Category: Heilongjiang

Jan 19 2010

Harbin to Changchun, China

Many people from Northeastern China, especially Harbin has an ill feelings against Japan. An hour from Harbin, there is a Japanese germ warfare base built during 1939 named 731 where Japanese army commited gruesome experiment on Chinese, Koreans and prisonars of war in some very cruel ways during the war. United Nation classified those war crimes as crimes against humanities.

Got to the train station at 9.40am and then bought the 11.45am train ticket to ChangChun (K704 train, 41 Yuan). Woke up a little later this morning cause spent some time updating the blog yesterday night and slept late. Thought I can get to Changchun with a fast train but instead this train will take 3 hours.

Big crowd waiting to get on the train

K704 is to QingDao, passing by Changchun

Changchun is the capital of Jilin province. It has a population of around 4 millions and was the capital of Manchukuo, the puppet state of Japan during the 1930s. Manchuko was led by the last emperor of China, PuYi which was installed by the Japanese. But behind the scene, the real power lies with Japan. Changchun has a big automotive industry and produce almost 20% of the automobiles and 50% of passenger cars in China.

Got to ChangChun train station at 3.30pm.

Stored my bags for 18 Yuan at the train station. I was planning to rush to the provincial museum but I don’t think I can make it so took bus 80 towards the south west direction for sightseeing on the bus.

It’s wet and rainy today.

Tram 54, my first tram ride in China.

The sky gets dark around 4.30pm here.
Got to Changchun Film Studio, ??????? but it’s already close.

Took bus 264 to WenHuaGuangChang. This square offers a glimpse into Changchun’s Japanese imperial past. The square is surrounded by several historical buildings from the Manchukuo era.

Took bus 264 to WeiHuangGong, Puppet Imperial Palace where the last Emperor of China, PuYi lived.
Map Layout

The palace was close by the time I got there, I just had to blame myself for not taking an earlier train.

I was debating if I should stay overnight in Changchun and decided to take another train to Shenyang instead because of time constraint.

My half day trip in Changchun

View Changchun in a larger map

Changchun looked relatively older and the street is slightly dirtier as well, taking after taking into account of the rainy day.

Restaurants selling dog meat. Dog meat is popular in Changchun, one reason is also because it’s also close to Korea.

Got a 8.26pm train ticket, train 2220 to Shenyang. (24 Yuan~USD$3.5, 4 hours). The train ticket is so cheap because the ticket is classified as wuzhuo, meaning without seat. Sometimes going to places just few hours away, it’s still easy to get a seat on the train even though the ticket is zhanpiao (standing ticket). However, A fast train will only take 2.5 hours, 90 Yuan.

Dinner at a food court in the train station, this is sort of my first meal for the day. (36 Yuan~USD$5.5).

It’s slightly expensive according to Chinese standards. I paid only 8 Yuan in Harbin for a similar dish. Most of the time, things at the station are always more pricey.

Train was delayed

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Jan 18 2010

Harbin day 3, China

Another church on TongJiang road

Old district of Harbin (DaoWai area)

On the left are some old buildings and on the right are buildings there are renovated.

Frozen farm chicken

ErRenZhuan Theater. Harbin is famous for its ErRenZhuan show, sort of a Chinese stand up comedy with a thick DongBei accent.

Liu Yang brought us to a local DongBei restaurant. On the left is the typical Chicken Mushroom dish, the middle one is called SaZhuCai, meaning Killing Pig Dish. It has a funny name because the pork is fresh and the pig was killed the same day.

Liu Yang treated us for lunch and DongBei people are quite hospitable in treating their guest.

Walked to SongHuaJiang from DaQiaoGuangChang. The river is all frozen. There is even a car race held on the river.

Dog Sled

Sophia Cathedral

View on ZhongYangDaJie

HotPot buffett for dinner (25 Yuan~USD4)

Went to USA bar at night with some friends. On the wall of the bar, it’s all plastered with photos of the owner himself. It’s kind of a unique and creative theme, an individual obsessed with himself.

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Jan 17 2010

Harbin day 2, China

Jewish Synagogue

Russian built bridge

There were ice sculptures everywhere on the street in Harbin

Lunch at a food court (8 Yuan~USD$1.2)

Memorial of Russian troops helping the Chinese communist party defeating Kuomintang.

HeiLongJiang Provincial Museum. The museum here is so so, not that great compared to the other provincial museums I visited so far.

Dinosaur exhibits

Took bus 14 to DaQiaoGuangChang and then switched to bus 88 to get to BinXueShiJie to see the world famous Ice Festival.

Main entrance. The ticket to the Ice Festival cost 200 Yuan and 90 Yuan for those with student cards. I got a student card in Beijing so was managed to get the student discount. (90 Yuan~USD$12).

Ice Sculptures…

This clip is slightly longer

Sculpture of ruins of ancient Greece

Roman’s Colosseum

Chess Set

Harbin Beer

Snow Sculpture

Stage

The entrance ticket included an hour of skiing

Got back to the city by bus 88. China has a growing automotive industry and just surpassed US this year as the biggest producer of vehicles. Story.
A Chinese made car

Went back to the Youth Hostel to see if I can get a spot tonight but it’s still full. Met XiaoCao at the hostel, she has a local friend and he brought us all for dinner and drove us around the city at night.

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Jan 16 2010

Harbin, China

On the train

Passing by countryside

Got to Harbin train station at 3pm after 16 hours on the train.

Harbin is a city of around 4-5 millions people. The city is famous for its cold and dry winter and for its Ice Festival. Harbin was originally a small city populated by Russian engineers during the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway in 1900. During the Russian civil war, many Russian refugees migrated to the city and was also populated by 20,000 Jews who fled the Nazi.

Just in front of the train station, there are some huge ice sculptures.

Took bus 13 to TongJiangJie. I read that there is a Youth Hostel there. However, the hostel is full so I decided to check back later.

Just a street away, is ZhongYangJie, a shopping street.

More colorful at night.

Took bus 64 to Harbin Institute of Technology to meet a friend. The university is famous for its engineering faculty.

Ate some NorthEast Chinese cuisine for dinner
Big Bone

Liu Kai treated us for dinner. After dinner group picture

Back to the train station

Some aunties trying to climb over the fence

Took bus 13 back to the hostel but there wasn’t any spot and found another cheap hotel around that area for 20 Yuan~USD$3. Yes, it’s 3 dollars!

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