Manzhouli was another contingency stop, that we put in for the border crossing, but we're quite glad we stayed here. The city is a wonderful combination of Russia and China, with both languages being catered for. That meant that almost nobody spoke English and we relied on Google Translate's offline mode to communicate via text far more than ever before.
The city itself looks a bit more like Las Vegas, with lots of bright lights at night and far more skyscrapers than you'd expect for such a small city. There were still a lot of statues and sculptures around, but rather than Lenin, these were more Western style, with bullfighters, ballroom dancers, and an unknown rock band.
The temperature here dropped yet again, now going below -20 C. The pavements were icy below the snow, meaning we couldn't walk fast enough to gain any warmth. Also, there were sections of marble in the pedestrianised areas that were very slippery in the cold, causing even the locals to slide and fall.
The standout though was the food. We've not really enjoyed Russian food, as it is mainly greasy and fatty to cope with the harsh winter that's coming. Our first meal here was a shrimp hotpot, which was just such a flavourful delight that we had to go back again for more.