Harbin – A Freezing Cold Winter Wonderland

25th Dec 2018.

-18 degrees.

Harbin, Northern China.

Here we are, celebrating a very white Christmas in our winter wonderland.

Looking down from the plane, everything was covered with heavy snow.

We landed on Christmas Day, when our amazing journey started.

Best Memory #1: Harbin Ice & Snow World

How cold can it really be? I had experienced -28 degrees in Alaska after all…

Until we walked into the park for less than 2 minutes and I found my glasses froze up immediately.

We said to ourselves, let’s run to our first stop of the day, the iced sliders to avoid the queue but we ended up waiting in the line for an hour under 18 degrees and couldn’t feel our toes…

But it was super fun, despite our faces being completely frozen after the ride!

We then ran in the nearest KFC for our lives, not looking for food but the heater, till our body temperature recovered and we went out again to take our Christmas photos, without our beanies!

Asking strangers to take photos for us was such a huge favour simply because they had to take off their gloves and got their hands frozen within seconds… yet we made it, a good photo for the gram?

Standing in the cold looking so relaxed was an impressive skill for sure…

We stayed in and out of the shops throughout the day to survive from the cold, until 4pm when the sun went down and the lighting festival came around.

When it was photo time again!

The night finished with an amazing Russian dancing show that was also included in the tickets.

Best Memory #2: Snow Sculpture Art Fair in Sun Island

We have seen so many wonderful photos of this sculpture festival before the trip and it was amazing to finally stand in front of one of the sculptures.

This temple was completely built from scratch, not a real temple covered by snow if you’re wondering!

Outside of the park, a huge snow man was also under construction.

Accompanied by a bunch of small snowmen and a big kid πŸ˜‰

Best Memory #3: The Frozen Songhua River

Every winter, this huge Songhua river freezes and you can see people walking, running, ice skating on the frozen river just like me. It was a super fun (yet a bit scary) experience!

Best Memory #4: The Most Delicious Northern Chinese Food

Madier Ice Cream

We had some ice cream when the outside temperature was -18 but we were not crazy because it was just so delicious! Madier is a local ice cream brand in Harbin which was created in 1906. The original milk flavour was the best!

Harbin Red Soup

A Chinese version of Borscht, also known as Luosong Soup which is typically made of tomato, potato, cabbage, beef, carrot and onion.

Sweet & Sour Pork

A very famous dish of Harbin which is deep fried pork cullet with sweet & sour sauce. A must try.

Smoked Meat

We went into an authentic local restaurant called Maomao which was specialised in smoked meat with onion and barbecue sauce.

Best Memory #5: Our First Girls’ Trip

Probably the best highlight – it was my first trip with my ‘sister’ Louisa and we had such a good time together, from suffering from the cold together to watching a Chinese drama in the hotel with Harbin beer / takeaway food to escape from the freezing temperature outside πŸ™‚

It was amazing to finally tick Harbin off my travel destination list after 3 years!

Have you been to Harbin? If so, have any of these triggered your memory and what was your story?

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Lydia C. Lee says:

    Just lovely. It’s such an art! I’d love to go…

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    1. missjanicez says:

      Thanks Lydia, Harbin is definitely worth visiting!

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  2. Your photos are stunning, but that is as close as I ever want to come. I would love it for 5 seconds and then the cold would get to me and I would wonder why I came. Part of the problem would be that as an Australian I wouldn’t come even close to having appropriate clothing for such extreme cold.

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    1. missjanicez says:

      Thank you Lyn!! We were the same actually, landed there and then we were like, why did we come? But it was a life time experience for sure! πŸ™‚

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  3. missjanicez says:

    Awww thanks little sister for reminding me of our other good memories, great additions to the blog! How can I forgot about our cheap plastic seats and you being a responsible mum for our hot food! 🀣 Loads of heart warming and vivid moments during our cold trip as you said. Thank you and your family for being awesome hosts for Qingdao! It was the warmest Christmas I’ve spent in my life despite the snow ⛄️

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  4. Louisa says:

    Hehe good write up, took me straight down memory lane!
    My best memory on the same moments :
    #1: Trying to take the smaller slide down together (and capturing it on video) but getting stuck because we didnt buy the cheap plastic seats πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    #2: Spontaneously finding another exit out of Sun Island, aka taking a cable car over the worlds largest frozen river 😍
    #3: Seeing signs saying we’re not allowed to walk on Songhua river but being a rebel and walking on it anyways βœŒπŸΌπŸ’β€β™€οΈ
    #4: That icecream was amazing! But also struggles hiding our hot food in my jacket and racing from restaurant to hotel so we could eat and watch drama at the same time πŸ˜… #priorities
    #5: Even though I absolutely froze my face and toes off, thanks for the warm memories 😁 (and for being translator, ε€šθ°’πŸ™πŸ˜… )
    Until next time ✌🏼

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