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Thread: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

  1. #1

    Default China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Hi,

    Winter holidays in Northern China can be quite exciting.
    There are a variety of things to see and experience.
    Harbin is a city you should not miss. While it is freezing, but Harbin host many year end events like the Ice World, Snow Sculpture and others...

    The right time to visit winter Harbin is end of Dec. Too early, the Song Hua River has not frozen deep enough for them to extract the ice to build the gigantic ice replica structures. Ice world is only visited at night because of the brilliance and colurful lighting of the ice blocks. Best time is January.

    You get to see Russian tourists as well. But they are not sight seer but more like going to Harbin to shop. Many shops. I find the winter gear pretty good. The inner warm clothing are make for their weather so is more effective to keep you warm.

    I sharing so that for those going there can get some ideas what to expect.


    A young female photographer braving the freezing snow...


    One of the ICE structure in the Ice World Exhibition


    Snow sculpture in Taiyang Dao


    Frozen rivers everywhere...


    Frozen Song Hua River turns into a park...

  2. #2

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Some more places...

    Chongyang’s pedestrian mall for shopping. Building architecture mostly Russian style


    If you thirsty can go for a cold beer in the ICE bar. Drink fast or it will turn to ice


    If you run short of money, no problem. Just take a dip in this pool and they reward you with RMB 200. Need more money ... dip in a few more times


    If you miss Ice Cream, no worry. They sell high quality ice cream even when snowing. Only problem is that it is rock hard.


    Sophie Church...

  3. #3

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    So, erm, did you do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by enginecadet View Post
    If you run short of money, no problem. Just take a dip in this pool and they reward you with RMB 200. Need more money ... dip in a few more times


  4. #4

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    If not wrong, the Ice world exhibition (ice sculpture) will only start 2nd or 3rd of Jan every year right?

  5. #5

    Talking Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Ice Sculpture Exhibition usually starts on 5 Jan. I will be there this year and will include places like 雪乡,松花江,长白山,牡丹江.

  6. #6
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    OMG! I have the same brand of camera bag as her!!! (in pic #1) http://www.mywiner.com/

    Nice pics BTW! I enjoyed your ChangBaiShan ones as well!

  7. #7

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by Shen siung View Post
    If not wrong, the Ice world exhibition (ice sculpture) will only start 2nd or 3rd of Jan every year right?
    Quote Originally Posted by albertsim View Post
    Ice Sculpture Exhibition usually starts on 5 Jan. I will be there this year and will include places like 雪乡,松花江,长白山,牡丹江.
    Yes you are right. Officially always open in early January.
    That is why I also mentioned best time is in Jan.

    But Spore families has problem as holidays end on 31st Dec.
    Not to cause worry for those already book their holidays I say end Dec.

    The Exhibition still open for visit near the end of Dec except they not not get all the exhibits completed.

    Regards,

  8. #8

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    OMG! I have the same brand of camera bag as her!!! (in pic #1) http://www.mywiner.com/

    Nice pics BTW! I enjoyed your ChangBaiShan ones as well!
    Thanks bro.

    How you find this brand?

    Are you now in Spore or in Shanghai?

    regards,

  9. #9

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by nuts View Post
    So, erm, did you do this?
    Ah..

    After leaving the place I was thinking to myself that I should have tried it to see how it feel.

    Wonder if we from the hot climate can withstand the coldness of the water. I afraid of muscle cramp. Wonder what is the secret preparation.

    I tried showering in near zero water and got my body burn red when I ran out of the shower into a room of 24 deg air temp. I felt like I was on burning.

    Regards,

  10. #10

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    going early Dec.. via Shanghai.

    preparing to get my a** frozen off..

    should be trying the cold water..then my B***s will be frozen too..

    what was ur itinerary like if u don't mind sharing.. TIA

  11. #11

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by clioboy View Post
    going early Dec.. via Shanghai.

    preparing to get my a** frozen off..

    should be trying the cold water..then my B***s will be frozen too..

    what was ur itinerary like if u don't mind sharing.. TIA
    Hey bro, I'm going there in early dec also. If you want, we can meet up there and get around abit? Or can share hotel room to cut cost. = )

  12. #12

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by clioboy View Post
    going early Dec.. via Shanghai.

    preparing to get my a** frozen off..

    should be trying the cold water..then my B***s will be frozen too..

    what was ur itinerary like if u don't mind sharing.. TIA
    Sorry, whose itinerary are you asking?

    Anyway my visit breakdown for Harbin would be:

    1 night to see the ICE Sculpture exhibition

    1/2 day to go Taiyang Dao then 1/2 for Songhua river and winter swimming pool.

    1/2 day to Sophie Church and photo shoot of gf/wife (if you bringing her )around square next to church. 1/2 days shopping/walk around in Chongyang. Nite time, go drinking.. or massage my tired leg (or body).

    So 2 full days and two nights. However, need to factor in time loss due to arrival / departure timing.

    There is a temple to visit if you like temple and sking if you like but some 3hr away from Harbin.

    BTW sundown by 4.30 pm so not much of daylight.

    Hope you have nice time there.

    Regards,

  13. #13
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by enginecadet View Post
    Thanks bro.

    How you find this brand?

    Are you now in Spore or in Shanghai?

    regards,
    The brand is quite good. Some of the padding is a little softer than Lowepro but I still find them acceptable. Some models are knockoffs of famous brands we know. But the price is the key. It is dirt cheap.

    This is the one that I own http://www.mywiner.com/proshow.asp?id=107. Bought it in Shanghai in early 2005. It can hold a body with medium sized lens straight down. With my D90 with tamron 17-50 hooded put in straight down, I still get around 3 cm of clearance at the bottom. On top of that it can fit another 3 lenses, a flash gun, and tons of other stuff. This bag have so much room.

    And guess what. It cost me 31 SGD buying it at a departmental store at HK gateway in Xujiahui. So cheap, i was giggling all the way to the cashier. Can probably get it cheaper in HuangLong or XingGuang.

    I travel between SHA and SG. I am in SG now and have been here most of this year.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th November 2009 at 06:32 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Wow only S$31. You got it at a good bargain.
    Since they have a web site, brand must be quite reputable.
    Thank for directing to their web site.

    Will check this brand out next time I go to Shanghai.
    Padding not thick is Ok cause I bought few bags which are so rugged but it weighs like a brick.
    It feel oK empty but after packing up it is a different story.
    After walking a half day with it, the whole bag weighs like the SBO.

    Oh, a light bag is most welcome. Camera gear weight is also a dread to me.

    Regards,

  15. #15

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Hi enginecadet...

    Care to share a bit on how's the daylight hours & camera performance (as in will it freeze / fog up easily) & batt life?
    ~ 迷失的我仍在努力寻找属于自己的蓝天 ~

  16. #16

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by limkopi View Post
    Hi enginecadet...

    Care to share a bit on how's the daylight hours & camera performance (as in will it freeze / fog up easily) & batt life?
    Daylight kind of short in Dec and January in the northern China.

    In the morning, at 7 am you get some light but not that bright. Starting to become dark quickly at 4.30 pm. In the northern part sometime quite sunny although it is winter, unlike Shanghai which usually is gloomy in winter.

    Yes, temperature in Dec is quite low, below minus 10 deg . Toward 2nd half of Dec easily can go up to minus 18 deg or lower.

    Camera should able to perform. I use Nikon. To be safe carry two batteries and charge them full every night. There is one time my camera top LCD flashes continuously when I was out too long in something like minus 25 deg. However it still operate.

    The problem I encounter is actually taking photo itself.
    Firstly, it is so cold that the fingers are not responding well (very stiff).
    Adding to it that you need to wear thick glove, it make the hand rather clumsy and difficulty in pressing the shutter. So I took it off to press the shutter.
    Just few minutes in minus 20 deg the finger begin to hurt and become really painful.
    Move a lot and faster can improve blood circulation and helps the fingers.

    Another small problem is the frosting of the LCD screen by my breath when I look through the VF.

    A more serious and irritating problem is condensation from change of atmosphere/temperature when your move from outdoor to indoor.
    Change lens outdoor may aggravate the problem. A zoom lens is more practical.

    There are advices on how to prevent condensation. Well, easier said than done.
    Especially imagine you are walking on the street and suddenly stroll into a shop or shopping centre or you enter a building of interest with your camera hanging from your neck. In northern territory most interiors are well heated and pretty warm.

    Taking photo in the very cold Winter is interesting, challenging and exciting.
    Hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

    Regards,

  17. #17
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    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    planning a trip there in the 2nd half of dec.

    how much did you pay for food, accomodation and airfare anyway?
    1 Camera Body and a couple lenses.

  18. #18

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by LukaviZ View Post
    planning a trip there in the 2nd half of dec.

    how much did you pay for food, accomodation and airfare anyway?
    You can fly to Shanghai overnight and connect to Harbin.
    I think it is the quickest route.
    Normal fare RMB 1760 + 50 (now).
    Schedule flight : 0820 hr, 0910 hr . . . from Pudong.
    Flight time 2.5 hr

    Or via Beijing – many flights.
    Normal fare RMB 1010 + 50 (now).
    Schedule flight : 7.40 hr, 755 hr..
    Flight time 1.5 hr.

    If you book few days in advance there is a fare discount. Above all one way.
    If, last minutes change flight time you will pay according to the fare at that time you change.
    You need to top up the difference. So plan your schedule with certainty to save some airfare $.

    Discount will also depend on the season, whether peak or not.

    Hotel room ranges from 250 to 400 ( reasonable room twin sharing, within city area).

    KFC and Mac are cheaper than Spore. Rest food also cheaper, depend what you order.
    Beer is definitely much cheaper and colder.


    BTW, further to my earlier post, I wear two gloves in very cold weather.
    An inner thinner fabric one and the outer is the puffy water proof type.
    I will remove the outer one when I am pressing the shutter.

    It may be wise to carry a compact camera in your bag in case the main camera develops some problems. Also better bring a fairly good compact if you going to very cold weather.

  19. #19

    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    I have a question, for the Ice Festival, entry fee is RMB200/pax, right?
    If one were to spend a whole day inside, do they provide warm shelters or indoor rest areas to escape from the cold?

    Thanks.

  20. #20
    Senior Member SK1968's Avatar
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    Default Re: China winter - Harbin in Heilongjiang

    Quote Originally Posted by astroboy View Post
    I have a question, for the Ice Festival, entry fee is RMB200/pax, right?
    If one were to spend a whole day inside, do they provide warm shelters or indoor rest areas to escape from the cold?

    Thanks.
    There is a cafe (heated of course) in the ice exhibition. Actually, since the exhibition is nice only when viewed after sunset when the lights are turned on, you are really looking at probably 1.5-2 or maybe 3 hrs there, and not a whole day. However, since it is freezing hell cold there, the cafe is definite a good shelter

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