Harbin Portraits – Stalin Park

Not the best name for a park, but it’s a really nice place to walk along the Songhua River. Found at the end of ZhongYang DaJie, the park has a large paved concourse that leads to parks running alongside the river. Lots of activity, as you would expect in a Chinese park, but what caught my eye the most, were these old guys writing on the paving.

Man writing chinese characters on the street
Man writing chinese characters on pavement
I love the artistry of this guy’s writing. I waited for ages trying to get a clean shot of him, he was by far the most popular of the street writers and drew quite a crowd. I can see why.

Harbin Portraits – Central Street

Zhongyangdajie, or central street, is a pedestrianised cobble street. Lots of crowds, shops and atmosphere.


I don’t know who this guy was, but he was here both times I visited. He was filming for a blog or something. The first time he was very noisy. This time, not so much.


A buddhist monk I saw a couple of times around the downtown area, standing outside the best bookshop in the world.

Harbin Portraits – Confucian Temple

The first images from my recent trip to Harbin in Northeastern China.

There are two temples in close proximity to each other, one is the large Buddhist complex, but tucked away between a university and an army base is the smaller Confucian temple. Unlike the Buddhist temple, The Confucian temple is free to enter (you just need your Passport).

A great (and quiet) place to visit, and as a bonus, there were a couple of photo shoots going on, so I had to sneak a couple of shots – as you do.

Postcards from Sanya

A few random pics to round off my visit to Sanya in March.

Da Dong Hai Park.DSC03708_mono_1620

This was opposite the hotel and was one of my favourite places. Every evening there was close to a hundred people square dancing. Next to them, would be a group of people marching and dancing. Further into the park would be several groups ballroom dancing. The whole park came to life at night and there was an amazing atmosphere there.


Luhuitou ParkDSC03595_1620

Sanya’s love theme park is based around an old story of a hunter and a deer that turned into a young woman. Tacky for sure, but interesting.


Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest ParkDSC03750_mono_1620

A little disspointed with this park, though admittedly, we didn’t explore all of it and there is a lot to explore. Basically an excuse to sell things to tourists.

And that’s it from Sanya. If you have ever considered China and want somewhere other than Beijing and the Great Wall – I can Recommend Sanya, though you may want to go during the autumn/winter months. Yes it is very touristy, but still a fantastic experience.


The End of The Earth

Tianya Haijiao lies to the west of Sanya and roughly translates to ‘Edge of the sky, Rim of the Sea’, or simply ‘End of the earth’. It is a beach and park area, and since this is China, you have to pay to get to in. The beach was a bit too crowded for me, but since the Chinese love crowds, I had to learn to go with the flow. The beach is characterised by the large rock formations that everyone was climbing on, despite the signs. There was a poor police officer who looked exasperated as he constantly moved people off the rocks. He had the patience of a saint and characterised my impression of the Chinese Police – professional, polite and cool at all times.

It was also a favoured location for fake wedding shoots. Can you imagine being a photographer competing for a clean background in the middle of this? ( I count 8 separate shoots on that outcropping)!


Nanshan, part 2

At first glance, Nanshan is kind of like a buddhist theme park, and I must admit, it felt a little tacky. The further we went into the park though, the less tacky it felt. Watching people pray and burn incense at the many altars in the park, was a very strange, but moving experience. The incense is free, so it costs nothing to join in and be a part of the experience. During the ten days I spent at Sanya, Nanshan was by far the most memorable, and my favourite experience of the visit.