4 days in Taipei

2014-12-04 16.10.22

Spending only 4 days in a city, the size of Taipei is always a challenge. In advance it is hard to know how long it takes you to get from one spot to another, which sites are worth visiting or which can be skipped and what the weather will be like. In the end there is a lot of improvisation and plan changing anyway. The best approach I found so far is to not plan …

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The Forbidden City

2014-02-04 12.18.58

Part 2 of the “must-see-locations” in and around Beijing: the Forbidden City. As the Spanish guys slept at a friend’s place in Beijing we agreed to meet at 10.30 in front of the Forbidden City. Niu Qiyangs father organized something that we could skip the queues and get in for free. Of course the Spanish guys were being Spanish and postponed their arrival again and again. We didn’t want to wait so I went in …

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Chinese New Year

2014-01-30 21.29.02

Luckily this time my flight wasn’t delayed (theory for the moment: flights from and to Beijing are too prestigious to be delayed). I took the Airport Express into downtown and met Newton and the two Spaniards at the metro exit. We went to his family’s apartment only a few streets away, in the middle of Beijing and got greeted by the whole family that gathered for the spring festival. We were invited to do dumplings …

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Japanese Army Base

2014-01-29 13.17.18

My last whole day in Harbin was a bit more relaxed. I took the bus around noon to an old Japanese military base in the suburbs of Harbin. As I learned in the Nanjing Memorial, the Japanese army experimented with chemical weapons, so here they set up a base to produce and test these weapons. They mostly used Chinese prisoners of war and civilians to test the effects of their gas, to see what happens …

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Ice Festival


So at my third proper day in Harbin I spent the morning in the warm apartment. It was good to not walk around the whole day and I planned it that I would visit the tiger park in the afternoon and finish with it when it gets dark so I could directly go to the Ice-Festival. Luckily Lucy could tell me which busses to take and where to change, so I didn’t have to walk a …

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Snow Festival


My plan for the second day was to go to the city and decide spontaneously what to do, I had a few options and depending on the time it takes I would decide what to do. When I left and arrived at the bus stop I realized that i forgot my mobile phone; so no maps and no communication. I decided to maybe not do any adventurous stuff and stay around places I know. In …

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In the morning Lucy dropped me off at a mall, she recommended to get some warm shoes to be prepared for the cold. Well, similar to Nanjing, I couldn’t find any shoes bigger than size 44. Actually people were laughing at me when I asked them if they also had shoes in 46. So without warm shoes, but  three pairs of socks I decided to got to the city centre of Harbin, which has a …

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Flight to the North


My flight left around 2pm, so I left for the airport early enough to be sure to arrive in time in case I can’t get a taxi or there is a traffic jam or anything. Obviously in China that doesn’t matter much; my flight had 2 hrs delay and people told me afterwards that it is completely normal because they always overbook the runway…a bit like the streets, too many vehicles for too little space. I had a stopover …

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Trip to the North

Finally in a few days I will start travelling! As I was working during the christmas days while everybody in the rest of the world had days off, now there is the Chinese New Years’ or Spring Festival, where basically nobody in China works. It’s the biggest holiday in China and also the biggest relocation of population you can imagine. Everybody is going hom to their family to spend the holidays with them. Now, while …

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