Today is December 31 and we would like to be somewhere on the tropical islands, surfing, hiking through the mountains and looking for adventure. But the New Year 2018 we meet at home with our family. We already miss traveling very much and remember our first great trip together, which was seven years ago, just on the eve of the New Year. But then we were not on the tropical islands, but in China, and even as a result of a long trip by train.
Irkutsk – Zabaikalsk
If someone is considering this variant of travel, just as we did seven years ago, we hasten to dissuade you. And although it may be a bit cheaper, but alas it’s not worth it! Unless you are aerophobic or romantic, for which the presence of difficulties causes more interest than their absence. We are not one of those, either, but seven years ago, train tickets on New Year’s Eve were much cheaper than air travel and we chose the most budget option.
Тo go by train from Irkutsk to Zabaikalsk in the winter is not very inspiring. Because it’s like swimming on the river of the dead. The train moves against the gray sky past the half-abandoned villages. And on the train you sit, and you look out of the window, behind which everything seems to have died out and time has stopped. But China was waiting for us ahead, and everything was very cool!
Auto-crossing the border is also a small test, because you are standing in a traffic jam for at least an hour 2 in a full bus. Contrast is amazing. On the one hand, the poor gray Zabaikalsk, with the customs exactly the same gray as everything else. And on the Chinese side – a modern building with huge ceilings, marble floors and columns.
Manchuria is a city of commerce. This city is quite modern high beautiful live and very noisy! “Two yuan, all two yuan” – just heard. People come here to buy cheap consumer goods and everything that can only be imagined, even to have fun, go to a restaurant or massage. But we met very few people like us who would be in this city in transit. After all, the next day at the station we were almost the only Russians waiting for the train to Beijing.
New Year in Beijing
Now we feel that we are in China. Around us everything was different and at the same time everything is normal. We had a place to live, a supermarket nearby and a mobile connection. We did not live in the very center of the city, but nevertheless walked on foot to learn more about the city.
The weather in Beijing was not very comfortable for us in late December and early January. Firstly there was a haze, although he did not seem to be embarrassed. Secondly – the temperature during the day is stable around zero. But the wind pierces to the bones, so it’s cold. Beijing is the same as many megacities around the world. The center has a lot of cultural heritage and on the outskirts there are many unusual skyscrapers, modern expositions and shopping centers. In the evening, the city is transformed, all glows with garlands, screens and signs.
Although in China, and do not celebrate the New Year on December 31, but many where you can meet brightly dressed trees and congratulations. Apparently they are so concerned about tourists. I can write a lot about Beijing, but I will only say that the ancient Chinese culture is much older and at the same time modern than Russian. You will not find this rotten architecture in China, whith called historical monuments, but everything, on the contrary, is very monumental. Masters made very beautiful buildings, sculptures and household items. Everything is very unusual for a Russian person, very bright, thoughtful and stylish!
Snowboarding in China
Yes, we did not go to warm countries, but we had a good reason for it. We really wanted to diversify our snowboarding geography and generally see what snowboarding abroad is all about. There is no snow in Beijing, but the artificial snow in the resort of NanShan is very high quality and does not differ much from the usual! During snowboarding in China, I remember the organizational moments most of all.
We organized ourselves, so we faced a number of problems. In 2011 (I do not know how it is now) to the resort of Nanshan went a certain bus, which we had to find first. After all, there were many other bus stops around it and of course there were many other buses. We had to run around and ask the drivers and passengers before we found the right one. Secondly, we had to catch it, on the first trip we were late, while we were looking for this bus and went by taxi to the covered ski resort outside the city. Third, we had to book a place in the bus in advance, at least a day.
I also want to note the quality of the organization of ski slopes and a snowboard park in the resort of NanShan. It was at the highest level. You can ride safely and comfortably. The trails are ideal. The snowpark is ideal. There are barriers along the edges of the tracks, mini halfpipe and a professional mogul with springboards. Queues for lifts are built by staff in a column of two people, no one is crowding – it’s very surprising! Infrastructure at the highest level, there are available storage rooms “lockers”, a lot of boards, different cafes and restaurants. But most of all, the absence of extra charges during the New Year holidays pleases, since in China these are ordinary everyday life.
In addition to Nyan-Shan, we planned to go back to the ski resort “Yabuli” on the way home to Russia, which was a little regrettable. The best thing about the trip to Yabuli was that we experienced it. It was a strange adventure. This resort is provincial, and it was necessary to go before it with a transfer in Harbin. And we did not get a lot of snowboarding. Because the tickets to the ski lift for the tourist are twice as expensive as for the local ones. But the taxi drivers start vparivayut them you even more expensive, while they take you to the ski resort. On the mountain-skiing base absolutely nothing is clear, there is no information in English, because of this we lost a lot of time.
Snowboarding in Yabuli in January is incredibly cold – this is the same piercing wind as in Beijing, but already from -20 ° C. The cold is incredible, but the most interesting is when you close the elevator capsule. But the Chinese open it back, they seem to It was very hot. Plus they riding almost in fur coats on a naked body and all without hats for some reason. We fell ill again after this kind of snowboarding. But in the evening we chopped chili peppers from some counter. Then we threw them into bourbon and so were treated with homemade pepper tincture. And the next day we decided to go for a ride in the streets: jump from the engine and slip on the bears in the forest.
Happy New Year!
It was such a merry celebration of the New Year in 2011. Now it’s very cool to remember this trip and watch the pictures. Then we were completely different than today. But the thirst for travel, adventure and snowboarding has not changed in us. And we wish you the same on the eve of this New Year. Happy New Year 2018 you, friends!