While I'm sure the PR people who sent me up to the freakin' border of China and Russia would love for me to say that the Club Med resort was the awesomest part of my trip, this lady don't lie [and she can't lie, she's quite useless at lying]. Skiing was out-of-this-world cool, Club Med was awesome but the best part, the part I will remember most for the rest of my life, is the Harbin Tiger Park.
About an hour's drive from Club Med Yabuli, Harbin Tiger Park is as its name suggests, a sanctuary for nothing but tigers. And it's motherfuckin' incredible. I'm pretty sure I annoyed all the journos with me on the trip every time I squealed "OHMYGOD, IT'S A TIGER!"
No shit, Sherlock.
Once you get off the bus that you took to get there, you'd run to the nearest next mini van / jeep waiting for you. Run - not cos' there are tigers around yet, but just cos' it's so damn cold. That second vehicle will take you to an open field where tigers, dozens of them are just lounging around like it's any other day for them. Well, it is just some other day of lying on the snow, but for us, having tigers up that up close, it was out-of-this-world.
This next photos just illustrate how damn close these magnificent animals were to the vehicle.
You could choose to send a feeding jeep into the pack of tigers. For RMB90, a live chicken would be thrown into the wilderness, and for RMB1,500 a live ox. A live freakin' ox. Honestly, I really wanted a live show of the Discovery Channel happening right in front of me, but I think the girls on the trip with me wanted to keep their breakfast down. So we sent one poor chicken into the pack. Here's a video of what happened, chicken didn't stand a chance:
And then once that spectacle was over, we took a walk in the sanctuary. A pathetic flimsy fence separated us and the killer kitties.
WE GOT TO FEED TIGERS. I wanted to be the first too, so you can imagine my sheer excitement. Actually, you can watch my excitement:
And my favourite part of it all? We came face-to-face with not one, not two, but three freakin' white Siberian tigers. I have died and gone to killa kitty heaven. Here's my winning shot:
Seriously man. If that isn't just badasswickedawesomecool, I honestly, honestly don't know what is.