With my job as an English Teacher I’ve had rather little time to travel, which kind of acts to defeat one of the main points of coming to China. I came here to experience Chinese life and to travel.
Things to do in Harbin
Harbin is by far most famous for the Ice Festival. Tourists are extremely scarce the rest of the year, some hostels shut down or convert into other businesses during the summer months and I’ve never met a foreign tourist in Harbin outside the peak Ice Festival Season. I think it’s quite sad as there are some interesting things to do in Harbin besides its ultra awesome Ice Festival.
Harbin Food is really great and there is a good variety of food, from dishes that go with rice, to hotpot, to Chuar; the Dongbei region is well known for its food. I encourage everyone to try as much of the local food as possible. If you are just visiting – when is the next time you are going to be in Harbin? If you are staying as an expat for the long haul – make the most of it.
Daqing is usually completely missed by travellers to Heilongjiang province. That should be reason enough to visit in my book. I don’t think it is even mentioned in Lonely Planet, which seems to get everywhere and list everything.
I only really knew about it because when I did my TESOL course in Harbin, some people had previously gotten teaching jobs in Daqing after finishing the course.
It is only a couple of hours from Harbin and is totally worth the trip.
How to visit Harbin’s Police Station…
It should have been simple. I had the Airport shuttle, line number and Bus stop written down. And I did get on the right bus at the airport. I just completely missed the bus stop. It’s even more ridiculous as the bus stop names were said out loud over the intercom. It’s just that the actual pronunciation and what I imagined the pronunciation to be – were completely different.
With negative 20 and 30 degree Celsius temperatures you’d be forgiven for doing a double take when hearing that winter is Harbin’s peak tourist season. You’d be right to do so. -30 is cold. The Harbin Ice Festival runs officially from January 5th until February 5th but is really open until warm weather melts it (usually the end of February or early to mid March). But you can see it before it opens too (although some of the sculptures may not be finished).
Things to see at the Harbin Ice Festival