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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Changchun Part 2: A Day Out In Changchun


Jingyue Lake National Forest Park.
It has always fascinated me to watch people indulge in winter sports and snow activities and I look forward to the day when I could roll in the snow, make and decorate a snowman, and have fun with snow balls. The opportunity actually came as we found ourselves in Jingyue Lake National Forest Park which has been blanketed with thick snow.This looks like an ideal place to do the fun things I have always wanted to do.
Except for the walking paths and roads, the park has been covered with many inches of fluffy snow. This place is known to have winters that sometimes last up to 7 months in a row. It is also a popular destination for  skiing and other winter activities.
We drove past the vast ski field but could only watch with envy the deftness of the skiers as they maneuver through the slopes. 
From where our bus parked, we had to walk about 200 metres to the winter activities and recreation centre.The exceptionally cold winter here could be due to the location of the park in the midst of highlands. The temperature actually hit -24°C in Changchun that day, the lowest since we arrived in Northeast China.
It looks like we were having a great time on this husky sleigh but in reality we were struggling with the cold. This cold that seemed bearable at first had started to take a toll on us. The chill found its way through the gloves and winter boots and spread painfully throughout the fingers and toes. The heat packs didn't seem to work anymore and have also turned cold.
We were more concerned about keeping ourselves snug, constantly pulling the hood over the nose and mouth. This was not a place where one could happily take selfies as most mobiles would have instantaneously gone to 'sleep mode'. Cameras too, got jammed after taking just a few snapshots. Even to remove the hands from the pockets of our winter coats became such a daunting task, what more to to remove the gloves from the hands? The fingers and toes turned numbed even under the thickest pairs of wool gloves and socks we had. We sought the help of the husky trainer to take a few snapshots. It was comforting to see how immunity could be acquired when one is constantly subject to a given duress, just like this gloveless man who could withstand this extreme cold.
Brrr, so cold!

Building a snowman and making snow balls remained a wishful thinking in that park. The plan had to be shelved until I could find a warmer snow field somewhere else. 

XiangYang Tun Restaurant
A couple of hours later we arrived at a  cozy place. XiangYang Tun Restaurant is styled like a restaurant in the 1960s era and dining here certainly evoke nostalgia.
As soon as we entered we were greeted by the chef, busy tending to two rows of woks with various stews.
Dining rooms are individual units and each is designed to give patrons a vintage feel.
One particular room has old newspapers pasted on its walls with news of events and happenings of an era long gone.
There are rooms with sketches depicting the lifestyles of yesteryears.
There are old radios the likes of which our parents could have once owned.
I was more excited about the decor than the food that evening as I walked around scrutinizing the exhibits. 
This was the setting in the era when The Republic Of China was still practising  the Closed Door Policy.
We finally sat down for a hearty meal of Dongbei cuisines.
...and best enjoyed this tender stew.
Dining here was an awesome experience. Thank you XiangYang Tun, for this sentimental recollection.

Harbin Part 2: Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo 2016
Harbin Part 3: Ice And Snow World 
Harbin Part 4: Winter Swimming

Harbin Part 5: Siberian Tiger Park
Harbin Part 6: Harbin City Attractions
Harbin Part 7: Ice Palace Restaurant, Harbin Shangri-La Hotel
Harbin Part 8: Food Oh Glorious Food Of Harbin
Harbin Part 9: Shangri-La Harbin

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