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Saturday, 16 January 2016

My Winter Vacation Part 2 - Polar Land and Sun Island

This post is a continuation from HERE.


Destination: HeiLongJiang (黑龙江), China

Duration: 23 - 30 Dec 2015 (8 days)

Mode of travel: Package with Chan Brothers Travel

Flight: Air China  (via Beijing)

Damage: S$1,878/pax, Tour Guide Tip: RMB200  Local Guide Tip: S$16, other compulsory/optional tours: RMB1,420 (slit throat + heart bleed)

Currency: RMB (we rough divide by 4.5 to convert to S$)

Time Difference:  Same as Singapore

Weather: -22 to -30°C



We managed to catch a 8am flight to Harbin.

Laugh die me when they called rebooking as "不正常" (translate to English means abnormal).
Abnormal also must check-in sia lolxx..

Beijing airport is so huge, taking the shuttle bus to board this plane took 10 minutes.

Flight from Beijing to Harbin was about 1hr 45mins.

All passengers had the same breakfast:
Plain porridge with salted veg, muffin and yogurt.  The kind of food to live on one day before pay day lolxx.... but I like it.

A little information for this place that we were landing on, Harbin (哈尔滨) is the main city, so called capital of HeiLongJiang (黑龙江) province, located at northeast of China.   Also called Ice City (冰城), for having the most bitter cold freeze and longest winter in China.  We paid to experience this God-made freezer with the world's most spectacular ice and snow sculptures together with Russian architecture left by Russian immigrants back in 1898.
Pic taken just before we land, "f" words:  FREEZE, FROST, FROZEN.

From the plane we hopped into the bus, didn't get to "know" the cold, yet.
We saw snow EVERYWHERE throughout our bus ride.

Thankful for the tour guide's early lunch arrangement at 11am, else our group of 28pax young and old would die of hunger lolxx...

We ate only dumplings, dumplings with different fillings but soon my taste buds got confused and they all tasted the same >.<

After lunch fun began at:

POLAR LAND (哈尔滨极地馆)
3 Taiyang Ave, SongBei, Harbin, China 150028

This 16,000 square meter colorful theme park had various performances and we could admire arctic animals very very closely, as closely as just a meter's distant.

5 fishes for RMB15 to feed the sea lions.
It was great fun!  The sea lions would clap and wave to catch your attention.  Pity that the photos didn't turn out too well >.<

The arctic penguins were fat and freaking cute standing height at an adult's knee cap.  Workers were cleaning the glass panel so couldn't get clear pics of these chubby cuties.

Was told the polar bears just finished their swim and feed, now was their nap time.  I had never been so close to a polar bear before.  I could see it's fur, strand by strand over it's huge body length of nearly 2 meters.  I happy until.....
Photo credit: Snap Snap
Arctic Wolf

Arctic Fox
Photo credit: Snap Snap
Stingray feeding...

The most unforgettable, most precious thing we saw were....
I nearly teared.  I must be the most fortunate bitch on earth to see these rare creatures.

Lousy pics, but they are soooooooo beautiful in real life!


Bow!  I melt.

Walrus and Sea Lion Show, where we got really entertained and rest our feet.

Photo credit: Snap Snap
Photo credit: Snap Snap

Polar Land visit ended at the souvenir shop followed by a hot drink at the food kiosk.
Another tourist attraction was just a few minutes drive away:

HeiLongJiang, Harbin, SongBei, Jingbei Street, China

No place is small in China, Sun Island covers an area of 38 sq kilometers.

However, it was ashamed that all of us seek "refuge" in this little kiosk in less than 20mins.

Now at the thought of it was really pity that we didn't explore more, but at that moment, we were completely defeated by -25°C, brrrrrr....

I was freezing wearing a normal long sleeve t-shirt and a wool shirt beneath this fleece coat, bottom was thermal pants over normal pants.  My gloves and boots were useless lolxx....
Also having some difficulties in handling the camera.  The moment I took off the gloves, my fingers just went numb and follow by pain within seconds.

Most of the snow sculptures were still under construction, nevertheless, it was interesting to see the massive men power working on amazing snow art works.  Below were the few photos which I could manage within 15mins:

We witness the tallest snow sculpture in process of building, standing 51 meters.

The completed sculpture looks like this:
photo credit: Discover China

The tour guide brought us to a winter wear shop.  Disappointed that things were expensive and not much to chose from.

Bought only goggles and a face mask which covers the nose, ears and neck.

Sky turned dark at around 4pm which weirdly made people felt hungry.

Survival Tip #1:  Bring your own spoons.  Weirdly, in HeiLongJiang, some restaurants don't provide enough spoons.

Night stay at YingJie Hot Spring Resort (英杰温泉酒店)
There were a few lady birds (fortunately not cockroaches, I think my hair dropped while taking this pic >.<) in the room.  I had to scope them up and put them in a safe corner before stepping onto them.  Will blog about the resort on the next post ^.^


  1. Hi Susan, im Cindy from Indonesia. I really enjoy your post. :D
    I have a plan to travel to Beijing and Harbin too on this December. I wonder how cold is it. How long you could stay at the outside? Im worry because i will take my mom on this trip too. I wonder if she could bear the cold.

    Anyway, great post.
    Cindy Tjahjadi

    1. Hello Cindy,
      The first day, we could only stay around 20mins outside. But day by day, our body gets use to it. Towards the last few days 1 to 2hrs out door no problem. There were many elders in our group, they adapt well and enjoyed too.