When we moved to Shanghai, we knew that Harbin was on our must do list. We flew up in the morning, arriving around 12 noon. Taxi to the hotel was RMB 100, drove very carefully, even offered us a cigarette when he lit up, we had to laugh! Our hotel was central and they arranged for us to get a taxi to the Ice and Snow world. This was a process! The driver followed another taxi for some reason, we then stopped somewhere to "buy tickets". Once we arrived, we walked to the entrance and had to wait for the drivers' friend with the tickets - I was not impressed. Then the friend arrived and sent HER friend off to get the tickets. You can imagine my joy at this point, more than 30 minutes in the cold since we'd arrived. Then we had an absolute bun fight getting through the crowded "cattleyard" to gain entrance. It was ridiculous. Once we finally got in, she disappeared and we were free to explore - very bizarre. By now it was pitch black and so cold. We were in several layers of clothing but they were still not enough. We took lots of photos, but didn't go on the slides due to queues and cold bums! There are lots of places to go and get a warm drink and thaw out a little. The first two we went into were so crowded you did not have to buy anything to stay in there. The third place was less crowded so they took you to a table, seated you and gave you a menu. We ordered hot drinks and sat for a while. I didn't visit the bathrooms as I'd heard they weren't great. Our total visit including the wait outside was just on 2 hours, it really is just too cold to stay any longer. We would have preferred to go in the daytime and then stay a short while after it gets dark as another reviewer has said. We paid RMB 330 on New Years Day, its RMB 300 after that. Our taxi waited for us and the whole roundtrip cost RMB 150. I wouldn't do it that way again, as there were plenty of taxis waiting for fares. I would recommend going but we thought we'd dressed appropriately and we were freezing.
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