Northern China: Camping Under the Summer Aurora and Shooting Stars

1001769_4942790013906_1429221115_nMissed seeing the Aurora Borealis in Northern Europe the Winter? There’s an alternative plan for you to catch the northern lights in another season and even another side of the world.

Not many people or even Chinese know that you can see the Northern light in Mohe, the northest city in China, in the summertime according to Chinese calendar(it’s slightly different every year and different from western calendar, usually in mid June). Summertime in China have long daylights and a chance to see the aurora borealis.

Cities in northern China still kept the nature sides of her and it’s a very special trip I and my mom travel up north for 10 days back in 2013. I really recommend a trip there to discover the other side of China that still haven’t been commercialize. Since Mohe is a  trip long way up north, here are few highlights on the transit city:

 

Hong Kong>Beijing

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My mom in front of Main Street WangFuJing

We first make our stop in Beijing and it was my third time there already. The first time was like in primary school and the second time was an exchange in the year of Olympics 2008.

It was really different from the first time I’ve been there, now turned into a crowded and super busy city. We made our stop at the famous王府井大街 Main Street WangFuJing, where is full of authentic street food and weird snacks. Well, personally I think it’s just another tourist attraction so it’s not the place you find super decent food though.

 

Beijing>吉林 JiLin>漠河 Mohe

The next day we catch our flight to JiLin then finally to the domestic airport in Mohe.

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Basically, Mohe is a city river away from Russia, just started developed as a tourist spots for northern light in the summer, so really not much going on or exciting about it rather than her beautiful nature. It was pretty hot in Mohe like 30 degree in the summer, I still remember how the color of nature were so vibrant under this nice weather.

We visited to the “Northest Village”, an easy hike to see the beauty through rivers and plants, visited the northerst catholic church in China and a small museum about people live there. Northern Chinese look pretty different from southern Chinese like me, they are usually much taller and with different facial features like taller nose or deeper eyes, even more like a westerner than typical Chinese since it’s just a river oppose to Russia. Next, we visited the northest post office as well. People may not be rich or receive well education, but northern Chinese friends of mine are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, that really respect of friendships.

We stayed in the one and only one hotel in Mohe when it was way too hot to go out at noon. It’s a massive hotel with room huge like an en suite but still only operate when few tour came to the city.

At night, the tour had provided us camps so we headed out to a empty plaza and wait for the northern lights around 10pm. We first saw a very round and clear moon and a sky full of starssssssss (was literally filled with stars and you can simply spotted the whole zodiac!). After hours waiting, we finally saw some abnormal lights curling up the sky and that’s was the first time seeing the aurora! We got so emotional and happy to go back to sleep 6 in the morning.

 

Mohe>哈爾濱 Harbin

Spent two nights at Mohe, we fought back to another northern city Harbin. It’s a city influenced by Russia culture. We visited the famous St. Sophia Cathedral in the city center, the Russia Village, and some museum. There will be covered with snow in winter and very for its annual ice crafting festival!

Food in Northern China

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Food are really different in the north which I’m much preferred! Due to the different growth of crops, people eat more dumpling or noodle than rice, and much spicier because of the cold weather. Since the crops and animals are house farmed in Mohe and not proceed with artificial stuff, you can taste the origin flavor of everything! Dishes simply like steamed vegetable amazed me with its refreshing and pure sweetness!

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