Back in January, Tony, Melissa and I visited Harbin, a city in northern China that is famous for its ice and snow festival. It's been on my list for a couple of years to go, but we just kept saying, "someday." When we found out we'd have a free place to stay this year (thanks, Carol!), we booked our flights almost immediately!
You probably can't read that, but it says 'Reception Plan for Mr. Tony and Guests.' Fancy.
We ended up being treated like royals (thanks, Alfred and Carol!). We were picked up at the airport, given a personalized schedule, and had a great host all weekend (thanks, Jason!).
In the morning, we had a tour of the school we were staying at and we were impressed. They have awesome facilities including a virtual golf course (I think that's what it's called?) and a pool room!
The afternoon was spent exploring Central Street and visiting Sophia Church.
Central Street had a lot of shops, food, and fun ice sculptures that made for dorky photo opportunities ;)
Apparently the Modern ice cream is a famous Harbin treat since 1906 and our new friend, Jason, insisted we try it.
I was skeptical about eating ice cream when it was so cold outside (have I mentioned I was wearing leggings and jeans?), but the ice cream was actually warmer than the weather! Now that's saying something!
Candied fruit on a stick, one of my favourite street foods! (Also known as bingtanghulu.)
Apparently "spicy Coke" is a thing here? We thought it was more just hot Coke, not so spicy.
From Central Street, we walked to Sophia Church.
The details inside—especially the ceiling—were gorgeous!
The river! By this point, my legs were frozen—kind of hurting, kind of numb.
We went back to the school to warm up for about an hour, went to a restaurant to eat dinner, and then went out for the main attraction: Ice and Snow World! (I put on another pair of leggings.)
It was a whole world made of ice and snow! My photos do not do it justice.
The structures were huge! Literally breathtaking.
Things got a little slippery for T ;)
My eyes froze shut a couple times, NBD.
It was so cold, our phones shut down!
The next day, we went to Sun Island, a park filled with giant snow sculptures!
It was really cool to see them using shovels and picks to create their masterpieces.
Most of the sculptures were huge!
Ha! T didn't believe they were really made from snow!
Visiting Harbin was such a fun weekend trip! Even though this was just a few weeks after my "heart episode" in Bali, I had such a good time! If you're in China, you should definitely go next year!