My favorite part of my first winter break trip with the boys was going to Harbin, China. Harbin is located in the far northeast of China, right below Russia. If you haven’t heard of Harbin before, all you have to know is it is ridiculously cold, it has a lot of Russian influence, and it has an annual, world-famous ice and snow festival during the winter months. Our primary reason for traveling here was to see the ice and snow sculptures. (Please excuse my language and derpiness in the video below 🙂 )
In my previous post, I said that I thought Shanghai wasn’t as good as I remember it being. Beijing, on the other hand, was much better than I remember it being three years ago. Maybe I had a better experience this time around since I never had to take a cab in Beijing (cabs are the absolute WORST in Beijing) since our hostel was conveniently located within walking distance of the subway. The pollution also wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be…we could see blue skies! We still wore our face masks most of the time though to be safe.
Returning to Shanghai after three years was definitely a weird experience. Up until the time I moved to Chongqing, I thought that Shanghai (where I had studied abroad my Sophomore year of college for a semester) was the best city in China. After returning to Shanghai for a few days on vacation, however, I realized Shanghai isn’t really a true “Chinese” city. Shanghai seemed even more western than before, which is to be expected—major cities in China are only becoming more and more western over time.
The last part of my journey with the Fisher’s involved exploring one of China’s most famous mountains—Mt. Huangshan, aka the Yellow Mountains (in Chinese, Huang=Yellow and Shan=Mountain, so it is a pretty literal translation). The mountain isn’t actually yellow though; it gets its name from the Yellow Emperor, Huang Di.
Right as the New Year began, I was off on a new traveling expedition with some family friends from the US. My friends Kaitlyn, Barb, and Nancy—who had been traveling around Northern China for about a week beforehand—met up with me in Chongqing on January 1st for a Yangtze River Cruise through the Three Gorges. (I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but there is a lot to cover.)
If you enjoy watching the embarrassment of others, then this post is definitely for you. What kind of embarrassment you may ask? You’ll have to keep reading to find out.
One of the many things I love about China is how cheap things can be. The food can be cheap, clothes can be cheap, activities can be cheap, and so on. A certain cheap activity made for a fun, inexpensive “girls day” one afternoon in Daxuecheng.