Brrrr-illiant. Just one of the words we'd use to describe the impossibly beautiful ice sculptures at Beijing's annual Longqing Gorge Ice and Snow Festival.
- When? TBC Jan and Feb 2018
- Where? Longqing Gorge, Beijing, China.
- Price: RMB 100 (approx. £11)
If your idea of an ice sculpture is a Twister from the ice cream van then you need to set your sights a little higher at this year's Ice and Snow Festival. Held in Longqing Gorge, northwest of central Beijing, this frozen spectacular is one winter festival that you won't want to miss.
Flanked by two mountain peaks, the gorge provides a magical backdrop for one of the Chinese capital's most unique artistic events. Huge blocks of ice are masterfully sculpted into an array of shapes and characters - expect dragons, celebrities, objects from nature and more. Artists work around the clock to keep their creations looking fresh and defined - there are also pageants, folk dances plus several huge firework ceremonies. If you're looking for something a bit more activity based then other options are available too, including ice-skating and ice-fishing.
With a different theme every year, the creations often centre around the Chinese zodiac. Impressive pieces take centre stage, with previous years seeing a 230ft frozen waterfall and a 130ft ice dragon centrepiece. One year even saw a human-sized maze for visitors to explore.
Illuminated by huge colourful lights, the festival - which is held between January and February every year - is one of the best ways to experience the winter months in China's capital. Instagram-worthy and popular with the locals, we'll take this over a slowly melting lolly any day. Just don't forget your thermals.
- Get there: Fly to Beijing. Take the 919 bus from Deshengmen Bus Station to Yangqing County, then the 920 bus to Longqing Gorge.
- Stay: Find accommodation in Beijing, near Deshengmen Bus Station if possible.
*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!