Although when we were there the weather was quite mild it is not uncommon for it to get down to below minus 30. This means that the massive Sonhua river is frozen to such an extent that they park lorries on it.
I deliberately kept the guy in the foreground and the three people walking towards the bridge in shot to help give a sense of scale; as to how big the river is and therefore how impressive it is that it freezes to well over a metre deep across. I also went for the monochrome look to further emphasise the cold and bleakness of the place in winter.
Harbin is a city in the far North East of China. It's closer to Vladivostok than Beijing and is only about 200KM from the Russian border. Obviously, being that close to Siberia it's chuffin' cold in the winter. We were told to expect temperatures down to MINUS 26 and, indeed, that's what they were the week before we went. However, it was a positively tropical minus 5-10 during the day so not too bad at all.
There is but one reason to risk the cold and go to Harbin in the middle of its winter and that's for the Ice Festival. A mega-event where several parts of the city are given over to buildings and sculptures made of ice. We were discussing this the other night and although that is what you go for (and it is amazing) it is the other stuff that makes it. The same is true of Xi'an and the Terracotta Warriors. The warriors are amazing and that is why you go to Xi'an, but the city is also really cool and interesting.
One of the interesting things about Harbin is the Russian influence. Lots of the shops still have Cyrillic lettering over their doors, there are lots of shops selling Russian themed tourist tat, including rocket launchers and land mines!
We left Bagan on another overnight sleeper for Rangoon. This one was two hours late leaving and four hours late arriving which did make for a long journey but, as with our earlier overnight train, not unpleasant, even though it was not luxurious. Basic, but fine would sum it up!
The final morning in Burma was spent in a lovely walk around one of the lakes that seem to dot the city followed by an extended lunch.
We then finished up at the Sula Paya. This is supposed to be one of the main and most impressive Payas in Rangoon, and indeed it is, but we had already been to Shwedigon Paya and to be honest, anything is going to suffer in comparison! This is on a much smaller scale, but still a pleasant break from the bustle of the city.
This will be a blog about my latest shots and what I liked or was trying to do with them
I am a teacher of Economics and have worked in various schools in Europe & Asia. One of the things I love doing is getting out and about with my camera.