In northern China, a city in the middle of snowy tundra where temperatures can plummet to -40F seems an unlikely place to draw visitors. Yet Harbin has transformed its brutal climate into a place of wonder. Its Ice Festival is magnificent and it alone justifies the long journey.
Despite a frontier feel, this city of 10 million is making a name for itself with travelers. On the streets, new wealth is clearly evident with plenty of fur and designer handbags.
Of course, Harbin also offers some unique dining experiences.
At the Shangri-La Hotel Harbin, its seasonal Ice Palace Restaurant and Ice Bar is once again open to guests until February 15.
The Ice Palace Restaurant is completely constructed from ice. It has four private rooms and a large dining hall with distinctive ethnic characteristics, seating 90 people and offering wintry hotpots from RMB 238. Guests can enjoy a variety of hotpots surrounded by colorful ice lights with an inside temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius and heated legroom.
The Ice Bar, which is housed in the Ice Palace and adorned to look like a Jin Dynasty palace, can accommodate about 30 people and features alcoholic drinks.
The Ice Palace Restaurant and Ice Bar provide mini heaters and gloves to help guests keep warm.
It is certainly a dining experience like no other!
photo credit: wikipedia commons