Sunday, September 11, 2011

Manchuria Road Trip Part 03

Modern city: Harbin in Summer
When it comes to work, the Chinese really knew how to pack it in.
We left for the Baroque development area after breakfast and was followed by a trip to the China Heavy Machinery Company.
There was an English-speaking dude there who is also quite worldly.
He lived in Dubai, UAE for some years before heading back to CHMC.
Anyways, watching how turbine props and power generators are being made aren't my stuff, but the lunch really caught my attention.
On the previous night, we had a 10-course dinner.
At CHMC, they broke all previous records!
Donkey meat

Stewed snow frogs
The Chinese live to eat.
I mean, affluent ones. When lunch was served, everyone gawked at the sight of a plate filled with frogs.
As for me, I was simply amused. I helped myself to a bottle of chilled Harbin Beer and picked up a whole frog, put it in my mouth and started devouring it.
Samo loves frogs! And it was a good treat indeed.
Other exotic dishes include a plate of Donkey's meat. It was done in such a way, the meat was tender and tasty.
After a hearty meal, the entourage was led to the Binjiang wetlands. Yes, more swamps.
It was an agonizing drive as my bowels were filled with Harbin Beer.
I found instant relief once the bus made a stop at the visitor's centre.
At Binjiang, we were given a tour of the wetlands, and in my humble opinion, this is one of the better places to visit in Harbin in terms of its natural attractions.
A young girl playing a Chinese harp
After spending two days in Manchuria (Harbin's old province name), everyone thought I'm a Mongolian.
There is no escape from this stereotype.
Even the Bangla reporter had tried to be funny.
Anyways, moving on, when we were done with the swamp thingies, we were herded to the Volga Manor, a country resort that made its name on the Harbin tourism map.
This is a Russian-styled manor with many replicated Russian architecture.
FYI: Harbin was once a flourishing place when the trans-Siberia railway was laid.
Bread and salt: A traditional Russian welcoming treat...
With the Banglas out of sight, a few reporters - namely three white guys based in Japan and Dubai had organised a trip to a Russian Disco.
Turned out that it was a plain rip-off. 
Lucky for me, I met Khun Rittikorn, a Thai TV cameraman who was willing to share the payment for four bottles of beers.
Later, we joined the China Daily crew at Karaoke before calling it a day...
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