Virtual Ice And Snow On Offer At Shanghai Expo
( 2010-06-07 )

Offering relief from the hot urban summer, a magical ice and snow world at the Expo's Heilongjiang pavilion brings the legendary winters of the northeast far south to Shanghai.

Themed "Ice and Snow Make Us Extraordinary", the Heilongjiang pavilion was crafted with crystal resin into the shape of an ice sculpture.

"We expect visitors to have a good chance to experience the dream-like ice region," said Sun Yao, vice-governor of Heilongjiang. "The Expo's theme is 'Better City, Better Life', so we really hope that visitors will get a taste of how great life is in a world of ice and snow."

Heilongjiang, the northernmost province in China, is famed for its breathtaking scenery, winter sports and the annual Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival that attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. Winter temperatures can fall to as low as minus 50 C.

Once in the pavilion, visitors will be first welcomed by 47 famous Heilongjiang people from aerospace, sports, culture and the arts fields, giving greeting speeches on a wall-like multimedia screen.

As well, "visitors can have a better understanding of Heilongjiang's history and its reality of today, especially our flourishing economy, through panoramic 3D movies", Sun said.

Like other old industrial centers in the northeast, Heilongjiang is in the process of restructuring its economy.

Planners have set their sights on six emerging industries - new energy, new materials, energy conservation and environmental protection, biotech, information and modern equipment manufacturing.

The local government is also promoting overseas trade through cooperation with Russia, Europe, the United States, Japan and emerging markets in the Middle East, Latin America, western Asia, Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

Art gallery

After the screening room in the Heilongjiang pavilion, visitors can next enjoy an art gallery featuring paintings by famous Heilongjiang artists such as Lu Yushun and Yu Zhixue, as well as other works like bark paintings, fish skin painting and embroidery.

Visitors can also see a replica of the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Seated Copper Dragon, an important relic from Heilongjiang's early civilization.

The pavilion replicates the beauty of winter in Heilongjiang using multimedia video and sound. With lifelike white birch on both sides of the corridor, visitors will find themselves walking on the snow-covered ground, leaving a string of footprints - complete with a crunching sound - that are soon covered by new snowfall.

"We have also prepared some interesting interactive games, such as curling and skiing. Visitors will be able to experience the exhilaration of Heilongjiang's winter sports," Sun said.

"In addition to our tourist attractions and ice culture, folk performances will showcase Heilongjiang's ecology, environment and local people's lives," Sun said.

When leaving the pavilion, visitors receive a gift from organizers, post cards with 100 well-known tourist attractions in Heilongjiang stamped with the seal of its pavilion. Visitors can send them to their friends or relatives as souvenirs, Sun said.

'Place worth visiting'

Chen Yingmei, a visitor from Guangdong, found the pavilion "wonderful".

"I have never been to the province, but I really think it's a place worth visiting."

"In addition to its attractive winter tourism, we also see its people live and work in peace and contentment," she said.

Sun said the Heilongjiang pavilion also prepares Xigema dumplings, a local favorite, which visitors can try at Chinese Delicious Food Street in the Expo park.

Heilongjiang Week will kick off on June 8 and includes a variety of performances every day.

The week also showcases the intangible cultural heritage of Heilongjiang. In the afternoon of June 8, a forum will be held to highlight ecology, green agriculture, winter tours and the border economy.

Virtual ice and snow on offer at Shanghai Expo

Virtual ice and snow on offer at Shanghai Expo

Virtual ice and snow on offer at Shanghai Expo

(source: China Daily)

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