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Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 24th 2017

We have all seen these images for the last 30 years on our national and international news each first week of the year. I guess actually few people have any idea where Harbin is on the map. So here it is, we give you the Ice and Snow International Festival of Harbin. This is actually only the second blog on travelblog.com to feature any image of this exceptional experience. Imagine, the first year of the Festival was back only in 1985! Harbin is closer from Vladivostok than Beijing. The northern city of more than 5 millions souls is only 500 kilometers from the bother of Russia or even North Korea...but you'll need to do over 1000km to reach Beijing! The window to visit the Ice and Snow Festival is a pretty tight one too, with a ... read more
Snow Festival
Trust me, it's cold out here...
St Sofia

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 18th 2017

January and February in Harbin, China, are the pretty chilly. A city in the North-Easternmost part of the country, gets the cold winds from the Siberian winter. Originally a place 'for drying nets' (the literal translation of it's name), Harbin has capitalised on it's cold, cold winters... with an International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival! Because, what do people want to do when it's minus 30 out? That's right, walk around ice sculptures of buildings and wonders of the world. The original Ice Lantern Show and garden party was interrupted by the Cultural revolution, but in 1985 the festival resumed in Zhaolin Park. Sculptors come from around the world to participate, and Guinness world records have been made and broken, including the largest snow sculpture that was 250m long, 8.5m high and used over 13,000 cubic ... read more
Colosseum
Hadrian's Wall
Pyramids of Giza

Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 7th 2015

When we moved to China we had a list of things we wanted to do or see........Harbin was at the top of our list!! During the winter season they have lots of great ice sculptures and many different winter sports to see and do!! Lots of fun was waiting for us!!! And we were not disappointed at all!! We only went for a long weekend trip so we crammed as much in as possible. We flew out on Friday 2nd January (My Birthday!!! I planned this trip well!!) We got a late flight and arrived at our hotel at 11pm. We saw a couple of ice sculptures at the airport and we were looking forward to seeing lots more in the morning. Our hotel was really nice but just outside of the main town. On Saturday ... read more
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Asia » China » Heilongjiang » Harbin January 7th 2015

Fun on the ice and snow!!!!! And fun at the aquarium!!!!... read more
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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.
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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

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




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