|A night market near our hotel.|
|Walking street right outside our hotel.|
While researching the city I noticed that people mentioned that it was cold and to pack many layers. We had thick coats, lots of thick socks, gloves, mittens, scarves, blankets, hats and thermal underwear. But it was not enough! I will admit that it was a colder than normal weekend everywhere in China. It was -25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit). It was hard for me to enjoy most of the activities that we did because of the cold.
Ok enough with the whining about how very cold it was. While we were there we visited a Siberian tiger park. This was an interesting visit. It wasn't like visiting a zoo in the USA, but it also wasn't what I was expecting. We were crammed into a non heated bus with bars on the windows. Then we were driven around the park to look at the animals. Most of the animals were able to roam free, there were a few at the end that were in smaller enclosure/cages. There wasn't anyone guiding the drive through the park, just a drive from one gated area to the next with a stop so we could take pictures. Towards the end there were some tigers that were eating chickens. After exiting the bus there was a barred pathway that we could go on. On this section of the park you could pay to feed the tigers live chickens. I have heard that there are options to feed them larger animals as well, but I didn't see this.
All of the brightly colored ice buildings were neat to see, but we ended up only staying in Snow and Ice World for about thirty minutes. It was just too cold for the kids and us really. We had to wait in a very long line for the bus back to the city. Baby O cried, I cried, it was terrible!
Unfortunately we didn't have the best experience in Harbin. But I think we were unlucky to visit when it was very cold throughout China. I hope that this wont dissuade anyone from visiting. I just recommend packing what you think you'll need and then pack a few more items to keep you warm, just in case :)