Freezing Half to Death in Harbin
Happy New Year! I am currently writing from Taipei, Taiwan. I came here a day after spending a long weekend in freezing Harbin, China in order to see their famous Snow and Ice festival.
Since starting my MPA at Tsinghua last fall, it has been pretty difficult to keep up with the blog. There is always something to write about, whether it is writing a term paper, thesis, or applying for an internship. Creating time for the blog is now a priority, but please note that it is not a New Year Resolution!
If you ask me about Harbin, the only thing I can say is that it’s a cold place. I took a train to the frozen city. On the way, there was a nice quaint old lady looked at every piece of my clothing, from my jeans, sneakers, jacket…all the way to my socks. She scared me by telling me that they are all no good and I needed to buy new ones. After we got off the train, the first thing I saw were blocks of ice sculpted into a gateway. An amazing and scary first sight to see…
So what was interesting about Harbin…there was a huge Russian influence. Lots of Russian restaurants and of course, there were many people that spoke Russian. The architecture in itself was Russian as well.
A couple of pointers
– Bring a student ID! If you don’t have one, get a fake one made, specifically a . It’ll be worth the money. For example, the Sun Island Snow Sculpture Fair is normally RMB240, but with a student discount, it’s RMB120. The Ice and Snow World is RMB300, with a student ID, it’s RMB160.
– Bring heat pads…multiple amounts!!!
– Dress like you’re going to go skiing or snowboarding.
– Try some Russian food when you are there
– Go to the Ice Bar near Stalin Park
– Walk across the frozen river of Songhua.
– Check out the Tiger Park…It’s bizarre and it should only cost about 35-40 by taxi. Don’t make a deal with the taxi drivers, as you can get a ride back easily.
“traveling thounds of miles will be more beneficial than reading thousands of books” – Old Chinese Proverb