Saturday, November 25, 2017

Harbin: Winter Snow Sculpture Exhibition in Heilongjiang province, China


Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang province in the northeastern region of People's Republic of China. Since Heilongjiang province is situated in the northern of China and near the border with Russia with the extreme cold winters, compared to other Chinese cities. The local government of Heilongjiang province promotes Harbin city as the most beautiful Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival during the winter, between December to February yearly.

Tourists from local and abroad travel to Harbin during the peak season of Winter season to visit and experience extremely cold weather at Ice and Snow Sculpture Exhibitions. Both of Ice and Snow Sculpture Art Exhibitions are located nearby to each other, on an island, which is separated by a huge lake from Harbin downtown. It takes about 10-15 minutes by cab from Harbin downtown to these exhibitions. Ice Sculpture Exhibition and Snow Sculpture Exhibition are located at two different places but they are near to each other. Ice Sculpture Exhibition opens until at night while Snow Sculpture Art Exhibition opens in the daytime. As such, we head to Snow Sculpture Art Exhibition first before going to Ice Sculpture Exhibition.

There is an entrance ticket fee for Ice and Snow Sculpture Exhibitions respectively. It is very expensive considering, these exhibitions are held for 3 months only. Do expect the entrance fee costs between RMB200 to RMB300 per person for each exhibition. It is very cold in Harbin. We never experience the coldest winter in our lives which can drop to -30 C. Even though we wear many layers of clothing including thick skiing gloves, we still feel numb and freezing after staying outdoor for sometime. That's the torture feel of freezing in Harbin.

Traveling within cities in China has become more convenient and easier for foreigners who aren't able to read and understand Chinese. Ctrip is a one-stop website where you can book from travel package, air tickets, train tickets to hotels at anywhere in China. This is the official website of Ctrip:  http://english.ctrip.com/

Traveling by domestic flight is very expensive in China. We want to get some local experience by traveling and sleeping on the train from Beijing to Harbin. It takes more than 10 hours train ride thus, we decide to book soft sleeper bedding in a private room for a comfortable ride. It is smooth, comfortable and clean rides throughout our journey. Shower is prohibited on the train but the water supply is sufficient for us to brush our teeth and go to bathroom business. Hot water vending machine is available to make hot drink and noodle soup in the cup.

Traveling and sleeping in the train from Beijing to Harbin overnight
Traveling and sleeping in the train from Beijing to Harbin overnight. It is comfortable and clean train ride throughout more than 10 hours journey
At the entrance of Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
At the entrance of Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Celebrating Chinese New Year festival with fireworks and dragon dance at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Celebrating Chinese New Year festival with fireworks and dragon dance at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Fairytale Castle in Snow Sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Fairytale Castle in Snow Sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China



Visitors enjoy walking, playing with their top spins and cycling on the frozen lake at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Visitors enjoy walking, playing with their top spins and cycling on the frozen lake at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

Castle wall in ice sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Castle wall in ice sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

Enjoying the slide on ice sculpture in very cold winter at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Enjoying the slide on ice sculpture in very cold winter at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

Sliding activity on the ice sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Sliding activity on the ice sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

I love this romance snow sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
I love this romance snow sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

Some Snow Sculpture designs display at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in China
Some Snow Sculpture designs display at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in China

Giant ship and Palace in Ice Sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China
Giant ship and Palace in Ice Sculpture at Harbin Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Heilongjiang province, China

Heading back to Harbin downtown and overlooking at the frozen lake at Harbin in Heilongjiang province, China
Heading back to Harbin downtown and overlooking at the frozen lake at Harbin in Heilongjiang province, China

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gallipoli: Anzac Cove Beach Cemetery, Turkey


This is the final stop at Gallipoli before leaving Turkey from the capital city of Istanbul in Turkey. At the beginning, we didn't know why Australia and New Zealand celebrate Anzac Day with dawn service memorial on April 25th yearly. To understand this historical Anzac Day, our tour guide takes us to Anzac Cove Beach Cemetery at Gallipoli, Turkey.

On 25th April 1915, a force of allied soldiers from the United Kingdom, France, India, Canada, Australian and New Zealand were supposed to storm the flat terrain of Brighton Beach which would lead them into the inland. Their ultimate goal was to capture Gallipoli Peninsular in order to open the Black Sea to Allied Navies.

However, due to poor communication, the troops ended up landing on the wrong beach North of Brighton. The terrain was very steep and became a huge disadvantage to the opponent which was Turkish troops. It became the death place for thousands of allied troops and the war lasted for 8 months only.

The word of Anzac Cove was agreed by Turkish Government as the official name in 1985.

To me, it is very touching moments when I read a beautiful speech by the first Turkish President, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to the first visitors to Gallipoli from Australia and New Zealand in 1934:


 “Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives!
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. 
There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”


This strong message brings our strong unity ties between our former enemies without feeling anger and hatred. We learn from the mistakes.

Do you feel the same?


Memorial at Anzac Cove with touching message from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934 at Gallipoli, Turkey
Memorial at Anzac Cove with touching message from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934 at Gallipoli, Turkey

Lists of the names of Anzac troops who fought and died at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey
Lists of the names of Anzac troops who fought and died at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey
Anzac and Suvla cementaries are located along the coast road of the Eceabat and Bigali road at Gallipoli, Turkey
Anzac and Suvla cementaries are located along the coast road of the Eceabat and Bigali road at Gallipoli, Turkey

Anzac cementaries along Coast road of Gallipoli in Turkey
Anzac cementaries along Coast road of Gallipoli in Turkey
The Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial at Gallipoli, Turkey
The Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial at Gallipoli, Turkey

Feeling brotherhood ties where Turkish troop saved an injuired Anzac troop can be seen at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey
Feeling brotherhood ties where Turkish troop saved an injuired Anzac troop can be seen at Anzac Cove in Gallipoli, Turkey

Monday, September 18, 2017

Canakkale: Troy (Truva) ancient city in Turkey


This is a must to stop over at Canakkale to visit Troy (Truva) wooden horse and the ruins of an ancient city nearby which proved that there had been nine separate periods of settlement (3000 BC - 400 AD).

Troy at side view at Canakkale, Turkey
Troy at side view at Canakkale, Turkey
Front view Troy at Canakkale, Turkey
Front view Troy at Canakkale, Turkey
Inside Troy wooden house at Canakkale, Turkey
Inside Troy wooden house at Canakkale, Turkey
Heading to The East Wall of the ancient city at Canakkale, Turkey
Heading to The East Wall of the ancient city at Canakkale, Turkey
The ramp still remains intact at the ancient city near Troy wooden house in Canakkale, Turkey
The ramp still remains intact at the ancient city near Troy wooden house in Canakkale, Turkey
The remaining of the ancient city near Troy wooden horse statue in Canakkale, Turkey
The remaining of the ancient city near Troy wooden horse statue in Canakkale, Turkey
The ruins of the ancient city nearby Troy wooden horse statue in Canakkale, Turkey
The ruins of the ancient city nearby Troy wooden horse statue in Canakkale, Turkey