Blogs from Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, Asia

Advertisement

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin April 3rd 2014

Feeling hot this summer? I hope this cools you down! Chinese New Year is never a good time to take a holiday in China. Millions of people want to go home to celebrate the festival with their family and millions of others go traveling because this is pretty much the only time in the year when everyone gets a whole week off… As a result, it’s really hard to get bus tickets at the date you want; trains are overcrowded, hotels are either fully booked or unreasonably expensive, and every single place of interest in China is overrun by tourists… TIC! =This Is China! So we should have known what to expect when Becky and I amazingly secured 2 train tickets to the northern city of Harbin… On top of facing freezing temperatures (around -30 C.) ... read more
an overview of Ice World
First time in Harbin for Becky
a magical place

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin February 28th 2014

Harbin! Welcome to a city of blue skies, stackable dolls, and borsch. Oh, and a huge world made from ice and snow - we can’t forget that! Our trip to Harbin was so wonderful. It was great to get away from Xi’an for a little while and enjoy somewhat-smogless air and forks. Yay forks! It makes so much more sense to twirl the noodles with your fork rather than use the shovel-with-a-stick method, but that isn’t what I am here to talk about. I will divide our trip into locations to make it a bit easier to follow. Tigers! Our first big destination was to the famed Siberian Tiger Park! Apparently there are 1,400 tigers there, but only 400 were on display at the time… pick and choose the facts you believe. I choose to believe ... read more
Big, Big Elephants
Rawr.
P1030529

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin February 1st 2014

It was an early start this morning as I had a lot planned. I was up by half seven, showered and dressed, I headed downstairs to see if the hostel did breakfast. I was in luck, they did. I ordered one of the sets. It was canny nice, coffee, toast, jam, and a ham omelette. I must of been hungry, I even ate the jam! There seems to be a restaurant area, but it was filled with people sleeping, so I sat more in the main reception area, which has a few tables and chairs. I went outside to check how cold it is. The hostel is always nice and warm, so when you go down to the reception area in a few layers, you end up sweating. I finalised my plans for the day at ... read more
Siberian Tiger Park
Siberian Tiger Park
Siberian Tiger Park

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 31st 2014

I was going to get up really early, but I had a bit of a lie-in as I still had an evil headache. I took some painkillers and headed for a shower. Not the greatest water pressure in the world. Must remember to try a different shower tomorrow. It took me ages to get ready because I had to keep going to the bathroom to use the mirror and there was no space to store stuff, so I had to keep going back and forth my different toiletries. It's hard being a girl at times. I went down to reception and inquired about the ice festivals. I booked a tour for that night to the main night time festival (I was still knackered and dazed so didn't know what I'd booked and had to go back ... read more
St Sophia Cathedral
St Sophia Cathedral
St Sophia Cathedral

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 30th 2014

Well Incheon airport was deserted this morning compared to when we left to fly to Japan back in September for our Chuseok holiday. I had left the house early as I was using public transport instead of the airport bus, as it is a lot cheaper, but takes a bit longer. I was amazed when I rocked up to the airport around 9:30 and it was empty. It only took me twenty minutes to check-in, change my currency, go through security and passport control. Winning! Also because I was flying Asiana I was leaving from the main part of the terminal and didn't have to take the annoying shuttle train. Since I had a tonne of time and I was starving, I headed to Starbucks for some breakfast. I got an ice coffee, yes, despite it ... read more
Zhongyang Dajie
Zhongyang Dajie
Zhongyang Dajie

Advertisement

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 25th 2013

Our longest train journey yet started from Irkutsk on the weekly train to Beijing via Harbin. The train was one of the newer ones and this time we had a cabin all to ourselves for two days or so. Settling in we realised there was little to do except check out the scenery or read. I decided to catch up on sleep and let Dave get his fill of scenery. When I woke, Dave let me know that there had been plenty of trees and then as the sun rose we were given a lovely view over lake Baikal which the train followed around the southern end, As I had slept for a couple of hours we were nearing the last sight of the lake. From here the train turned east to skirt Mongolia before headings ... read more
Ulan Ude train station
Playing with some gummi animals
The Chinese border town of Manzhouli

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 16th 2013

After 36 hours in the train, we arrived in Harbin at 4.30 am. And it was cold. Really, really cold. -37 degrees plus wind. Thats nice. Maybe Thailand would have been the better option. Anyway, we are here and it is going to be awesome. Hopefully. The first task was, to find a taxidriver who is willing to use the taximeter. It took almost 20 minutes and gave us a first impression about what such a temperature really feels like. After we arrived at the hostel at around 6am (of course the room is not ready at this time), and a 1 hour nap on the couch, we are brave enough to go outside and find some breakfast. The cheapest way to go from A to B is apperently the bus, so we took it most ... read more
feeding time
-31°C
chinese Rock'n'Rolla

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin » My house March 1st 2012

A common denominator of Japan and China is leadership that denies shameful moments in history. Japanese leaders Ishihara and Nagoya remind me of two museums I visited on my trip to Harbin in 2009. The Germ Warfare Museum and the Harbin Jewish Museum offer two separate accounts of the Second World War within the same city. Harbin, China's Ice Festival town bordering Siberia once had a thriving Jewish Community. In 1937 the Japanese Army set up a prison camp for experimental torture similar to Joseph Mengele's work in Auschwitz. All the while it appears that Harbin's Jewish hybrid looked the other way. Was there any mutual support? What are the lessons learned? Last week Tokyo's Governor url=http:/... read more
Germ Warfare Musem, Harbin

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin February 26th 2012

A much delayed blog: Less than 6 days after I got back from a 5 week long excursion to Vietnam and Philippines with the (relatively) warm balmy weather I was off again, this time to the opposite temperature extreme: Harbin (or Haer'bin) to see the Ice Festival. The train was booked so I headed down to the train station. No english spoken or written anywhere so I was left to my own wits to figure out where to go. The first problem was that my ticket was all Chinese and I couldn't even tell any of the information aside from date and time (numbers). The second problem was that everything in the train station was also in Chinese. Not even sure what I was looking for I tried to match anything on the ticket to any ... read more
DSC03009
DSC03010
DSC03011

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin February 6th 2012

A breaking time of my trip to recover my health from malaria, my plan was crossing Himalaya from Nepal to Tibet, but my health condition didn't allow me to do that route, the weather was getting colder in north hemisphere, so I came to south of China to be with family in Chinese new year, and waiting for a warmer weather to restart my journey, because I will go to Pakistan from Xinjiang, and the temperature in Xinjiang will be positive only in March. To get Pakistan visa was another big problem, I tried to apply in Nepal, but the Pakistan embassy staff said the visa will take more than month, maybe 1, 2 or 3 months. When I was in south of China, I called to Pakistan embassy in Hong Kong, they only give the ... read more
Ice slide
Snowing
Russian restaurant




Tot: 0.343s; Tpl: 0.01s; cc: 8; qc: 86; dbt: 0.1236s; 86; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 5; ; mem: 6.5mb