Sun Island: Beware of Tram Conman
We boarded a tram in the park, which was suppose to offer unlimited hop on/off services. The conductor will tear off a corner of your ticket each time you board. However, beware when boarding to continue your onward journey. As the pick/drop stops are not clearly defined, you could be misguided to board on the 'exit' route. We had a taste of this. We didnt manage to get to the last attraction point because we boarded the wrong way and ended up back at the main entrance. The conductor insisted our tickets had expired despite our reasoning. Anyway, our frozen feet opted to call it a day but not without a fiery arguments with these conman. So pls ensure to confirm the next drop off point before handing over your tickets.
Sun Island: Rip off food kiosk
Take along your own snacks and drinks. Otherwise, be prepared to pay ridiculous price. Avoid the hot drinks, awfully bland & tasteless. The high price you pay is more for feet warming service. We took off our wet socks and have them roasted on heater to defreeze ;)
How exorbitant was the rip off you asked? We were charged approx RMB200 for 5 awful hot drinks and some chips. Then again, you can run but not hide in Sun Island. Extremely important to keep those feet warm. Maybe, I could set up a feet warming kiosk instead. If any guys profit from the idea, remembers it's from me. Happy feet roasting.
Syndicate con job @river (Sun Island, Harbin)
The syndicate operates in airport and train station. They tried to make friend with you and lead you to take boat to Sun Island, a popular destination. They ambushed you from bus stop, train station and streets with DIFFERENT people approaching you. Their aim is to guide you to their planned destination - their PRIVATE ferry terminal.
These private operators charged RMB 60 to 200 providing useless highlights which are NOT necessary. The additional agenda are totally useless as there is no tour guide to explain what is offered in the agenda.
Unique Suggestions: DO NOT take up additional agenda proposed by those con men and women.
Fun Alternatives: DO NOT be conned. The fare to-and-fro across river is only RMB 4 in total for ferry. If you want faster access, take this private boat but pay only RMB10 (the maximum fare for round trip).
Horse Carriage across Songhua River
Horse carriage ride from Sun Island back to the other bank of Songhua River cost 10 RMB/carriage after bargaining. However I somehow foolishly gave the woman collecting money 2x 10 RMB notes, thought it was strange once I turned around (not 5 seconds later) and she refused to admit that she collected extra money from me at all, despite the fact that all my other 3 friends saw that I'd given her 1 extra 10 RMB note. This isn't the 1st time that I've had trouble with horse carriages -- drivers saying that they'll drive you to Sun Island and then dropping you in the middle of the river for you to walk across the path across the river! Buyer beware!
Fun Alternatives: Walk across the river!
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
In winter, traffic is a big issue in Harbin. There are some look-to-be-fancy services around. Like ridin' a horse to cross the frozen river, a hitchhikerto to some unfrequented area, ect. Watch out when you are about to do this. The horse guy are trend to charge you more if you are foreign visitors, well, it is true all over China. As per hitchhiker, they might be dangerous since it is not that safe in a unfrequented area in damn cold winter. Do use more public transportation (taxi) or contact local travel agency for traffic service. I think the hotel you stay will also be helpful findin' you a driver if you are not confined inside the city.
Unique Suggestions: Turn to the hotel you are stayin' at. They will give you tips on it.
Fun Alternatives: Go with group tourists. It's borin' a little bit but save you lots of time when you know little about the place you're headin' to.
App the tallest revolving restuarant in asia. I would only recommend this if you fancy a meal in the revolving restaurant or if it is a really nice day.
Its not that it was terrible, it was pretty cool but in a low cast smoggy day you dont get the same sense of scale.
At the desk they do not advertise the observation deck only they want you to fork out £10 p/p for meal. The deck only costs about £5.
To put this into context it cost me £10 to pay for a meal with drinks for 5 people, this would also be enough for about 8 taxi trips.
For the price of the ticket there also is a trained monkey show (did not see), a police museum
- Museum Visits
The museum isn't worth it!
Avoid the provincial museum down town. Other than the underwater exhibit, with a neat aquarium you can walk through, it is a complete waste of time and money. There are raggedy dead animals in rundown nature scenes throughout, and a snoring security guard in every corner. The outside of the building is prettier than the inside.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go to the museum then don't miss the aquarium in the basement.
Fun Alternatives: Step across the street and admire the statue to the Russian war heros.
The Price can be much CHEEPER!!
The shop set the price rather high than the price they bought the product. They can tell your accent from the local and the tourists.
Unique Suggestions: Make 80% off price-cut. If the owner is unhappy add up RMB 5 to RMB 10 each time you bid. If the owner is not so un happy, you may cut more price. Do not show how much you adore the product.
Fun Alternatives: Compare more place. Buying gifts on the road instead of in the shop.
Sophia Church - no need to enter inside
an Orthodox Church that is rare in China. but viewing the byzantine style from outside is enough. you may regret spending 25RMB to go inside unless you are interested in Harbin history.
- Historical Travel
- Religious Travel
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