Tianjin

On August 13, 2012, in Cool Places, Other Regions, by Jack Li

If you travel to Beijing and you do a Beijing Tour you’ll probably see that most of the buildings and places are either very Chinese or very modern. But just 30 min by fast train from the city you’ll find a completely different world. Tianjin. Tianjin is one of the five national center cities of […]

If you travel to Beijing and you do a Beijing Tour you’ll probably see that most of the buildings and places are either very Chinese or very modern. But just 30 min by fast train from the city you’ll find a completely different world.

Tianjin.

Tianjin is one of the five national center cities of China and it is interesting especially for his variety, in their municipality there are three distinctive areas that make Tianjin one of the most curious cities in China.

It has the modern part, with tall buildings and modern malls and business center. High buildings and modern bridges that cross the river in a very modern and spectacular way,

It has the old part with a bell tower and lots of streets where you can buy calligraphy material and see how the people lived in ancient times.

But it also has a “European part” because it was in Tianjin where the foreigners were established after the second Opium war, this part is full of European-looking villas and churches, a singular thing in China that has given Tianjin the right of being one of the most touristic cities within the Chinese people.

This touristic rush have had a lot of benefit in the city, for example, a lot of buildings that were nearly in ruins have been restored and the works continue all along the city, especially near the river where there is even a bridge that is European-style.

The tourism has also made Tianjin one of the most beautiful cities of China, the riverside path is very nice and full of flowers and there are modern sculptures and places to rest everywhere.

But probably the most impressive thing of Tianjin is the Tianjin Eye, a big wheel that is almost as big as the London Eye but it has one big difference from the Londoner.

The Tianjin Eye is directly built on the river, like a bridge with the Ferris wheel on top, which is a very remarkable work, it was opened in 2008 and it’s the forth bigger wheel in the world so it’s already an attraction for itself.

Tianjin is one of the most interesting cities you can find near Beijing and is only half an hour away! So if you want to have a lovely day in a place which will remind you of home and eat in a proper European restaurant (yes, you are in Asia and you should enjoy it but a little bit of nostalgia is good) why not include Tianjin to your China Tour? You won’t regret it.

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A taste of Europe at 30 minutes away from Beijing

The 2 biggest cities of China are Beijing and Shanghai, and do you know which one is ranked at the third position? Tianjin (definitely worth to visit during your China tours). Tianjin is opened to the Bohai Sea, it is known as the gate of Beijing with the Occident for political and economical purposes. Indeed […]

The 2 biggest cities of China are Beijing and Shanghai, and do you know which one is ranked at the third position? Tianjin (definitely worth to visit during your China tours). Tianjin is opened to the Bohai Sea, it is known as the gate of Beijing with the Occident for political and economical purposes. Indeed this city began an economical spot under the Sui Dynasty between 581 and 618, and in the 19th century western people started to settle in. Thus, Tianjin is a melting-pot of European and Chinese culture, it is rich of history and diversity, almost like an outdoor museum. Let’s take the 350km/h state-of-the-art bullet train to get in Tianjin in only 30 minutes.

Tianjin was the first Chinese city to open to foreign investors in the 19th century. After numerous Chinese wars and battles, Western Empires (Great Britain and France first) have established their concessions in Tianjin and Shanghai. By now, these buildings still remain like few centuries ago, a real witness from the past. It is not difficult to see Western type architecture in the city. Think about that: what an amazing thing to be in China and at the same time being carried away in many European countries just in a single day! If you step into Tianjin’s downtown, at WuDaDao, you will find large numbers of European style residences admired by tourists, photographs and people who are interested in classical architecture. For a better experience try the concessions tour in a horse-drawn carriage!

Between 1920 and 1930, 230 residences and villas were constructed; Tianjin was China’s western architecture museum at that time. In total there are 89 English style buildings, 41 Italian ones, 6 French, 4 German, 3 Spanish and 3 from a mixed influence of Chinese and Western architecture. 

In order to learn more about Tianjin’s and China’s history, the better would be going to Tianjin’s museum. Here are some places you could visit:

–          Luzutang, Boxer Rebellion Museum 
between 1898 and 1901, opposing foreign imperialism and Christianity period

–          Tianjin Museum
 The largest museum of the city exhibiting a range of cultural and historical relics significant to Tianjin. There are nearly 200,000 collections of art and relics, including calligraphy, paintings, bronzeware, ceramics, jadeware, seals, inkstone, Jiagu (bones or tortoise shells with inscriptions of the Shang Dynasty), coins, historic documents and relics of modern times.

–          Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China, he served under Mao Zedong from October 1949 until his death in January 1976. Deng Yingchao is his wife. Chairwoman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference from 1983 to 1988 and a member of the Communist Party of China.

–          Astor Hotel and its museum
It’s the first international hotel in modern Chinese history. From the onset in 1863 until the end of the 19th century, The Astor Hotel became the prime venue for all diplomatic activity in Tianjin, and was soon named one of the first Diplomatic residences in China. 

 

Tianjin has learned how to mix the old treasures and modernity, and has become a dynamic and multi-cultural city. I think that spending a week end in that city will cure your homesickness during your China travel.

 

 

 

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A Day Trip to Tianjin

On September 21, 2010, in Activities, More Cities, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Beijing, a city of historical and cultural relics and scenic spots, has always been an attraction to travelers both at home and abroad. Historical sites such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City are all must-see attractions. I’m sure everyone who takes on a china travel hasn’t enough time to experience […]

Beijing, a city of historical and cultural relics and scenic spots, has always been an attraction to travelers both at home and abroad. Historical sites such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Forbidden City are all must-see attractions. I’m sure everyone who takes on a china travel hasn’t enough time to experience more than just visit some famous attractions in Beijing. However do you want to know more about China? Actually you might as well take one day from your travel plan for visiting Tianjin, a neighbor city of Beijing. You will learn more about China during your China Tours. Following is my plan for a day trip to Tianjin, which can be seen as a guide.

Since Tianjin is just located to the southeast of Beijing, you can go to Tianjin by train. You can start from Beijing at 7:30 in the morning and it will only take you one and a half hours to get in Tianjin.

First we will visit the Italian District which is very near to Tianjin Railway Station. You can go there either by walking or taking a bus. The Italian District is once a concession to Italy. It is the district between Beianqiao and Tianjin Railway Station. Here you will find various kinds of Italian architecture and the famous Marco Polo Square as well. These Italian architectures are said to be the only ones in Asia. So it’s lucky for you to appreciate them here in Tianjin without even going to Italy.

Then we will go to Wu Da Dao (the Five Main Venues) by taking Bus 901. It will take 10-20 minutes. The five main venues are named after five famous cities in southwest of China. They are Chengdu Dao, Chongqing Dao, Changde Dao, Dali Dao, Munan Dao. Machang Dao is also included in that district. Tianjin people like to call the whole district “Wu Da Dao District”. This district features 2000 villas of English, French, Italian, German and Spanish styles built up in 1920s-1930s, covering an area of over 1,000,000 square meters. Walking in this district you will feel like experiencing a world exposition for architectures.


It will be our lunch time when we leave the Wu Da Dao District. So, next stop will be Tianjin Food Street. Take Bus 606 for 20 minutes and we will arrive at the greatest food castle of China. This street accumulates specialties and snacks from all over the country. The most famous ones are Gou Buli, Erduoyan Fried Cake and Tianjin Serratula which are called “Tianjin San Jue” and Pitang Zhang, Bengdou Zhang and Guoren Zhang which are called Tianjian San Zhang”. These foods are not only delicious but also good for health.

After enjoying a good lunch, we come to our last stop, that is, Tianjin Old Culture Street. It is near the Food Street. So we can just walk there. Tianhou Palace is the main attraction in this street, which is also called the Mazu Temple. It is one of the three biggest Muzu temples in China. Tianhou Niangniang is seen as a goddess who protects its people who live on sea. Besides, Tianjin boasts its folk handicraft products such as Yangliuqing New Year Painting, Kites Wei, and painted sculpture.

So that’s a day’s arrangement. In such a day, you can taste the long history of Tianjin from its architecture, its traditional food and folk handicrafts. In each way you will experience a city different from Beijing. Travel to Tianjin is really worthy. It will make your china travel more colorful.

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