- The Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin. The giant candy-coloured ice palaces, buildings and monuments were themed on Italy this year, so we circled an ochre-coloured Coliseum and crossed (gingerly) a humpy, icy, multi-coloured Rialto Bridge. In the parks we tried out the (mini) ice slide (slippery and scary but short), snapped away at the chunky snow sculptures carved into cute shapes and admired the intricate glistening ice carvings - a marlin, fish, dolphins, and of course horses, since it was soon to be the Year of the Horse.Mr Liu's delicious lunch and crickets (wrestling, not edible!) in the Beijing hutongs.Sampling silkworm (sweet) and snake (salty) kebabs in the Beijing Night Food Market.Being understood when I tried out my limited Mandarin, especially on the overnight sleeper. Ollie (Luo Yang Hong), our indefatigable Chinese guide worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure all ran smoothly. We learned so much about China from him and he seemed particularly to enjoy sharing his love of his home town, Xi'an with us. Thanks, Ollie! And thanks for the 'hong bao' lucky red envelope.
Published on: 12 March 2016