25th Dec 2018.
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 😉
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.
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 🙂
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?