I have been to quite a few places that I had never in my life thought I could be at, or be in. A few, like this recent trip, is because of my job, others are just consequences that have arose from my inclination to make spur-of-the-moment, let's-go-down-this-alley-into-this-building decisions. Let's just say I have a lot of stories to tell my children, and my grandchildren. I'll be the badass gramma.
I digress. I am not new to the family-oriented Club Med concept. It is a brilliant concept. It's an all-in-one price: you pay for flight, accommodation, food, even people to babysit you lil' ones and you never have to fish out your charge cards or cash throughout the stay. The only times you probably need to is when you want to hit the spa, or head out for excursions. Otherwise, there are activities aplenty from dance classes to trapeze to, depending if you're in one of their snow resorts - skiing!
Personally, I think Club Med resorts I've been to are very family-oriented: with kiddy-themed parties, the food is child-friendly, even the staff are. And it's not a bad thing at all. Of course, if Club Med would like to prove me otherwise, J and I would welcome, with wide open arms a trip to Club Med Maldives and we'll let you know if it's just as couple-friendly. ;o)
The trek to Club Med Yabuli is not easy - you have to take two flights before you get to Harbin, and then a 3.5 hour bus ride to the resort. It gets especially painful when you're not very fond of mainland Chinese who are rude, uncouth and don't exactly have the level of hygiene that normal people possess. And who would I sit next to on the plane journeys? Mainland Chinese, of course.
But what greeted you after that long journey [about 18 - 20 hours with transit, check-in times, etc], is breathtaking, and not only is your mind boggled by the fact that you could possibly actually STRADDLE BOTH CHINA AND RUSSIA AT THE SAME TIME [a thought that excited me like crazy], you would also be bowled over by the picturesque winterscape in front of you.
I'm not going to give it all away, because I do have to write a story over this weekend for Designaré HOMME, but I will indulge you with heaps of photos from Instagram, and two more posts on Manchuria - one, on my virgin ski experience [which I LOVED despite the tragedy that struck our group], and the most out-of-this-world experience I've ever had with tigers.
As for now, I'm going to hit the sack with the souvenir I've received from Mother Nature for smartly fucking up my system by going from 30ºC TO -30ºC - a mean cough. Until I feel a tad bit better - so glad to be home, kids!