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“Strange little polar theme park” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Harbin Polarland

Harbin Polarland
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$295.00*
and up
Private Day Tour: Winter Highlights of Harbin including Manchurian-Han Style...
Ranked #8 of 207 things to do in Harbin
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Harbin Polarland is the first polar amusement park in the world. It’s one of the four major scenic spots in Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival. It is a national AAAA level scenic spots with unique themed entertainment in China. "Polar Whale Performers" perfectly shows the most famous polar animal stars with seven themed performances at a world level. It has an unique polar beluga subaqueous show and the top two female animal trainers in China. They both create a world-touching legend ——The Heart Of Ocean! The little Antarctic penguin Mumble who was the first born in inland city all over the world is a happy angel. He is also Harbin tourism mascot. The Chinese funniest polar bear brothers Tangji and Hede,Russian walrus Eno and Eva,magic star sea lion Billy and his super star team, will present a fantastic polar performance for you.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Tianjin
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Strange little polar theme park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

I went to this place knowing I would come away with mixed feelings. Typically Chinese theme parks and businesses like this offer kitsch and commercial melodrama - the 'polar aquarium' can be seen as all of this yet it is a strange experience in itself that may be of interest to some. Every available space has been aestheticised on on an arctic theme, one wanders through twisting corridors surrounded by theatrical polar settings - the inside of a ship, an arctic research station, an aeroplane and a submarine. The whole thing is tacky but weirdly entertaining - after all somebody had to think all this up and after a while you begin to deconstruct it. At it's best it's quirky; who would not want to feed koi fish some bottled liquid that looks like milk tea (I resisted the impulse to lift it to my own lips), or feed fur seals fish? For many Chinese people it must be the closest they ever get to animalia like this.

It's also as close as one should ever wish to be to a polar bear. Standing perhaps three metres high and at the same time magnificent and monstrous two of these creatures live what can only be described as very unfortunate lives in a cramped glazed room perhaps ten meters long. Here they swim back and forth and actually appear quite stressed, and one is left feeling glad of the opportunity to see them at such close quarters yet filled with sadness by their confinement. They must absolutely be the last things to encounter in the wild.

Then there are shows with beluga whales being kissed, blowing air rings underwater - how did they get them to learn that trick? - propelling their human handlers around the pool and much more besides. Further along a seal attraction features an overweight walrus trained to do stomach crunches and spray the audience with water, and a glossy black seal balancing a ball on it's nose and catching rings. You sense an affectionate bond between the trainers and all these mammals which, while all clearly motivated by food, show considerable intelligence. All this added to an appreciation of them I didn't have before I saw this. But as observed by other reviewers tanks for the whales and the seals are much too small and the confinement a bit brutal.

After this the requisite small hall of stuffed toys and cafes and that's pretty much it. Was it worth the money? For me, yes, and I'd certainly recommend a visit as qualified entertainment with some insights embedded it it. Children should especially enjoy it, but the strong feeling that all of these creatures would be infinitely more pleased away in the wild is never far from mind. The connection between performing mammals and their trainer/handlers seemed very close and that was nice.

Not far from downtown Haerbin across the river cab fares to and from should cost too much.

Visited April 2014
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2 Thank thefishes2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Novosibirsk, Russia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Sou many cute animals and fishes”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2014

It is must see in Harbin. You fill find not only different kinds of fish but also same polar animals like wolf, fox, and of course polar bears

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank winter2800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
152 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“Nice show but the aquarium's way too small”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2014

It was nice here with the penguins, polar bears, arctic fox and all, and they have walrus circus show and beluga kissing show as their highlight, but I think the aquarium is way too small. The polar bears can't do anything but swim around the small tank, as well as the beluga. If it could be expanded, that would be more appropriate to the animals.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Abraham S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greater Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
537 reviews
306 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 977 helpful votes
“Mistreated animals.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

A real tourist trap. The attendants pack as many spectators into each show as physically possible, without any regard for the number of seats actually available.

The animals themselves are kept in much-too-small enclosures, with barely enough room inside to move around.

Helpful?
1 Thank Andrew_Alin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Enjoyable but Sad as Well”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2014

The exhibitions here are quite well presented and the shows very entertaining, even without a word of English, (The walrus actually understood more Chinese than we did). BUT the polar bears are stressedin a small enclosure, the seals are in a small pool, and the two Beluga whales in a tank seemed restless as well. I hope that this attraction can expand and give these animals a more natural environment.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Merstynq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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