Harbin 2013Beijing, Spring 2013
Harbin was in one word, amazing! The train ride was very comfortable, it was an overnight train (12 hours) straight from Beijing to Harbin. We had soft sleepers which means you're in a compartment with four people total, and you each have your bed with blankets etc. Once we got to Harbin, it was really really cold, but because the sights were so amazing this didn't matter as much. The highest temperature during the day was -13 Celsius, and the lowest temperature at night was -30 Celsius, so hand and toe warmers became my new best friends. The city of Harbin was a very clean and well maintained city (especially by Chinese standards). During the day we walked through the Chinese Baroque district, which had really cool architecture. After that we walked over the frozen river, all the way along the road until we got to the 'Flooding Monument', and the main shopping street of Harbin. There were several parks with ice sculptures that we wanted to visit, but most are better to go to at night, and most were also quite expensive. After a lot of walking, and seeing all there was in the area, we had a good lunch. Interestingly, they didn't have any rice, which is almost unheard of in China. But because we were so far up north, people ate noodles instead of rice, since rice was much harder to grow. At night came the main attraction. The Harbin Ice and Snow Amusement World. This was one of the coolest places I've ever been, and also one of the nicest things I've ever seen. It was just so grand in scale, and well done that it was simply mesmerizing. Even pictures can't really do it justice, but here it goes!
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