Home China Guide Harbin Attractions Sun Island, Harbin — Snow Sculptures and Fine Parkland

Sun Island, Harbin — Snow Sculptures and Fine Parkland

the sun island. International snow sculpture art exhibitionSnow sculpture on Sun Island

Sun Island Scenic Area is the second biggest venue of the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. It also has a zoo for Siberian Tigers. It has become Harbin's main parkland / recreation area and is used all year long.

The island is in the Songhua River and is about 3,800 hectares (14 square miles) in size. It is connected to smaller islands. It is best known as the snow sculpture display and competition area of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, but there are other highlights on the island all year around.

Winter Highlights — Snow Sculptures and Cold Cats

snow sculpture art exhibitionOne of Sun Island's smaller snow sculptures

In the winter, the island is the venue for many square miles of giant snow sculptures. It is the snow sculpture display venue of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival competition. These 3-D images are gigantic. In 2007, one measuring 250 meters in length became the world record holder for the biggest snow sculpture.

The snow sculptures are made from compacted snow so that they can preserve their form and bear weight. They are quite intricate and award winning. Unlike the better known ice sculptures, these are not lit up at night and are best seen in sunlight. Most visitors can't see all of them because the scale of the display is simply too big for an average person to visit on foot on one visit.

Siberian Tiger Park: Winter is also the time to see scores of Siberian tigers in their favorite element. Along with the Siberian Tigers, there are also Bengal tigers, lions, and other species of cat.

Spring – Fall Highlights — Frozen Sculptures and Green Parkland

In the rest of the year, the main highlight is a giant refrigerated Ice Lantern Exhibition Hall. It is more than an acre in size, and preserves ice sculptures all year through. Most foreign tourists think it is the main attraction.

But many bikers, joggers, and sightseers like exploring the green treed parkland, ponds, and water courses. There is a Russian Village theme area, Squirrel Island with many species of animals to see, an artificial waterfall, and groves of trees. Bike riding around the area is a popular summer recreation,

Travel Essentials for Sun Island

During the 32nd Annual Ice and Snow Festival

  • Dates: December 21 to February, 2016
  • Open: 8:30 am to 7 pm
  • Tickets: RMB 240 per adult regular ticket; RMB 260 for combo ticket including admission and tour bus; RMB 530 for combo ticket including seeing Russian performances.
  • How to get there: Bus 88, 85, and 80 go to Sun Island Station. Then you can take a cable car there.
  • Weather forecast: January Harbin Weather and Forecast

Other Ice and Snow Festival Venues

ice and snow worldThe ice sculpture city is about 1½ miles from Sun Island

The Harbin Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is best known for giant ice sculptures that are lit up with various lighting technologies. 

  • That most popular ice sculpture venue is Ice and Snow World.
  • Zhaolin Park in Harbin features smaller intricately carved ice lanterns that are lit up at night too.

At Non-Ice-Festival Times


  • Open: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Tickets: RMB 30 for adults for admission to the park area only.

Recommended Harbin Winter Tours

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