Yichun Dapingtai is situated at Yichun
Hongxing forestry bureau in Heilongjiang province, which is now a volcanic geologic park. The park covers an area of 200 square kilometers and is 160 kilometers away from Yichun’s downtown area.
Volcanic rocks, boulder fields and the surrounding eco-system all combine to form a perfect living environment for fauna and flora in the area. In the park you can see red-crowned cranes, elks and some other first- and second-class protected animals. In all there are 47 first- and second-class protected species in the park and 511 species of plants.
The landscape of Dapingtai is always changing with the seasons, while the scenery in spring and winter are the most beautiful. Spring is the best time to appreciate Azaleas in spring and winter is the great time for the admiration of the fascinating rime ice sights. Even Dapingtai is reputed to have the most beautiful rime ice in China.
Gorgeous Azaleas in spring.
A hundred million years ago, volcanic eruptions led to the formation of vast spreads of gravel. Today they are called Xing’anshihai (In Chinese it means the sea of rocks) and around the sea of rocks there is an Azalea forest, which stretches for more than 5 kilometers. The native people call the wild Azaleas in Xing’an, ‘Dazixiang’. It has deep green leaves, rose-red flowers that are easily differentiated from others. One flower never stands out alone. Instead dozens of flowers are clustered together into a ball looking from the distance as a single large flower.
In the middle of May, Azaleas blossom against a background of black basalt. The scene is so amazing that visitors may feel like they are in the Garden of Eden.
In winter, rime ice is spectacular.
Kuerbin (which means ‘fishery’ in Manchu) is possibly the best place to see rime ice in Dapingtai. From late November to early March, downstream from the Kuerbin power station, both sides of the river are dressed in silvery-white with forests of white birch stretching for 20 kilometers. The water from the power stations is so warm that the whole Kuerbin River remains unfrozen throughout winter. But when the air temperature falls below -20 degrees, the fabulous rime ice then starts to appear.
Sunrise in Dapingtai usually appears around 7:00AM, and sunrise appears at 8:00 – 9:00AM in foggy days. The best time to take photos for the rime ice is 8:00 – 9:00AM as rime ice will begin to melt and fall when the sun climbs high.
Spectecular scenery of rime ice in winter.
If you happen to go there in a fire risk season, then you have to first drop in at the fire safety office to get a license, without it you are not allowed to enter the area. The admission fee is ¥30.
There are 97 households in Dapingtai. In the village, you can find a hotel and 7 small private-owned inns. The hotel is called Chinese Rime Ice’s Hometown. The village can accommodate more than one hundred visitor at a time. It is recommend that you try the local Huokang(heated brick bed), which is a unique local bed and is very warm.