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When The Kids Are Away The Parents Will Play

Have you ever thought about taking an adult only holiday? Even if you have never heard the term before, you have to admit that it already sounds awesone. To do this, you can either leave the kids at home for the summer – that’s a little cruel – or arrange two separate holidays. All, you need to do is find someone, a family member or friend, eager to take your kids on a fun-filled magical holiday to somewhere like Disney World while you head off elsewhere. Couples thinking about having kids are the perfect target for this because they often quite like the idea of a test trial family holiday.

But what will you do while your kids are off meeting mickey mouse? The better question would be what won’t you do!

Extreme Sports

Image Credit: https://www.pexels.com

Depending on the age of your kids, you might get away with completing some extreme sports while on vacation, but don’t count on it. Not every child loves the idea of hurling themselves off a building attached to bungee cord or soaring ten thousand feet up in a plane to jump out. Not every parent is thrilled with the idea of letting their child do this either. But, if you’re vacationing without the kids, you can do this without worring about their safety and just get that blood pumping.

Our recommendation for this possiblity would be to head to Vegas and forget about the casinos. Instead, find the tower where you can go bungee jumping…in the dark!

Wonders of Wine Tasting

Image Credit: https://pxhere.com

You could also think about spending a vacation sampling what is surely one of your favourite beverages. Wine tasting is a very adult adventure for obvious reasons, and it’s rather fun. You get to see how the wine is made and engage in the cultural side of drinking wine. How about trying something like the Coquelicot Estate Wines; Tasting Room because it’s sure to satisy, intrigue and delight.

Regardless of where you head in the world there are some fantastic choices for wine tasting but exploring Southern France would be our recommendation for this activity.

Tee Off at 9, Lunch at 10, Massage at 11

Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com

Alternatively, you could focus your adult holiday around something like golf. Golf is a little boring for kids, and the closest you’ll get on a family vacation is probably going to be mini golf. However, for adults it can be very enjoyable, relaxing and even offer some serenity. The other good thing about golf is that the courses are often retreats. That means they have some fantastic luxury features.

Take Palm Springs for instance. The golf isn’t always what attracts people but rather the luxury lifestlye and incredible enivronment. Get Swedish massages and much more while you relax and unwind in a haven that you’ll probably never want to leave.

Ultimately an adult only holiday can be just what the doctor ordered to help you relieve stress, get some much needed me time and escape the craziness of the family vacations. We hope you have a fantastic time if you book one for yourself.

 

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Planning a Holiday with Kids in Tow

Planning a holiday for just you and your partner is hard enough. You have to make the decision on the location, how long for, and what type of hotel you want to go for: It’s a long process of having to whittle it down to just one or two hotels, before you can finally pick something that you like the look of. So, imagine how hard it is to do this when you have a family in tow as well. There’s suddenly so many more factors for you to consider, some of you will know exactly what we mean. For others, this might be your first rodeo with something like thiks, so you’re going to need all the help and advice that you can get. Luckily, you have come to the right place, and we’ve got plenty of little pointers for you that should help you with the whole process. Have a read on to find out more.

Image Credit: http://www.theconsumervoice.co.uk

1. Evaluating the Cost

So, you might have gone into this whole booking process without realising how hard it is to actually book a holiday for you and your family due to cost. Cost really is a big thing, even if it was just for you and your partner to go. The only diffrrence is, with children, you can’t just take them whenever you want during the year. You have a responsibility to keep them in school, meaning you’re going to have to take them during the school holidays. This is a notoriously expensive time of year for a holiday, and the last thing that we would want is for you to miss out. So, why not consider taking out a personal loan. If you Google, ‘personal loans near me‘, you should be able to find plenty of companies willing to offer you the money. Taking a short term personal loan out doesn’t mean that you’re getting yourself into some sort of spiraling debt. But it does mean you’re going to be able to enjoy your family holiday, without worrying about the cost.

 

2. Evaluating the Location

The location plays a big part as to whether you’re actually going to have a good holiday. Some places are just too quiet, which when you’re taking a family, isn’t what you need. You need somewhere that has plenty of activities to do. They will get bored of just being around the pool, so outside activities should keep them entertained for a little while. The hotel as well is going to play a big part in your holiday happiness. If the hotel has no kids facilities, there is going to be nothing for them to do that would allow you and your partner to have an hour to or to yourselves. When you’re on holiday, it’s really important to take an opportunity like this to keep yourselves entertained or refreshed as well.

3. Evaluating the Effort

Sometimes a holiday is just effort. You have to worry about the whole packing process, and more importantly, the travelling process. Travelling on a plane with young children can either be completely fine, or you’ll have the devil child with you. So evaluate the distance of travel, and whether your children might be too young to tackle it.

 

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ShoeTree Project: Saphir Super Invulner Waterproofing Spray

You may have a pair of good quality leather shoes or boots but come a sudden downpour, they could be irreparably damaged. To prevent such situations from happening, you could protect your shoes by using Saphir Super Invulner Waterproof Spray. Introduced by the ShoeTree Project, this spray uses natural ingredients in place of silicone as the waterproofing compound, which is definitely one less health risk to take.

The waterproofing spray is imported from the world-renowned Saphir brand in France and there are several reasons why this is highly important for people who own leather shoes:

  • A waterproofing spray prolongs the lifespan of leather shoes by preventing loss of its natural oils. Oils can be leeched out of the leather when water soaks in and evaporates afterwards. The loss of oils make the leather microstructure more brittle and prone to cracks.
  • What most people don’t realise is that most of the waterproofing sprays out there use silicone as the waterproofing ingredient. While this may be alright for fabric shoes, silicone is highly drying to leather and wil, rather counterproductively, reduce its lifespan. The Saphir formula uses natural ingredients that help leather retain its natural oils.
  • The slow-drying formula of the Saphir Invulner also does not leave visible uneven patches like faster-drying sprays do. When wearing leather shoes, you want them to look their best!
Click here for the Saphir Singapore product category page.

The ShoeTree Project is a startup on a mission to bring the stagnating, inaccessible shoe care industry stuck in physical retail of yesteryear no more than a few clicks away from doorsteps around Southeast Asia. One of the cooler innovations that leather shoe owners would love to try out would be its algorithmic Custom Kit Design Tool as shoe care is a rather esoteric field, many shoe owners do not know which are the right products that make their shoes last decades, so they end up missing out a crucial component of their shoe care kit, or overspending on solutions they do not need.

ShoeTree Project’s Custom Kit Designer utilizes a proprietary algorithm to recommend only products that a client requires based on his shoe type, typical environment, as well as desired finish – a truly personalized shoe care kit! Coupled with FREE doorstep shipping and FREE size exchanges, it is just like having a 24-hour, 7-day a week shoe care shop right outside your doorstep, complete with service staff to help you with product selection. These innovations are what allow them to deliver the traditional emphasis on quality (like their handcrafted American Red Cedar shoe trees and shoe horns made from genuine ox horn) at mass market prices almost half of those in retail.

Image Credit: ShoeTree Project

ShoeTree Project, bringing premium shoe care & sartorial advice right to your doorstep.

Shop @ ShoeTree Projecthttps://shoetreeproject.com/sg/shop/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ShoeTree.Singapore/

Contact hello@shoetreeproject.com

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Your Guide To The Balearic Islands

Just to the East of mainland Spain, there are four Spanish islands that make up the Balearic Islands. While they are classed as Spain, they are quite diverse and different from the mainland Spain. The islands are Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca, and Formentera. With great beaches and great weather, it can be hard to know where to visit first. So here is a bit of a breakdown to the Balearic Islands, to help you choose where your next vacation may be.

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/spain-ibiza-sea-in-the-background-1321927/

Ibiza

The island of Ibiza has long been known as a bit of a party town, wih mentions in many pop songs and some world-renowned clubs and DJs performing there. And while this is true, there is plenty more to the island than just clubbing. The north of the island has a very bohemain character and feel to it, with a very relaxed atmosphere, with many great places to eat and dine. Ibiza Town, the capital, has some unique history to explore, as well as being closer to the clubbing scene.

Mallorca

The largest island of them all, Mallorca has a lot to offer and is a popular spot for families. There are some of the clinches about being a Spanish island, with plenty of high-rise buildings by the beach. However, there is more to the island than that, especially if you go slightly more inland to stay somewhere like Marriott’s Club Son Antem in Llucmajor near Palma. There are some stunning mountains, beautiful coves, and some quaint old towns.

Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/menorca-booked-turquoise-sky-hdr-935987/

Menorca

To the east of Mallorca is the smaller island of Menorca. It has a more relaxed feel to it than the previous two islands, and is much less of a party or clubbing destination. There are some adorable little port towns, like Ciutadella, and the port in the capital is actually one of the deepest in the world. There are some modern resorts, as well as plenty of options to stay closer to the sea or rent villas more in-lands.

Formentera

The island of Formentera is a pretty tiny, and does often get forgotten about when you think about the Balearics. It has some of the best beaches out of the whole lot of them, though, so doesn’t deserve to be overlooked. While there isn’t a lot else to do there, the place has a certain rustic charm that can make it worth the trip. It is quite exclusinve as far as islands go.

The Balearics are easy to access from Spain by boat or flight, but there are many other places like the UK, that offer direct flights to them. Because the islands are smaller, and have to prepare for the tourists, they cna cost a little more than mainland Spain might. However, the islands are pretty small, and you may not even need to hire a car to explore it all. It can be pretty easy to go from each island too, so if you can’t choose which one to go to, then you might not have to.

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5 Extremely Simple Tips for Traveling as a Couple

Sometimes, it is such a challenge to travel with your significant other. Still, it is possible, and it brings so much joy and happiness when done right. Undoubtedly, traveling as a couple is an ultimate test of your relationship. What is more, it could even lead to a split up. However, did you know that we are the ones that let our trips be stressful? That is tight. Delayed or missed flights, wrong rooms booked at hotels and other unexpected stuff will always be the parts of any trip. Your reaction to all the mentioned is what defines whether you will have the time of your life or the worst vacation ever. We will do our best to help you have the best trip as a couple and do at least try not to kill each other in the middle of it. Let us start. Thank you for these tips to Russian dating site.

1. Have a Long Time about Your General Expectations

The most frequent reason for spoiled traveling is her “Let’s Instagram everything we see here” and his “Let’s leave our phones at home”. To avoid it, have a good talk about where and why you want to go a month before departure. Sit down, listen to your partner’s take on her/his ideas for the trip. Then compare notes and compromise.

2. Speak on the Budget in Advance

This is probably one of the most essential things that you do before leaving. What really works for the most of couples nowsdays is going Dutch as they say. You just literally split the costs fifty-fifty, right down the middle. Still, try not to get over-focused on the money issue. You don’t have to be counting evrery single penny because you may get obsessive and cause a little bit of bad blood. Keeping it 100% totally even does no good for any couple. So stay human. Try not to become the Scrooge McDuch. Your date picked you for a trip, not the crazy duck of Disney.

Image Credit: fortunegreece.com

3. Eat Before You Get “Hangry”

Walking for hours, trying to record every second, sight, an impression of your trip in your brain, the food is the last thing you care. Then you wonder why you get so disrespectful and snappy. Your date drives you mad and you cannot control yourself. Remember that from time to time it is the stomach talking, not the real you. That is why avoid it. Get snacks. Stock up. Have serious conversations during or right after meals. At the breakfast make sure yout tummies will be full during the whole day whether you will have an all-day-long road trip or a flight.  

Image Credit: http://blog.fitnessfirstme.com

4. Value Personal Space and Time

Travel cna foster immense personal growth, especially solo travel. Be ready that traveling as a couple you may not have your wings spread and that real diving into your destination and diving a little deeper into yourself. If you want a great trip, just accept that both. Like you are two different people. You might have different desires when it comes to what to do at the destination and each of us is ready to sacrifice some time to do that. During the short solo trips, use them to embrace your individuality, explore an adventure, create moments with yourself and then renuite and obviously share all your adventures, experiences with your date. In the end, it just brings you closer as you demonstrate an essential value, respect towards each other.

5. Have a Plan, But Never Overplan

Overplanning, you feel the stress like you need to be doing something or you need to be somewhere at a certain time. It removes you from the moment. That is the worst thing to happen on a cool vacation. In most cases, you go somewhere to relax from the daily routine and fill yourself with the energy. It is impossible to enjoy and relax when you have a strict plan set and you’re worried about it all the time. We recommend you have a loose general plan and one no-plans day. Depending on the way you both feel in the morning, you can either spend the whole day in the bed or go for some crazy adventures, spend the whole day with the locals and clear mind.

Image Credit: Imagefully.com

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Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Scoot Off to The Wintriest Harbin with Kids!

Nothing lends whimsy and mystique to a picture quite like a snowy day. Frosty weather is not uncommon in Harbin during winter. First-timers to Harbin 哈尔滨 ought to take a pause and experience the local scene in its originality. It might be 7:30am in the morning but the city had already taken a life of its own.

A Walk on the Streets

Freezing cold at -24°C. Infamous for its very cold winters, bring more clothes than you will think you will need to Harbin so that you can layer.

Food of Harbin has so many kinds of specialities around Central street and Hongbo Century Square that even if we want, we could not finish trying all of them.

 One of the best street food, the sweetness and piping hot sweet potatoes will make you fall in love with Harbin.

We explored the side alleys of Central Street and had our simple breakfast in this restaurant.

Broccoli, tofu, rice cake, egg tart and glutinous rice made up our breakfast. We were holding back from ordering more dishes so that we could reserve our stomach for other delicacies.

Guandong Ancient Lane

We met an unfriendly taxi driver who refused to alight us outside Guandong Ancient Lane, which was one of our much anticipated attraction in the itinerary. We were told to walk by ourselves which would take us about  3 mins. We read from a blog that visitors would need to pay but that wasn’t the case. Entry is FOC.

Full of traditional delicacies, Harbin Guandong ancient lane displays culture of the ‘Guandong migration’ period, which refers to the historical period when people migrated  from the central part of China to the Northeast. How majestic is this building!

Everything here is indoor. The place displays an ancient feel and there is a sense of unhurried-ness. With a myriad of different dining options and picturesque spots, this might be one of the few places in Harbin where visitors can snack and relax at the same time.

 

Many pictures taken and will let them do the talking.

Russian chocolates.

We tried peanut candies!

Dragon’s beard candy (or Chinese cotton candy) is a handmade traditional art of China. It is also a traditional Chinese sweet similar to floss halva or Cotton candy.

No idea what this is…

There is a foodcourt selling classic Chinese dishes.

A great food haunt where dishes are freshly cooked in front of you. We have to admit that they look really appetising.

What A Big Catch!

Located right beside Guandong Ancient Lane is a huge shopping mall. Our first impression was akin to The Paragon where everything would be expensive but after some exploring we thought this mall was a place for bargain hunting.

More than just fashion shops, the mall is a suitable hangout for families with kids.

Plenty of pop-up cafes to have a drink and just chill.

Located at the basement was a huge marketplace for shoppers to shop for groceries and dine.

Freshly squeezed fruit juice with cute bottles.

What a big catch! We were pleasantly surprised that we could order seafood and had them cooked on the spot for us to dine. What till we see the price 🙂

Here’s our order – a lobster (CNY50 = SGD10)

Seabass (CNY30 = SGD6)

皮皮虾 (CNY31 = SGD6)

The chef ushered us to this cosy dining area while we waited for the food.

The restaurant exhibited a homely feeling which made it a favourite place for shoppers to have a respite and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee. The decor and furnishing were contemporary and inviting.

Everything was hot and fresh! Our seafood craving was satisfied in the most economical way.

Including the cooking cost, the total bill came to CNY137.90 = SGD27.60.

Hey, did we mention our food hunting continue after savouring the seafood?

Big and Small M trying the soya bean milk.

Crispy chinese pan fried dumpling (鍋貼).

Chinese flat bread (发面饼).

Cute animal buns!

Time Kingdom

If your little ones enjoy KidZania, they will surely fall in love with Time Kingdom. Akin to KidZania theme style of play, Time Kingdom is also an interactive city made for 3 – 15 year old kids who can immerse themselves into lots of fun through realistic role-play in Harbin.

The Wintriest Harbin

Harbin 哈尔滨, which is nestled in the heart of China’s historical Manchuria region, is still a place less travelled. Apart from its freezing weather during winter, taking a walk in the back alleys allowed us to see these visually pleasing buildings that transported us to a place where time seemed to have been frozen for 40 years, a flashback to a simpler and more peaceful time.

In a mood for supper? Zhongyang Dajie 中央大街 has no lack of eatery options.

Small M was wondering why the chef had to use such a big pot to place the dish.

A thriving late-night dessert culture has taken grasp of Harbin especially among the youngsters. We were surprised that Harbin offers one of the best places to be tempted by decadent desserts.

While Small M trying in vain to search for free Wi-Fi amidst the Great “Wall” of China…

Big M knows it is still possible for a selfie.

Sweet dessert for us! It would be blasphemous to talk about cafe hopping without including them during your visit to Harbin.

We have tasted the wonders of Lapland and in our first trip to China and Harbin, this trip was nothing short of amazing. The locals are warm and approachable and Harbin is safe with a lot of securities. All thanks to Scoot introducing the direct flight to Harbin, we came and captured the raw beauty of this ‘Ice City’. Harbin 哈尔滨, we will be reunited soon!

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Harbin 哈尔滨 Travelogue – (Part 3): Russian Town, Harbin 哈尔滨植物園, Ji Le Temple 极乐寺, Confucius Temple 哈尔滨文庙 and Teresa Teng Music Restaurant

A brand new morning, a brand new experience. We hopped onto a cab outside our hotel after agreeing to a fare of CNY240 for a day trip. The Harbin of today is still very much influenced by its Russian past. Due to the strong decades’ presence of Soviet Russians, it is not uncommon to see glimpses of Russian style in architecture, education, art, food, clothing, language and more aspects of life.

Our first stop was to visit the Russian Village which was located near to Sun Island.

The river was literally frozen.

Russian Village

Russian Style Town or Artist Village in Harbin Sun Island by the north bank of the Songhua River, is a Russian architecturally-styled village with small detached houses within. During winter, this place seemed more like a ghost town albeit with curious tourists coming to explore the vincinity and experiencing Russian foods and products.

We were discouraged from entering the Russian Village by our driver as this attraction was quiet and nothing much exciting to explore. He did, however, drove us around the outskirts of the Russian Village to take a view from the outside.

Some sights at the entrance…

Food vendors selling sweet potatoes, sausages and Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆.

Bicycle rental available.

Address: China, Heilongjiang, Harbin, Songbei, Pingyuan St, 平原街

Harbin 哈尔植物園

It was a weekend and the traffic was quite bad in the morning. It took us one hour to reach the next destination which was appealing to Big and Small M. What’s in store here?

Visitors who want to visit Harbin 哈尔滨植物園 definitely have to come with reserved transport as after entering, you would need to drive up to 1km before reaching the spot with fun-filled activities.

This is the only restaurant here for us to catch a lunch.

Our order – a tad saltish and not very appealing though it did fill our stomaches.

And we had fun after that! Building a snowman 🙂

During winter in Harbin, the temperature is usually below 20 degrees. One of the most popular activites is the winter swimming event which is a physical activity showing off the strong physique and iron of local Harbin people. Over here, the swimming pool was dug for winter swimming.

The performance takes place every hour. We were standing in the freezing cold awaiting for the show to start.

Would you dare to try this? Certainly not us!

Dog sledding but we did not try as we would need to pay extra (which we didn’t know after paying an exorbitant price for the tickets). We had no regrets not trying dog sleeding as the dogs did not look excited to run at all, so unlike of our experience in Finland where every husky were given a name, trained to perform a specific role in sleigh-ridding and much more excited to run.

Pony ride.

Family-friendly rides that we get to enjoy here.

Alas, we wished we could stay longer to maximuse the ticket value but the temperature was really overwhelming today at -24°C. Our bodies were smarting from the cold. We had to cut short our fun and returned to the car.

Ji Le Temple 极乐寺

Who says visiting Harbin is all about ice and snow?

Ji Le Temple or Temple of Bliss is located at the end of Dongdazhi Street, Nangang District in Harbin. It is the biggest Buddhist building complex in the Heilongjiang province. The entrance gate, Hall of Heavenly King, Grand Hall, Sacred Hall, Sutra Depository, Bell Tower, Drum Tower and the Seven-storey Buddhist Pagoda are the main buildings.

Related image
Photo Credit: visitourchina.com

The entire building of Temple of Bliss is magnificent, elegant and dignified, retains the style and features of temple architecture of China. Before reaching here, our driver brought us to his neighbourhood to buy a winter coat for Big M. It was a good buy as the price was almost half of what we need to pay at shopping malls. It was about 4pm when we reached here and the temple was already closed, unfortunately.

We thought it is a lovely temple that offers a peaceful break from the busyness of the city where one can soak in its tranquility and understand more about Chinese Buddhism. Big M wearing her new winter coat 🙂

Along the streets were lined with shops selling Buddhist wares.

Address: 9 Dongdazhi St, Nangang Qu, Haerbin Shi, Heilongjiang Sheng, China, 150001

Harbin Confucius Temple 哈尔滨文庙

Harbin Confucius Temple was built in 1926 and completed in 1929. The temple ground occupies an area of 25,000 square meters and its construction area is 5,674 square meters. In 1996, the temple was listed on the key historical sites under state protection.

The temple’s symmetrical structure consists of three courtyards dotted with old trees and rare flowers. Due to its likeness to the Imperial Palace, it has earned the moniker “the Forbidden City of Harbin”.

heilongjiang confucian temple
Photo Credit: Harbinice.com
inside the Confucian Temple
Photo Credit: Harbinice.com

Address: 25 Wenmiao St, Nangang Qu, Haerbin Shi, Heilongjiang Sheng, China

Harbin Food at Its Best

Night falls and we were craving for food. The best time to try chinese hotpot is during winter and our driver brought us to this restaurant.

Great service – the staff opened the door for us when he saw us walking up the stairs.

Chinese hotpot 火锅 , also known as Chinese fondue, is one of the most popular meals in China. It consists of a simmering metal pot with broth at the center of a table, and all raw ingredients placed beside the metal pot, so people can add and cook whatever they like in the broth.

A hearty meal for us after a long day out!

The spirit of Northern Chinese cuisine lives on the wholesome goodness at Lao Beijing Roasted Duck 老北京明炉烤鸭. We took a stroll at the streets and caught the sight of a chef roasting the duck which inevitably drawn us into the store.

Specially-bred and fattened ducks are glazed and hung in a wood fire to roast until the browned skin is crisp and the meat succulent.

Noticed the QR code below? Everyone is using e-payment in China now. The presentation of the duck was just like any other chinese restaurant in which the chef carved the duck in front of us.

Heavenly goodness at its best.

The price of a whole duck including the wraps and sauces – SGD 12.

The Heart of Harbin

Not to be outdone by the likes of bigger stores such as Mykal Supermarket, the supermarkets in the heartland are possibly one of Harbin’s best-kept treasures. It was a pleasant experience browsing through the store products and discovering the local produces.

Most of the product prices were much cheaper compared to those in the shopping malls.

Salted promfret fish.

Mantou, often referred to as Chinese steamed bun, is a type of cloud-like steamed bread or bun popular in Northern China. The name mantou is said to have originated from a tale about Zhuge Liang.

Some sights during our walk.

Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆. These two guys were shouting at the top of their voice to attract customers to their store. A nice try. We stopped and bought one to try out.

Teresa Teng Music Restaurant

We blogged about Teresa Teng during our trip to Taiwan 金寶山 Chin Pao San which you can read it here. Our Harbin trip brought us back to the memory lanes where Teresa Teng Music Restaurant allows fans to reminisce the evergreen hits of 邓丽君that bring you back to the 70’s and 80’s.

Dine, wine and enjoy live performance of her songs.

Harbin’s charm lies in the way it yields glimpses of a timeless China. Our experience thus far has been magical. Planning to visit China? Try Harbin 哈尔滨.

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