Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Harbin - A Winter Wonderland

Without a doubt, one of the most romantic times of the year is Christmas, couple that with a romantic place to visit and you could have one of the most memorable times of your life. The place I would urge you all to visit at Christmas is China and you will not be disappointed. China has a lot to offer. For couples seeking a romantic getaway, there's plenty to see so expect an action packed holiday seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world.

My favourite place to go in China for a romantic getaway is Harbin; it is a city in Northeast China. The weather in Harbin can be cold around Christmas time; the average winter temperature is -16c. Don't let that put you off; the weather enables the city to hold the world’s famous International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. The festival officially starts a little after Christmas on January 5th however if you can't stay that long after Christmas you can see most of the sculptures before the start date. Ice sculptures are scattered all over the city and they give you a reason to explore parts of the city you wouldn't normally visit. The main snow sculptures can be seen at Sun Island and next door is Ice and Snow World which comes to life at night with fantastic light shows bringing the ice sculptures to life. The festival in Harbin is in the top four ice and snow festivals in the world, it is a real draw for people and attracts numerous people to the area that wouldn't normally be frequented.

The hidden twist to Harbin is its connection to Russian culture. Harbin was once a Russian city and still has a big Russian influence running through. Harbin sausages are something to try; they have a similar taste to Russian sausages, nothing like their Chinese counterparts. The bread produced in Harbin is also influenced by the Russians and a trip to a nice local bakery is certainly worth it. Harbin has its own airport and a fantastic railway system making it a very easy city to explore using public transport. If you like something a little different then you can take advantage of the many passenger boats running through the city's river system.

A trip to Harbin will be the perfect way to end the year and celebrate Christmas in style with a loved one. Don’t forget to use your card to pay your trip to Harbin. If you paid by the credit card you could be earning Asia Miles and many other rewards. The city is full of great places to see and I'm sure this city will give you great memories and a holiday you will never forget.



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