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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Location Feature, huashan, china, 华山, hiking,

Climbing Huashan (华山), China’s Most Heart-stopping Hike

For more photos from the hike to the top, explore the 华山 Mount Huashan location page and browse the #huashan and #华山 hashtags.

In China’s Shaanxi province, 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Xi’an, the peaks of Mount Hua, or Huashan (华山), pierce the clouds, tempting adventurers to explore their heights.

The westernmost of China’s legendary Five Great Mountains, Huashan has stood as a destination for Daoist and Buddhist pilgramage for centuries—though the inaccessability of its peaks attracts only the most dedicated of pilgrims.

The southern peak reaches the highest altitude at 2,155 meters (7,070 feet), igniting the imaginations of thrill-seeking travellers. Home to an ancient monastery that in recent years has been converted into a tea house, the trail to the peak is one of the most dangerous in the world. Those brave enough to make the climb face steep and winding staircases carved into the cliffs and Huashan’s notorious plank road: a series of wooden planks affixed to the mountain’s face with no rails or barracades between hikers and the abyss below.

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artthursday, China, Hong Kong,

Reopening an Abandoned Glass Factory for the Shenzhen Biennale

To view more photos and videos from the Shenzhen Biennale, browse the #ShenzhenBiennale hashtag or visit the Value Factory location page.

This week’s Art Thursday takes us to a port city in southern China and a hill of shipping containers. The fifth Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (深港城市\建筑双城双年展) opened last month with simultaneous shows in the cities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen. For the Shenzhen show in Guangdong province, the event has transformed abandoned factories into exhibitions with spiraling staircases and viewing platforms.

One of the exhibition venues at the biennale is the Value Factory—a giant, derelict glass factory with 43,000 square meters of floor area. Until 2009, the space was the production hall for the Guangdong Float Glass company, but it is now an open exhibition space producing ideas and inspiration with an elevated walkway and glowing handrails. The rest of the factory is home to exhibition spaces for the next three months with shows from cultural institutions across the globe including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum (@vamuseum) and New York’s Museum of Modern Art (@themuseumofmodernart).

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Location Feature, current events, Harbin, China, 哈尔滨国际冰雪节,

Exploring Harbin, China’s Spectacular Ice Sculpture Festival (哈尔滨国际冰雪节)

To view more photos and videos of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival as it unfolds over the next month, visit the 冰雪大世界 | Ice & Snow World and 太阳岛 | Sun Island location pages.

Each winter, thousands flock to frigid Northeast China for the spectacular Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival (哈尔滨国际冰雪节).

The festival officially began on January 5 and lasts for one month, but construction on the massive snow and ice sculptures started months ago. The structures—which range in form from animals to full-scale buildings—are just as impressive after dark as they are during the day thanks to colorful lighting embedded within the ice.

Festival spectators face temperatures as low as -35º Celsius (-31º Fahrenheit), but people from around world can explore the striking sculptures through photos and videos shared to Instagram.

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forbidden city, china, Location Feature, photo feature,

Photos: 故宫 Forbidden City, Beijing

Want to see more? For more photos from the Forbidden City, visit the 天安门广场 Tian’anmen Square and 故宫 Forbidden City location pages.

In the middle of Beijing, China, sits the Forbidden City (故宫), which served as the home of emperors and the political center of the Chinese government for nearly 500 years.

The imperial palace took just 14 years to build, but it is massive. Its 980 buildings cover 720,000 square meters (7,800,000 square feet). In 1987, the Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site, and contains the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. If you make it to Beijing, be sure to stop by for a tour, and don’t forget to add photos to your Instagram Photo Map!