Heilongjiang is the north-easternmost province of China and has a long border with Russia. The Russian city of Vladivostok lies very close. The climate is indeed ‘Siberian’.
And in the countryside more than one village claims the title of ‘snow town’, or similar. To the east of Harbin are forestry areas, necessarily idle in winter due to … snow.
The temperature in Harbin, the provincial capital, stays below zero for more than three months of the year, with night-time temperatures as low as -30°C. So the river freezes, providing a supply of large blocks of ice that are ready for human creativity.
There are winter sports, though the business is in an early stage of development.
Accommodation: Harbin has a good range, and the key snow centres have comfortable and well heated hotels. It is also possible to stay in homes in the villages. Again, enquire in Harbin.
Recommendation: Have plenty of warm clothes, for temperatures below -20°C. Skiing is possible in some places.
A brief (very brief!) inspection revealed that the outdoor facilities had been used at some point since everything quickly froze when exposed to the air.
You wouldn’t want to go out there in a snowstorm at -30°C.
Self-reliance in harsh conditions …
… and too harsh for some, who leave old homes empty .