Hi Travel Buddies,
Happy Chinese New Year Greetings from Harbin! 🙂
Today is our third day in Harbin. This is our coldest Chinese New Year, first time experiencing sub-zero climate, currently is minus 20 degrees celcius at press time. Day time in winter at Harbin is very short, sunset around 4 plus and by five, you will see most shopping centres light up. However, we have not witnessed any snowfall so far.
So how is the Chinese New Year atmosphere in Harbin?
You bet is definitely better than Singapore, while writing this post, we are still constantly hearing firecrackers outside our hotel. Unlike Singapore when many families like to spend their reunion dinner at restaurants nowadays, the shops and restaurants in Harbin are mostly closed from noon onwards. We hear from locals that it is their tradition that everyone in the family will gather together to make dumplings at home in the eve.
Many of our friends are concerned that we may not be able to take the extreme cold weather and many shops will be closed during Chinese New Year period. We are glad that we can take the cold weather quite well with our winter gear and in fact, we have been shopping a lot since we arrived because there are simply too many shops along the streets. Winter gear are at steal prices and many shops are giving away huge discounts. Most shops are opened until noon today and they will be opened tomorrow. Yeh! 😀
So how’s our shopping results? We bought a down-feather winter jacket at 199 renminbi and a pair of snow shoes at 119 renminbi yesterday.
And how we spent our Chinese New Year’s eve at Harbin? We went shopping in the morning, wanted to go to the Harbin Ice and Snow World initially but we realised that the tourist bus 29 only operated till 2pm today and we have missed it. So we went shopping at Walmart, it seems like that is the largest shop still opened and till 8pm, we bought apples to replenish fibre, been eating too much meat so far, dumplings, beef, and fast food. 😛
We then walked to the Zhaolin Park, the place for the Ice Lantern Garden Party. We walked around the park outside and saw some beautiful ice lanterns outside but decided to give this a miss for the time being as the site seems small and we look forward to visit the more impressive Harbin Ice and Snow World tomorrow.
It seems like only fast food restaurants are opened 24 hours and we spent our dinner at KFC. We are happy to find that the meal served at KFC is very delicious and very different from KFC in Singapore.
We shall pen off now as we just received a call from reception to go out to join them for the dumpling feast in the midst of the non-stop firecrackers lighting outside. 😀