Blogs from Heilongjiang, China, Asia - page 7

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Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin October 24th 2008

We took a fast train from Beijing to Harbin (about 7 hours). The fast trains travel at 214 Kph top speed (fyi). Harbin was our first stop outside Beijing and it was a little intimidating at first. The train station is across from the Long Distance Bus Station and a large square contains countless taxis, two city bus stops an underground mall and hawkers everywhere selling everything from nuts, to shoe-shines, or guiding you to seedy hotels. It is a lot more chaotic a little dirty and at least as noisy as Beijing. The air in Harbin is also pretty thick and unpleasant. Apparently the northeast of China is a heavy industrial area as we were about to find out. It's not all bad however, we eventually found our hotel after doing a full circle and ... read more
Harbin
Harbin
Harbin

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin May 20th 2008

Note: this was written over many several disjointed days so I apologize for any disjointed thoughts and events… Since I haven’t written in a few days, I have forgotten most things I did last week. Looking at my last post though, that is probably best as it removes the majority of rambling that no one really wants to read anyway. Tina arrived at SaiBei Farm on Friday afternoon thankfully as Levi left me alone to fend for myself (I thought I had rid myself of his existence - unfortunately, as I would later find out, that would not be the case). I am not really sure where he went or for how long he was going to be gone. This appears to be the way most Chinese conduct themselves. Coming & going as they please seems ... read more

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin May 19th 2008

There are 10 Ligers in the world. An animal of unnatural breeding... The result of a copulation between an African Male lion and a female tiger... Mythical creatures, one might think upon hearing their name. However, while on an excurision to the local Yabuli Dongbe Tiger Rehabilitation/ Preservation Park in the middle of nowhere... after feeding a live chicken to some hunger-ravenged tigers, 5 of my mandarin speaking older male Chinese colleagues and I were privileged to meet one of these rare fairytale creatures. A spotted head and a striped back... a science experiment gone right... and this particular case, imported all the way from Korea. Apparently it is impossible to breed a 2nd generation of liger, but this one seemed happy as it licked and ripped the slab of raw chicken meat off the bamboo ... read more

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin May 11th 2008

This is the second of two blogs featuring my visit to Haerbin/Harbin in Heilongjiang Province in the NE of China. As previously stated, the main attraction for me to venture into these frozen realms during the coldest Chinese winter in 50 years, was to experience the Haerbin/Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, a series of gala events involving ice and snow carving art. The Ice and Snow Festival came into being in January of 1985. Initially the main events were the Ice Lantern Festival in Zhaolin Park and surrounding streets (particularly Zhongyang Dajie and the waterfront parks) and the Snow Sculpture Fair on Sun Island (a recreational area situated on the northern banks of the Songhua River). The festival lasted for about a month or so up until around Chinese New Year/Spring Festival Holidays. In 1999, ... read more
Snow Sculpture Festival Sun Island 1
Snow Sculpture Festival, Sun Island  2
Snow and Ice World 1

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin May 4th 2008

After some wild flower picking, and a quick jaunt around the “resort” grounds on a brand spankin new red pimp daddy of a mountain bike (owned by the Sun Mountain’s director, Mr. Yue Gong), I am ready to tell you all about Yabuli Moutai and drinking from teapots, eating fresh spring frogs, the value of fish eyeballs, how to say good morning in Russian, what a multi-billionaire looks like (when surrounded by 20 models and a golden shovel), and what it feels like to take a 3 day road trip with a bunch of Chinese people. Trying to Keep Up First of all, lets get something straight. The Chinese international students you meet at SFU might seem like a bunch of no-fun bookworms with their heads buried in their studies, but these are obviously NOT the ... read more
Too Fast
Fish Head Stew
Pretty Girls

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Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin May 2nd 2008

Have you ever been somewhere sooooo cold that your eyelashes temporarily froze together? This was one of the more unusual experiences I had on a visit to Haerbin/Harbin in the North East of China this past January! Part of the joy of travelling is in setting personal challenges in order to stretch your boundaries of comfort. This is how, I, as a woman from the sub-tropics of Queensland, Australia, found myself travelling north from my temporary home in Taizhou, Jiangsu to the frozen north-east of Heilongjiang Province in what was later referred to as “the coldest winter in over 50 years”! With daily temperatures ranging between -17 and -30 degrees C, it was definitely an experience that pushed me a number of times well outside my comfort zone! I have divided my week- long visit into ... read more
Flood Control Monument
Front view St Sophia
Golden Buddha

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin April 30th 2008

The last time I ventured out of our Park Avenue apartment to see more of this vast country, I wound up a few borders away, and on a bus to Nowheresville, Philippines. With a new adventure ahead, and a semi-understanding of the unpredictability of the inner-workings of my brain, this made it very hard to pack my suitcase. (Or should I bring a duffel bag? Perhaps a backpack?) I ended up with a bag of 10% papers and pens, 20% clothes, 30% movies, and 50% Ayn Rand styled novels, and my new blue guitar - for I heard rumour that Yabuli was a town with a hole in it’s bucket, and there would be nothing to do but drink wodka wis Wrrussians all the sing-song day. After a stroll through the enormously giganticly huge brand spankin ... read more
Nuts
Pretty woman
Rooster on the Horizon

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin March 10th 2008

I'm going to preface this story with: So, my friends and I are sitting around on a Wednesday night discussing the following weekend (not the upcoming weekend, the one after that). We had planned on going to Harbin, in Northern China, to travel because we did not have anything to do and do not have tests approaching after it. However, a crutch was thrown into our plan because the Major League Baseball teams (Dodgers and Padres) are going to be playing 2 games in Beijing this weekend. It is the first time that the MLB will ever be in China. What do we do? Harbin or MLB history? We could not decide, so we decided to compromise: If we could find cheap tickets and work everything out for this weekend, we go to Harbin then and ... read more
Food Stands
Russian-style Building
View of part of the Street

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin February 9th 2008

PROLOGUE I've been pining for Harbin for the past 2 years. As a Southeast Asian, the thought of seeing that much snow and experiencing "freezer-like" weather is quite...alluring! So when a friend suggested the idea of quick get-away to Harbin, I gave it some serious thought. It would cost me a lot for a weekend but then again, Harbin is one of those destinations you only need to see once (although, now, I'm thinking, I could go back). So...think, think, think. After much prodding and an enthusiastic push from my father, the genetic source of my wanderlust, I decided to go for it. I could wear everything I own just to survive the cold and money spent traveling is money well-spent! The day after I paid for my ticket and tour, it started snowing in Shanghai. ... read more
The next day...
Happy snow
Romping in the snow

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 30th 2008

On Wednesday, January 23rd, we got up and headed out to see other parts of Harbin - another sightseeing street and the temple area. First we walked down a street near our hotel to see the provincial musuem. We weren't interested in going in the museum, but it was on our way to another street with more western-style churches and then, at the far end, were the temples. We walked along the avenue and noticed another Russian Orthodox church. It appeared to be in limited use as a church, but was not open on that day. Across the street, we saw another church, some kind of Christian church, which had a white exterior. Again, I don't know that it is used much as a church, but it has been preserved and was a curiosity in this ... read more




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