February 16, 2009

Harbin -> Dalian

* Unit 731 - Harbin hosts one of the most gruesome remains of Japanese aggression during 1932-1945. At least 3000 people, maybe more, died in experiments that were performed on them to study the effects of biological war germs. They had stuff injected in to them and they'd be watched to see what happened. Then they'd be cut open. And anything in between. The Japanese destroyed it at the end of the war, and denied it for a long time. This morning we visited the small museum that remembers this laboratory. Pretty creepy.

* Dalian - we arrived here early evening with a busy schedule ahead. Within minutes of being driven downtown, the city (with only 3 million people) already felt much more comfortable, modern, relaxed and fun than Harbin. Maybe it was the cold in Harbin, but although I didn't spend much time walking around it felt very 'heavy' and grey with huge communist buildings. Not very appealing, it seemed. Dalian, on the other hand, seems extremely livable. Which was confirmed by dinner at a nice Japanese restaurant with sake and Kirin beer. Bliss.

* More bliss: ending the day with a 45-minute foot massage. It must have looked funny though: four foreigners, spread out on beds, with Chinese guys working away on their feet.

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