Wusong Island is a place in the countryside among Manchu villages about 50 km outside Jilin City. It is becoming increasingly known for the most beautiful rime (雾凇) in the Jilin area. Mist from the Songhua river freezes on trees and shrubs on cold nights and forms spectacular displays of ice crystals. It's a very worthwhile excursion from Jilin City, although the place is not so easy to reach.
Locals told us the phenomenon usually occurs between December and February. Of course, even then it depends strongly on the weather. To see the rime you'll have to be there very early - between 6 and 9 am at the latest. The most comfortable way is to stay at a countryside inn in Hantun Village (韩屯村) nearby (ask for a traditional kang style bed for a special experience). Then get up at 5:30 am, have breakfast and take the ferry to the island just before sunrise. Having said that, I also found it worth sticking around a bit later. Many tourists had left after an hour or two, so I managed to shoot my favourite photos in the time between 8:30 and 9:30, just before the ice crystals started to disintegrate.
Be aware that the island is used for growing crops in the summer and only a handful of people live there. Except for a woman selling hot drinks in a shack by the ferry there are no facilities. It's essential to dress warm and to wear boots because even without wind the temperature will be some -20 degrees with high snow.
To get to Hantun Village you could drive or take a taxi. We managed to haggle our cab driver down to 150 RMB to take us there. That seems to be the going rate at the moment. If you drive there yourself be aware that the road turns into a dirt track without any roadside lamps before reaching the village. More importantly, snow and mist freeze on the road and the resulting ice is extremely dangerous. We almost had an accident - even with our experienced driver.
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