Arctic adventures in the city of ice
Harbin Polar Aquarium, located in the architecturally-noted Northeastern Chinese city of the same name, is one of the largest attractions of its kind anywhere in the world, offering a magical trip to the crystal ice snow of the polar regions all year long.
Harbin is so cold it is already known as the “ice city,” and home to a famous ice sculpture contest each winter. Opened in 2005 by the Dalian Sun Asia group, the city’s Polar Aquarium comprises more than 10 themed areas, displaying a total of more than 10,000 polar and marine animals from over 600 species.
In Arctic Village, for example, families can observe China’s biggest polar bear, named Kaka, at close range, or watch the big beluga whale at all angles through a huge viewing window. They can also take pictures with the energetic Arctic wolves.
At Penguin Island, tourists will encounter the first group of Antarctic penguins born in mainland China, or see the sealions, walrus and seals inside Sealion Kingdom.
In the Xing’an Mountain Range, a giant thunder storm awakes guests, who can then take things at a more leisurely pace on the Sun Island cruiser as they head towards the show huts in “Lapland” where Eskimos interact with explorers.
Described as a “polar carnival,” Harbin Polar Aquarium has been received enthusiastically by its half a million annual guests. Here’s what one visitor had to say when completing an exit survey: “The tour is fantastic, everyone will have a lot of fun, whether young or old. The mystery of the Polar Regions and the ocean is what attracted us, and we’ve learnt a lot about marine culture and polar civilisation.”