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Harbin Snow Sculpture Festival

I have to be honest and start by saying I’m a huge fan of winter and all that it implies, snow, ice, cold weather, the whole enchilada, so I guess I was a little subjective in picking this piece over others. But even you sun worshipers have to admit that these snow sculptures, especially the castles are simply amazing.

These were all sculpted in blocks of snow and ice, during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in China by the most talented sculptures in the world. The festival dates back to 1963 and is one of the four largest ice and snow festivals, along with along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.

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The power of Chinese massage oil

Lucky for me, I’m not very big on Chinese food, or any other spicy cuisine for that matter, I don’t know how my throat could withstand the power of that acid-like sauce. Frankly I can’t even conceive anybody would use that on their food, that stuff makes Mexican chilly look like baby food.

if you’ve ever tried anything like this please leave your thoughts, I’m really curious if Chinese hot sauce is as hot as it looks.

UPDATE: According to one of our readers the red substance is actually some kind of oil and it is not eatable. Sorry for the mix-up, my Chinese is not very good.
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KaraTEA

As you all know, Chinese are very serious when it comes to their historical legacy, their centuries old customs and traditions, so it comes as no surprise that even though it’s rapidly becoming one of the most industrialized nations in the world they still honor their forefathers by performing ancient ceremonies.

Avery good example is this Cin dynasty traditional ceremony, performed in the city of Hangzhou. Progress is great but history is fascinating.

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Juicy Thai delicacies

For some reason I never thought I’d use the word delicacy in the same sentence with words like cricket, caterpillar, frog, grasshopper, but I guess I was wrong. Apparently in Thailand all these are considered delicious and extremely good for the body. Grasshoppers are boiled alive so they keep their physical detail intact, but you shouldn’t eat the head and intestines…charming.

If you’re into this stuff, you might be thrilled to hear you could also try some roaches, beetles, ants, ant eggs and even cooked scorpions.

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Duck blood soup

There’s no way in hell I’m eating something like this, bring the bat soup and the Thai delicacies on, but Vietnamese blood soup…yuck!

See it’s all about the way it’s cooked because…well, it’s not cooked at all! They just slit the duck’s or goose’s throat, gather all the blood in a boll, add ginger, some vegetables and sometimes sprinkle peanuts on top and there you have it, that’s your soup. It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and it’s regarded as a source of strength by those who cook and eat it.

Strangest thing is, some restaurants in Germany have started serving this and it is a huge success, people can’t get enough of it! If you want to know more about it, or where you can get some, search it online, it’s called Tiet cahn…Good luck!

Japanese mud festival

Hundreds of Japanese grown-men wrestle each other in the mud water of Mimusubi shrine in Yotsukaido, a settlement near Tokyo. Every year on February 25 these men take part in this strange yet fun looking rite, believed to bring good harvest for the whole year

and good health for babies.

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Karni Mata, the temple of rats

The Karni Mata Hindu temple was built by Maharajah Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata and the most intriguing aspect of it, is that it’s home for over 20.000 worshiped rats.

The legend behind this temple is that Karni Mata, a matriarch from the 14th century was a reincarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. at one point one of her clansmen’s child died and she tried to bring it back to life only to be told by Yama, the god of death that he had already reincarnated as a rat. Karni Mata struck a deal with Tama, that all her dead clansmen would reincarnate as rats, until they were ready to be born again into the tribe.

It’s a nice story but I can’t stop thinking about how that place must smell…

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Sea of Garbage

No matter how much you love swimming I’m willing to bet the farm you wouldn’t dare do it here…unless you have a death wish!

This is the Citarum river, in Indonesia, possibly the most polluted river in the world, due to mankind’s greed and insensibility regarding environment. Once one of the most beautiful waters in Asia, now the Citarum is a graveyard of debris, where locals, who can no longer fish, risk their lives scavenging for bottles and anything else they might sell for a small profit.

excavator in Citarum River

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