Harbin – It’s cold….

After another great night and fantastic meal, my friend and I woke up with mild, but not-too-severe, hangovers. Our high-speed train was scheduled to leave the Beijing train station at 3:15pm. I’m sure you can all guess what happened… Yes, after lazily sitting around the apartment, we were frantically rushing to the train station at 2:45pm in a futile attempt catch the train before departure. We failed…

However, instead of giving up completely, we decided to make the most of the situation (Insert – Beijing Duck). Unfortunately for making the best of the situation even better, the next train was leaving at 9:00pm… for an 11hr journey… with only standing seats… Suffices to say, that wasn’t going to happen. So, we decided to catch the soonest flight in the morning (6:00am departure). So, after a quite night at home, we awoke with about 3hrs of sleep between the two of us to catch our flight to Harbin!

Harbin Journey Round 2!

IMG-20160127-WA0004

Harbin is cold! When you arrive in the airport, you think, “Hmmm it’s not as cold as I had imagined.” You’re wrong! The frigid Siberian temperature just hasn’t yet crept into your bones…

So, after an hour cab ride into the city, we arrived at our hotel, unloaded our bags, and immediately set out for a Harbin adventure!

A very important idiom in Chinese is 入鄉隨俗 – basically, meaning: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Whenever I arrive in a new city, I always look for the small, dirty restaurant at which all of the locals are dining. We found it immediately, and it was packed!

30min wait for this tiny little restaurant. In addition, one of the most popular dishes contained the strongest 麻辣 pepper I had ever tasted in my entire life. Great food, and great atmosphere!

IMG-20160117-WA0010

After eating, we went back out onto the main street to find a cab to take us to the Ice Festival. After speaking the driver for a few minutes, he immediately suggested that we use the services of a local tourism company. One thing I have become weary of in Asia is taking the advice of strangers… sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t… Fortunately for us, it worked out magically this time! We only had to stop at a single tourist souvenir trap shop! Although I was tempted, I only drink FRESH fermented mare’s milk! I have standards….

Catch my next post! I am going to photo dump so many pictures of the ice festival, you will be sick! Also, I will describe my unforgettable night in Harbin (PG – version for our younger viewers).