow amusement projects such as alpine skiing, snowmobile, snow frisbee race, snow assault boat, dog sled, and other snow and ice entertainment projects.
In addition to the snow scenery and activities, the nearby hot springs at Huashuiwan is another highlight. Travelers usually choose to stay at a hot spring hotel in Huashuiwan to wrap out fatigue after visiting the Xiling Snow Mountain. Only half an hour’s drive away from Xiling Snow Mountain Scenic Area, the hot springs here have a long-standing reputation, rich in rare minerals such as sulfur, iodine, lithium, metasilicic acid, and calcium oxide, and have extremely high medical and health value.
Mount Huangshan, Anhui Province
As one of the top ten famous mountains in China and also a dual world heritage of culture and nature, Mount Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is located in Huangshan City (about 3 hours train ride from Shanghai), and famous for the hot springs and winter snow, cloud seas, strange rocks, and peculiar pines.
It's one of the few places to enjoy winter and hot springs in southern China. The snow in Mountain Huangshan in winter is very different from that in northern China, which makes it look like a frozen silence world with the beauty of vastness and is full of immortality and spirit. Winter is the low season with the fewest tourists in Huangshan, but the paradise for travelers who are seeking winter snow and rime, ice hanging, and the sea of the clouds.
With a history of thousands of years, the hot spring in Huangshan is also very famous. Generally, travelers will soak into the hot springs to relieve the fatigue of hiking after they complete their tiring Huangshan trip. The hot springs are only 3 kilometers away from Huangshan Mountain's gate.