Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Harbin Adventure

A few weeks ago, Cara and I joined a winter camp/tour with a couple of our other friends in Harbin (哈尔滨), China. And I must was one of the most amazing experiences evaaa!!!!

For about 10 days, we stayed in the wintry place in the province of Heilongjiang (黑龙江), layering ourselves with jackets, gloves, hats, thermals, and the like, amidst the -22º C temperature and the slippery, icy ground. 

Joining our fellow Philippine tour group with about 40 people, from the ages of 14-22, in this winter camp, we had Chinese language classes, wushu (武术)or Chinese martial arts lessons. Some people chose to take Chinese dance lessons rather than wushu. Also, we learned a Chinese song called 青春舞曲, and doodled in some calligraphy works as well! 

One of my favorite parts of the tour was the actual touring itself! From exploring a boat museum to skiing without the 
sticks, we gained so many new and exciting experiences! Even though we had limited time to shop in the malls, we
were still able to fill our shopping bags with numerous articles of clothing, shoes, foods and snacks, and small gifts and 
souvenirs for our families and friends back home. I can't forget the time when we visited the Siberian Tiger Park, the 
trip was absolutely memorable. I mean the fact that you only had a one meter distance between you and the tiger, which
was only separated by the barred doors of a van isn't something you experience every day right? 

One of the most famous attractions in Harbin China is the ice and snow sculptures! Ahhh, an absolute beauty! I must give 
a hand to all of those talented sculptors who worked their butts off in the creation of these majestic wonders. Not a lot of
people have the ability of doing that. Although we weren't able to visit the highly popularized land of Ice and Snow 
World in Harbin, which contains the most renowned ice sculptures in the world (it wasn't open yet when we ventured 
throughout the land, huhuhuhu), we still had the chance to tour around other sculptures as well. And I must admit,
after our butts quickly went downhill on the long icy slide, the landing wasn't so comfortable!! But anyway, it was still
super fuuunnnnnn!!

Let's take a look at some of the pictures! 
A view from the hotel

A colorful ice sculpture!

Photo by Kendrick Cobankiat

A European-like shopping building

Our calligraphy class!
Our Philippine tour group!! Credits to the camera dude Mars!

This is one of the Siberian tigers I was talking about
Photo by Kendrick Cobankiat
This was one of the first snow sculptures that we saw!
Photo by Kendrick

But honestly, the reason why I enjoyed all of those activities was the fact that I was able to make new
friends and spend time with them all. I super duper love being with the whole tour group because they make every moment
so special even in simplest ways. They're like my family already. <3

Sadly, the tour only lasted for like, 12 days, which was of course too short to explore Harbin more and go shopping!
(Actually, now that I think of it, I probably wouldn't have enough money to go on a shopping spree there. Oh well!)
But even though the trip wasn't long, Cara and I were still able to make the best out of the stay! Not a single day 

I hope to be able to bring my whole family there one day, and hopefully be able to renew all of those memories that were
created from this trip! Cheers to Harbin!


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