• Alberto makes a friend.
  • A typical 'menu' at the restaurants we visit looks more like a supermarket display case. Sample dishes are presented under taught plastic wrap to entice patrons as they enter.
  • Special sea-cucumber table with all your favorite sea-cucumber accessories.
  • A typical private dining room, complete with computerized ordering system and giant lazy-susan, like so many others we encountered throughout Manchuria (well, most didn't have the PC).
  • The Siberia Tiger Park in Harbin is home to one of the world's largest collections of tigers-in-captivity. I was concerned that the cats were confined to paddocks and cages far too smal for their natural instincts. And let's face it, the Chinese aren''t exactly known for their undying love of nature.
    • Pals/siblings welcome our bus into the central paddock.
    • The duck-truck, piloted by the world's most blasé chain smoking dude, pulls in and plies the cats with live and dead duck meat.
    • This fella surfed the roof of the duck truck for quite some distance. Clearly the cats and the park staff have grown accustomed to each other.
    • Mmmm, duck.
    • A live duck is hurled into an open space to arouse the cats and delight bus fulls of enraptured tourists. With clipped wings, the foul didn't have a chance.
    • Tigers play in the enclosed part of the park. Kitty!
    • For 15 yuan you can get the evil chicken lady to tie a live bird to the end of a stick and then taunt tigers with the squacking bird before dangling it close enough to get swiped and eaten. It was beyond cruel.
    • A stunning Jaguar.
    • Albino tiger.
    • White lion.
    • Lean mean Cheetah machine.
    • Lounging panthers with their crazy long tails.
    • The happiest tiger in the area is the plastic kitty in this statue.
    • Horrendously packed-in pigs on the way to slaughter somewhere in Harbin.
    • Colorful street scene in downtown Harbin. It get incredibly cold here during the winter, so there is an elaborate underground network of shop-lined tunnels between downtown malls and office buildings so you can actually get around large parts of town without ever coming up to the surface.
    • A modern corner of Harbin as seen from our hotel.