Tucked away in north east China, the city of Harbin uses it’s freezing arctic weather to create a winter wonderland like no other.

After hauling giant blocks from the river, teams compete to carve them into the largest and most intricate ice sculptures in the world. Some are even interactive, such as ice horses and an ice maze.

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If this doesn’t sound fantastic enough, when darkness falls and the lights go on, everything is bathed in a medley of vibrant colours, making for some seriously scenic snow.

Starting annually from the 5th of January, the Harbin Ice Festival lasts for one month and draws over 800,000 visitors from all over the world. Featuring countless themed areas there is something for everyone, including trying your hand at almost any ice related activity you can think of, sledging, hockey, skating, even ice swimming for the brave. Though with lows of -20 degrees up here, be sure to wrap up very warm.

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: IvanWalsh.com

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: IvanWalsh.com

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Rincewind42

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Tracy Hunter

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Tracy Hunter

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Tracy Hunter

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: La Priz

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Rincewind42

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Rincewind42

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: La Priz

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: La Priz

Harbin ice festival

Flickr: Rincewind42