The snow sculpture exhibition at Sun Island Park was the first Ice and Snow Festival component we visited upon arriving in Harbin. By itself it's beautiful by most standards - although if you visited towards the tail-end of the festival like we did, many of the snow sculptures had started to melt, were less spectacular than before and probably not worth the incredibly hefty admission fee (¥200) we paid to enter the park.
When we got to the Ice and Snow World that same evening, it became very clear almost immediately that the snow sculpture exhibition has nothing at all on the famed ice show, which is absolutely breathtaking, especially at sunset. The ice show actually features some snow sculptures as well so it is not like you're missing out on a lot if you skip the snow exhibition.
To quote our Harbin born-and-raised driver, the ice show (go at sunset) is what everyone comes to Harbin for. The Sun Island snow sculpture exhibition and the Zhaolin Park Ice Lantern show are just additional money-generators for the local government and not at all worth the pricey admission. We have to concur.
But if you have to visit the snow sculpture exhibition as well, there are actually an astonishing number of snow sculptures in the park. Although, after an hour of wandering around the park, what seemed like very interesting and photogenic snow sculptures at first started to all look the same. We also got tired of walking on slush and gray ice rather than the white snow we encountered in the Snow World. We hightailed out of the park in no time.
Tip: Wear disposable heat packs in your shoes as your feet will get very cold walking on ice and snow all day.
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