Tianjin

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Tianjin (天津; Tiānjīn) is a major city in North China that neighbours the capital city of Beijing.

Understand[edit]

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°C) 2 5 12 21 26 30 31 30 26 20 11 4
Nightly lows (°C) −8 −5 1 9 15 20 23 22 16 9 1 −5
Precipitation (mm) 3 4 8 21 38 71 171 146 46 23 10 4
Daylight (hrs/day) 5.8 6.3 6.6 7.7 8.6 8.4 7.0 7.2 7.4 6.8 5.8 5.4

Humidity is highly seasonal; only summer is consistently humid

Tianjin (Chinese: 天津; pinyin: Tiānjīn) is a metropolis in northern China and one of the five national central cities of the People's Republic of China. Tianjin borders Hebei Province and Beijing Municipality, bounded to the east by the Bohai Gulf portion of the Yellow Sea.

Tianjin is divided into the old city and the Binhai New Area. Binhai New Area is growing fast, with many international companies establishing branch offices. It is a base of China's advanced industry, financial reform, and innovation.

In terms of urban population, it is the sixth-largest city of the People's Republic of China. Tianjin's urban area is located along the Hai River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. Tianjin was once home to foreign concessions in the late Qing Dynasty and early Kuomintang era.

Tianjin's climate is similar to, though slightly warmer than, its neighbour Beijing. Overall it can be described as continental; winters are cold and dry, as nights below −10 °C are not uncommon, and summers are hot and humid, with days reaching above the upper 30's °C not out of the question. The best time to visit is autumn, though if you do not mind dust storms, spring would also be an excellent choice.

History[edit]

Tianjin has been trading port since historic times and was previously called "Zhigu" (直沽), or "Straight Port". In until 1404, the Yongle Emperor renamed the city Tianjin, meaning "the Heavenly Ford", to indicate that the Emperor forded the river at that point.

Due to its proximity to Beijing, Tianjin was involved significantly during the Opium Wars. Many concession areas in the city were run by the European powers as well as Japan, leaving many foreign architectural reminders of their rule, notably including churches and thousands of villas.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Tianjin Binhai International Airport (IATA: TSN) is located in the east of the urban area, in Dongli District, which is only 15 km (9 miles) to the east of the urban area. It is a second alternative to high-speed train, especially if wanting to reduce the added travel time and cost that comes associated with flying into Beijing -- just some 120 km (75 miles) from Tianjin.

The home base of Tianjin Airlines and the delightfully humble Okay Airways, domestic routes include most major Chinese cities. A few international routes are available, including destinations in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Mongolia.

Metro Line 2 now connects the airport directly to Tianjin station, with a fare of just ¥3. There are also four Airport Shuttle Bus routes, and the most expensive price is ¥25. No change is given on the bus, so make sure you have exact change for the fare.

From Beijing Capital International Airport[edit]

China's main airport in Beijing is a good alternative for getting into Tianjin, especially for long distance flights from Europe or the Americas. Ticket prices inside China may be lower as well, so worth checking this option.

  • Take the Airport Express train into Beijing, the subway to Beijing South Station and the bullet train to Tianjin (see below). It takes at least 3.5 hours.
  • There is a direct bus between Beijing Airport and Tianjin. It nominally takes 2.5 hours. The bus does not go to central Tianjin, but to a bus terminal a little outside. From there you can have someone pick you up, or take a taxi.

By train[edit]

Tianjin Railway Station

Tianjin Railway Station was built in 1888, sometime known locally as the 'East Station', is the main station in Tianjin. Tanggu station serves the seaside district of the same name. Tianjin West and Tianjin South stations serve bullet trains to Shanghai, while Tianjin West in urban area and Tianjin South are a bit far from the city.

Tianjin railway station is open for the bullet train to Beijing South train station. One-way tickets are ¥55 for Economy, ¥66 for Business, or ¥94 for VIP. The bullet train designation is a 'C' and takes about 33 minutes, travelling up to 300 km/h. Some C-series trains make a stop in Wuqing, add 5 more minutes to the whole trip.

There are shuttle buses between Tianjin railway station and Tianjin airport. A ticket costs ¥15 per trip. It stops about 200 m from the train station northern gate (back gate). When one get down from the shuttle bus, just walk along the pavement and you will reach the train station.

Should you choose to take taxi, use the official taxi stand (just follow the signage). The taxi fare from Tianjin railway station to Tianjin airport is about ¥50-65. It is not advisable to use any of the touts that offer taxi services. The official taxi stand has plenty of taxis.

If leaving the station by taxi, be prepared for a production-line approach to getting the punters into taxis. Marshals keep the queue moving so have baggage ready to stow and a destination in mind or possibly be forced to go to the back of the line and wait your turn again.

Tianjin South Railway Station handles some of the high-speed rail service to Shanghai. It is not near the city, although there are some bus routes from the South Railway Station to the city, and the taxis are mostly of the illegal variety, so plan accordingly. The renovated Tianjin West Station also handles the high-speed rail service to Shanghai. It can be reached by Tianjin Metro Line 1. Tianjin South serves as an intermediate station for bullet trains between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao. Tianjin West is not located on the main line, but as a termini for trains between Tianjin West and Shanghai Hongqiao.

The following rail lines go through Tianjin:

Tianjin West Railway Station, Jingshan Railway, from Beijing to Shanghai Jinpu Railway, from Tianjin to Pukou District, Nanjing Jinji Railway, from Tianjin urban area to Ji County, Tianjin Jinba Railway, from Tianjin to Bazhou, Hebei

The inter-city trains between Beijing and Tianjin have a number range between C2001~C2298:

C2001~C2198: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, non-stop. C2201~C2268: From Beijing South Station to Tianjin, with stops at Wuqing Station (武清站) or Yizhuang Station (亦庄站); C2271~C2298: From Beijing South Station to Tanggu Station of Tianjin.

By car[edit]

Some spots in Tianjin, including roads and bridges, have names from Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People (for example, Minquan Gate on Zhonghuan Road). Names harkening back to the era of the Republic of China on the mainland also appear (e.g. Beiyang Road). Many roads in Tianjin are named after a Chinese province or city. Also, Tianjin is unlike Beijing, in that very few roads run parallel to the major four compass directions.

Tianjin has three ring roads. Unlike Beijing, the Inner and Middle Ring Roads are not closed, traffic-controlled roadways and some often have traffic light intersections. The Outer Ring Road is the closest thing to a highway-level ring road, although traffic is often chaotic and sometimes more than chaotic.

By bus[edit]

Tianjin is well connected with other cities via bus. The price from Beijing is about ¥30.

There are also two school bus lines linking Nankai and Tianjin Universities and Tsinghua University. They depart daily at 15:45 and 16:45 from Tsinghua's North-West Gate.

By boat[edit]

Tianjin is connected to Dalian as well Incheon, South Korea, by passenger boat.

Kobe, Japan - is served by a weekly China Express Line ferry, departing Kobe at 11:00 on Fridays and arriving in Tianjin at 14:00 on Sundays. It takes 51 hours to do the nearly 2000 km (1242 mi) crossing between the two cities. Tianjin Office Tel.:+86 22-2420-5777

Get around[edit]

Founded in 1904, the Tianjin bus system was the first in China, and the metro was second in the nation (1970) and today the city is well served by its public transportation. Within the city, traveling on a bus line that is less than 12 km (7 km) will cost ¥1.5, while ¥1 will cover a journey on any line over 12 kilometres, even if you travel less than 12 km (7 mi) but on a line that is over this distance, the cost is still ¥1. It's well worth your time to look up popular bus routes. Buses are comfortable and clean.

The old Tianjin metro was suspended in 2001, but after refurbishing was re-opened in 2006. In addition, a light-rail line runs between the urban area of Zhongshanmen to the seaside area Donghailu in TEDA.

By taxi[edit]

Taxis are abundant. The minimum cost for 3 km is ¥8, (¥1.7 per km thereafter). Taxis also charge for the time while the vehicle is stationary at ¥1.7 for every five minutes (cost is exempt for less than five minutes). It is strongly recommended to avoid taxis from near the railway station. See note in the Get in-By train section above about how to avoid train station taxis. The same advice applies at tourist stops, it is best to walk a few blocks to a regular street to catch a metered taxi. Ride with illegal taxis at your own risk.

There are Tianjin tourist maps with destinations written in Chinese characters and English. Pointing at where you want to go will get you a long way with taxi drivers. It might be a good idea to take a magnifying glass along as many of the drivers have trouble with the small font.

You can rent a taxi driver for the day or even for just a few hours. The drivers are happy to wait, and the cost for two hours would be less than ¥100.

Another caution about taxis is that there are toll roads in some parts of China. In a taxi, you will be expected to pay the base fare plus the toll fee. The driver pays the toll and receives a receipt at the toll booth. At your destination, you ask for the receipt(s) and pay that amount plus the base fare. If you are going a long way, you may also be asked to pay for the return toll fee. That is a legitimate request, although you could argue that the driver will pick up another fare to pay for the toll anyway. You may or may not succeed with the driver.

Tipping isn't common practice, as in most Chinese cities.

By metro[edit]

Map of Tianjin Metro and Binhai Mass Transit

The municipality consists of two rapid transit systems, Tianjin Metro and Binhai Mass Transit. They are currently under heavy expansion from five to nine lines. Five lines are currently operating both in the City and the Binhai area.

As of 2013, the entire network of Tianjin Metro and Binhai Mass Transit has 50 stations and 5 lines.

Number & Name Terminals Interchange
1 Line 1 Shuanglin – Liuyuan Line 2 and Line 3
2 Line 2 Caozhuang – Tianjin Railway Station - Tianjin Binhai Airport Line 1, Line 3 and Line 9
3 Line 3 High-tech Zone – Xiaodian Line 1, Line 2 and Line 9
9 Line 9 Tianjin Railway Station – Donghai Road Line 2, Line 3 and TEDA MGRT
T TEDA Modern Guided Rail Tram TEDA – North of College District Line 9
5 Line 5 (u/c) North Warehouse – Dasizhen
6 Line 6 (u/c) Dabizhuang – Liqizhuang

See[edit]

Buildings[edit]

  • The Five Avenues (五大道; Wǔdàdào; lit. The Five Avenues), Wudadao, Heping, Tianjin (和平区五大道) (Best route: cross between Hebei Lu and Chengdu Dao — Chongqing Dao — Changde Dao — Dali Dao — Xinhua Lu — Machang Dao — Munan Dao — Hong Kong Lu — Chongqing Dao — Nanhai Lu — Hebei Lu). Fifth Avenue (Wudadao) is located in the south of the downtown Tianjin, a parallel street from east to west named under five cities of southwest China, namely Chongqing, Changde, Dali, Munan and Machang. Local Tianjinese call it the "Fifth Avenue", together with over 230 buildings of all kinds from the architecture of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as over 50 houses ever been lived by celebrities. Colourful architecture style range from the Renaissance, Greek, Gothic, Romantic, Eclectic, and Carson, which constitute a true fun of art. The second part is the residential area, with the first small Western-style residential area for foreign people who opened up concessions, whose residence next to the office area, close to Jiefang Road, around the former Italian concession in the east of Marco Polo Plaza. In the 20th century, due to the current situation, Tianjin's position in China had become very special and important. On one hand, social and political unrest made concessions a haven for ousted politicians and businessmen, on the other hand, Tianjin, had geographically profits for transportation and duty-free customs, was full of opportunities. Various dignitaries and rich people lived in Tianjin. Living in a small Western-style house was more comfortable and convenient than a traditional courtyard and the Fifth Avenue was located in a prime location of the British concession, thus people rushed in to build their houses here. The neighbourhood became Tianjin's rich area at that time. Tianjin was undoubtedly the first in term of the size of rich area among the affluent cities in modern China.
  • Tianjin Ancient Culture Street (古文化街; gǔwénhuàjiē), 天津市南开区鼓楼北 North of Gulou, Nankai +86-22-27275039. Open throughout the day, extended opening hours on holidays or major events.. Tianjin Ancient Culture Street was opened on New Year´s Day in 1986, the overall construction has the folk architectural styple of Qing dynasty, with Tin Hau (Matsu Temple) located in the centre of the whole street. There are nearly hundreds of stores along the street, among them Yangliuqing painting gallery and painted clay sculpture of Clay Figure Zhang are most famous, as well as calligraphy and painting brushes(文房四宝) of Four Treasures and Spring Church, cultural antiques of Sui Man Chai and cloisonne (景泰蓝), double-sided embroidery (双面绣), jade carvings (牙玉雕), art ceramics (艺术陶瓷), Chinese and Western musical instruments and gold and silver jewelry from other dozens of famous artists and craftmen. All goods are genuine, affordable and with good quality. free.
Tianjin Eye.
  • Tianjin Eye (天津眼(tiānjīnyǎn) or Yongle Bridge ferris wheel), Tianjin Eye, Hongqiao (天津市红桥区天津眼) (Bus 1, 4, 12, 18, 34, 177, 609, 610, 611, 619 Station: Jingang Qiao (750 meters away)). Maintenance on Monday morning, still open in the afternoon. The world's second largest Ferris wheel and the only Ferris wheel built on the bridge in the world, Tianjin Eye has a diameter of 110 meters and 64 exterior transparent hangings with 360º sightseeing. Ideal for surrounding scenery glance. A round requires 40 minutes. On the highest point, it is able to see the scenery within a radius of 40 km. Adult ¥70, Children ¥35 / person (under 1.2 meters), Box ticket ¥400 (less than five persons), Couple ¥240 (2 or less), VIP ¥140 (avoid queuing), Couple VIP ¥480 (2 persons within a separate box, avoid queuing), Box VIP ¥800 (less than five persons).
  • Tianjin Museum (天津博物馆(tiānjīnbówùguǎn)), Youyi Lu 31, Hexi, near Pingjiang Daokou(河西区友谊路31号,平江道口) +86(22)58793000. 9:00 — 16:30 (Tuesday to Friday, closed on Monday. Tianjin Museum has modern exhibition halls with an area of 11,000 square meters as well as cultural and leisure facilities with multiple functions. It looks like a swan spreading its wings to fly from the lake surface. With fluent and concise exterior line, it is full of modernity and artistic quality. All of these make it characteristic and imaginative. It possesses cultural relics of almost 200,000 items, including calligraphy, painting, bronze, ceramics, jade article, stamp of ruler’s seal, carapace bone, coin, historical document, relics of modern times, folk craftwork and so on. Among them, there are nearly 1000 grade one cultural relics of the state. free.
  • Dabei Monastery (大悲院; Dàbēiyuàn; lit. Great Compassion Temple), Tianwei Road, Hebei District (河北区天纬路; Héběiqū Tiānwěilù (About 2 km W of Tianjin North Railway Station. Take buses 1, 2, 4, 12, 18, 34, 177, 609, 609, 610, 611, 619, 632, 641, 646, 659, 670, 671, 818, 861, 878, 904 to Jingangqiao Stn (金钢桥; Jīngāngqiáo) on Zhongshan Rd (中山路; Zhōngshānlù) and walk NW of Tianwei Rd). 09:00-11:20, 14:00-16:30. The monastery was first built in the Ming Dynasty, but has been heavily rebuilt and renovated since and consists now of the West Monastery from 1669 and the East Monastery from 1940. It is the largest and oldest in town covering 10,600 m² (114,000 ft²). The temple houses Tianjin Buddhist Institute and exhibits quite many ancient statues.The Dabei Buddhist Monastery is made up of two parts: old monastery and new monastery. The old monastery refers to the three great halls in the west yard. The construction of the old monastery was start in the beginning of Qing Dynasty, and was renovated in the eighth ruling year of Kangxi Emperor in Qing Dynasty. The east yard features in the new monasterys. The statue of Sakyamuni oblated in the Daxiong Palace from the east yard was created in Ming Dynasty. The whole Sakyamuni Statue is 7 meters high, 6 tons weight, with 9,999 small Buddha carved on the lotus throne. Inside the Great Compassion hall, a 3.6-meters-high-mud-statue of Thousand-hand Kwan-yin is oblate. The monastery was once famous for holding a skull relic of Xuanzang, however, the relic was presented to India in 1956 when it was taken to Nalanda - allegedly by the Dalai Lama - and presented to India. The relic is now in the Patna museum. And from then on, Great Compassion monastery takes the image of Xuanzang Master instead of the spirit bones for the worship of the Buddhist. There are memorials for Xuanzang Master and Hongyi Master in the east yard, while the west yard becomes an office for Cultural Relic Palace, Abbot Palace and Chinese Buddhism Association Tianjin Branch. In the Cultural Relic Palace of the west yard, there many collections from every dynasties since Wei and Jin Period including hundreds of Buddha statues which are made of various materials from bronze, iron, stone to wood. Vegetarian Food: Dabei Great Monastery is the only monastery in Tianjin providing vegetarian food, so it's a good new for the vegetarian visitors. Food made by the famous Tianjin Dabei Buddhist Monastery Vegetarian Food Corporation are served in the monastery, which includes Longevity Perch present basket, soybean vegetarian, muti-vitamins-calcium noodles, deepfreeze eight precious vegetarian steamed-buns and vegetarian dumplings etc. ¥10.
  • Haihe River (海河),  Haihe Cruise +86 22 27059678. The Haihe River is one of the great rivers of northern China. North Canal, the Yongding River, Daqing River, Ziya River, South Canal, five rivers on three sides, north, west and south convergence to Tianjin. free.
  • Confucian Temple (孔庙), 2 Dongmenli, Nankai District (南开区东门里大街2号; Nánkāiqū Dōngménlǐdàjiē. 09:00-17:00. Early Qing Dynasty temple with a hall to honour Confucius and other halls for prayers. ¥4.
  • Grand Mosque (清真大寺; Qīngzhēndàsì), Xiaohuo Ln, Dafeng Rd, Hongqiao District (红桥区红桥区大丰路小伙巷; Hóngqiáoqū Dàfēnglù Xiǎohuǒxiàng) (Close to the Ancient Cultural Street, NE of Xibeijue Metro Stn (西北角; Xīběijué)). 09:00-17:00. Built in 1644 and constructed in wood. The mosque is still in use by the Tianjin Muslim community. Access for tourists to the interior is limited. Free.
  • Xikai Church (西开天主教堂; Xīkāitiānzhǔjiàotáng; also known as the French Church or the Catholic Church), Dushan Rd +86 22 2835-8812. M-Sa 09:00-11:00, 14:00-16:00. Built in 1917 by French Jesuits.
  • Drum Tower (鼓楼; Gǔlóu), Gulou E St, Nankai District (南开区鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóudōngjiē) (Bus 652 will take you right to the door, buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 will also get you really close). The tower was originally built in the Ming Dynasty, but was destroyed during the culture revolution. The Drum Tower was rebuilt in 2001 and now actually houses a bell and not drums. The tower is home to varying exhibitions. Free.
  • Tianjin Radio&TV Tower (广播电视塔; Guǎngbōdiànshìtǎ), 1 Jinzi Rd, Hexi District +86 22 2334-3557. The fourth largest tower in the world. But this one might be the most spectacular as it is surrounded by water.
Tianjin Astor Hotel
Tianjin Jinwan Plaza
Tianjin Skyline 2009
Tianjin Airport Industrial Park

Parks[edit]

  • Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World (天津海昌极地海洋世界; Tiānjīn Hǎichāng Jídì Hǎiyáng Shìjiè), Tianjin Binhai New Area Xiangluowan Business District No. 61; 天津市滨海新区响螺湾商务区第61号(Tiānjīn Bīnhǎi Xīn Qū Xiǎng Luówān Yóuxiāng Qū Qì 61 Hào) 022-66227777. A large building where you can see a wide variety of fish and mammals from both the Northern and Southern polar regions such as, Penguins, Polar Bears, Whales, Seals, Wolves, a wide variety of marine life, etc. You can also check out the Dolphin performances that they have scheduled a few times a day.

Museums[edit]

  • Garden of Serenity - Former Residence of Pu Yi, The Last Emperor of China (静园; Jìngyuán), 70 Anshan Road, Heping District; 和平区鞍山道70号(hépíngqū ānshāndào 9hào) (take bus# 3, 50, 673, 632, or 800 to Anshan Road. You can also take Subway line 1),  +86-22-27311618, 22-27317393. Jingyuan Garden with a history of 80 years is a famous residence combined both Chinese and European architecture style. It is now one of the heritage sites under city protection and the important historic architecture under the special protection area of Tianjin. Built in 1921, Jingyuan Garden, also named Qianyuan Garden, was the private residence of Lu Zongyu, minister-counselor to Japan appointed by the Northern Warlords’ Government. Later it was named by Puyi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty on July 1929 when he settled here with his wives. “Jing” means stillness in English and the Garden was named by the emperor who tried to strengthen himself with noble spirit by living in a peaceful environment. Jingyuan Garden with an area of 3360 square meters consists of three sets of courtyards, the front yard, the back yard and the side yard. The main building is a two-storied Spanish architecture. The first floor serves as a living room, a dining room, guest rooms and a kitchen, while the second floor as bedrooms, a library and a chamber. The exterior walls and balconies with projecting brims were used to add more room to the building. In front of the garden will be built a garden, in which enormous poplars, pagoda trees and cloves are planted and some ponds and pavilions are constructed. Besides, a reception office, a kitchen, a garage and a tennis court will be built on the northeast side of the garden. Jingyuan Garden integrates different architecture styles, such as Japanese and Spanish. The structure and material of gates are of typical Japanese style, simple and plain, while the low pitched roof and the detailed decoration are of obvious Spanish architecture style. The garden is now displayed following its original arrangements of furniture and adornments. And there also exhibit some paper materials and photos related with the daily life and political life of Pu Yi, the last emperor.
  • Former Residence of Zhang AilingNo.61 32th British colonial street; 英租界32号路61号 Yīngzūjiè 32 hào lù 61 hào. Early modern Chinese writer whose stories have been adapted into such films as Ang Li's "Lust, Caution". Zhang Ailing lived here for a very brief time during her early childhood years.
  • Tianjin Fine Art Museum.
  • Memorial Hall of Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao (周恩来邓颖超纪念馆;Zhōu'ēnlái dèngyǐngchāo jìniànguǎn), 9 Shui Shang Gong Yuan Xi Road, Nankai District; 天津南开区水上公园西路9号. 09:00-16:30, No entrance allowed after 16:00; Closed on Mondays.
  • Former Residence and Mausoleum of Huo Yuanjia (霍元甲故居纪念馆; Huò yuánjiǎ gùjū jìniànguǎn), XiQing District 天津市西青区 (Take bus#156 or 162 for roughly about 40 minutes.). 09:00-18:00. A large museum featuring the life of Huo Yuanjia (a historical figure played by Jet Li in the film "Fearless") and his contributions to China and Kungfu. The museum also displays a wide variety of weapons he collected. Just outside the museum is the tomb of Huo Yuanjia himself. Also surrounding the museum and residence is where you can find a professional wushu/kung fu school. ¥60.
  • China House Museum72 Chi Feng Road(赤峰道), He Ping District(和平区) 86-022-27123366. 09:00-17:30 7 days/week. The China House is a priceless building decorated with about 4,000 pieces of ancient porcelain, 400 pieces of jade stone carving, 20 tons of crystal and agate and million pieces of ancient Chinese ceramic chips. China house museum is a private museum which belongs to the Tianjin Yueweixian Cultural Industry and Investment group. It is built with more than 700,000,000 pieces of Chinese acient porcelain; 15000 ancient porcelain bows, dishes, and vases; 300 ancient porcelain-cat pillows; 300 stone lions; 300 marble sculptures; more 20 tons natural crystal, etc. Inside the museum there are 4 floors, filled with Chinese ancient furniture, woodcarving, etc. All the exhibits are collected by the chairman of the museum, Zhang Lianzhi. The Porcelain House is located in a bustling area, close to the former residence of Zhang Xueliang, an instigator of the Xi’an incident and a patriotic hero in China. Originally a 100-year -old French style villa, the residence is a five-storied building with a total area of 3,000 square meters. Porcelain used to decorate the house can date back to the Han Dynasty. Visitors can almost find every type of chinaware from the house, which perfectly combines traditional Chinese architecture and western architecture. On the roof of the house is embedded a 768-meter-long dragon relief made by over ten thousand pieces of porcelain and an eye-catching English word, ‘China’, with some Chinese characters and the flag of China on both sides. Inside the house there are many famous paintings comprised by ceramic chips, including the world famous painting, Mona Lisa. Besides, the walls of the house are named the ‘peace wall’, consisting of 635 vases made during Republic China and the late Qing Dynasty. ¥35.
  • Tianjin Museum (天津博物馆).
  • Tianjin Museum of Science and Technology (天津科技馆).
  • Tianjin Natural History Museum (天津自然历史博物馆).
  • Tianjin Opera Museum (天津戏曲博物馆).

Streets and areas[edit]

  • Ancient Cultural Street (古文化街; Gǔwénhuàjiē), Gongbei Ave-Gongnan Ave, Nankai District (南开区 宫北大街-宫南大街; Nánkāiqū Gōngběidàjiē-Gōngnándàjiē) (2 km E of Xibeijue Train Stn (西北角), buses 1, 4, 12, 15, 611, 612, 619, 624, 824 will also take you much closer to the street). Street not only lined with shops and cafes but also with interesting architecture, including lots of copies of Qing Dynasty buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings are Tianhou Palace (天后宫; Tiānhòugōng; Mazu temple), Yuhuang Cabinet (玉皇阁; Yùhuánggé; Ming Dynasty building) and Tongqingli (large residential building). This street is worth a visit even if it is very touristy.
  • Gulou Street (鼓楼街; Gǔlóujiē), Gulou West Street-Gulou E St, Nankai District (南开区 鼓楼西街-鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóuxījiē-Gǔlóudōngjiē) (Getting off at Xinanjue Train Stn (西南角) you will be 500 m S of the far western end of Gulou St, bus 652 is running along part of the street, and buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 are crossing the street). Ancient cultural street full of cheap and tasty cafes.
  • Jiefang Road North (解放北路; Jiefang Beilu). Running north-south a couple of streets back from the River Hai, this street is where colonial banks built their branches in Tianjin during the treaty-port era and will definitely be of interest to those interested in colonial architecture or history. Many of the buildings have been retained and are well-preserved, giving the street a distinctly European feel. No longer the central business district, it isn't a very busy street, with noticeably less car and pedestrian traffic than other parts of the city, making it a good place to spend a couple of hours wandering. Most of the buildings now house local Chinese banks so feel free to have a look inside (though staff may object to photography) at the interiors, many of which feature original wooden panelling and stained glass. Also on the street is the 'Chinese Museuum of Finance' which is home to several interesting financial artifacts, including the only share certificate in existence featuring a picture of Mao Zedong.
  • Heping Road. One of the busiest shopping precincts in Tianjin.
  • Machang Dao. Lined with large English style homes, another cultural street in Tianjin.
  • Binjiang Dao. Enormous street with block upon block of stalls and shops containing almost anything you may need.
  • Binhai District. The 183 km² Binhai New District holds three administrative areas: Tanggu, Hangu and Dagang, as well as some towns.

Further away[edit]

  • Huangyaguan Great Wall (黄崖关长城 (huángyáguānchángchéng)), 30 km north of Jixian (take a train from Tianjin East Railway Station for Jixian, departure 8:30 ¥8, or take a bus from Hebei Coach Station to Jixian Coach Station ¥16, and then take a van ¥5/person),  +86(22)22718718. Huangya, means "yellow cliff". The pass takes this name from the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. Originally built in Tianbao 7th of Beiqi (557 A D), the Huangyanguan was repaired for the first time in Ming Dynasty with bricks and for the second time in 1985. In 1986 it was listed as a key relics protection target of Tianjin city. Now it is also chosen as a patriotic education and national defense education base of Tianjin. Besides, starting form 1999, there is going to be a special tourism activity there-International Field Marathon.With various forms of water towers presented along the walls, and the largest tower of the Great Wall "PhoenixTower" and the most unique "BaguaguanCastle", Huangyaguan Great Wall is like a library of the Great Wall. By now 3025 meters of the Huangyaguan Great Wall, 20 water towers and a water pass have been repaired. This section has several features: Strong: With its walls and towers built on mountain ridge with an average altitude of 738 meters, the Huangyaguan is really overwhelming. To the east there is the cliff, and the west, crags. It winds its way across mountains like a dragon. Guarding a stronghold, it has been the north entrance of Jinxian. Thrilling: On the mountains with peaks rising one higher than another, the Great wall jumps its way up and down as a linkage between the cliff and crags. Since the mountain is sloppy, the steps are very high. In some sections, it looks like that the wall is running straight up or down. When you look down, you will feel dizzy at the sight. Beautiful: On Huangyaguan, you will be able to enjoy both mountain scenery and waterfalls and springs. Ancient: With a history of over 1400 years, the ancient walls was first build in Beiqi, and reserved well until today. In Ming Dynasty, it was added with walls made of bricks. How to get there: There are tourist buses available every weekend at the Northeast Bus Station of Tianjin and there are also buses available from the Tianjin Railway Station, but fewer. Worth a visit for its water run-off controls, well-preserved Great Wall of China towers, challenging hiking and striking scenery. ¥50.
  • Eight Immortals Mountain (八仙山).
  • Nine Dragon Mountain (九龙山).
  • Dule Temple (独乐寺).
  • Dagu Fort (大沽堡).
  • Chaoyin temple (潮音寺) The Chaoyin Temple was built on 1404 (Ming Dynasty). It used to be called Nanhaidasi Temple or Shuangshan Temple. It faces the Haihe River Mouth at Dagu and is one the few temples that faces east. It is the only cultural relics in the south of Tanggu District that opens to outside world.

Culture[edit]

People from urban Tianjin speak Tianjin dialect, which comes under the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Despite its proximity to Beijing, Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from Beijing dialect, which provides the basis for Putonghua, the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China.

Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.

Tianjin is famous for its Xiangsheng (相声) stand up comic crosstalk and comedians including Guo Degang and Ma Sanli. Ma Sanli (马三立) (1914–2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is renowned for his xiangsheng, a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment similar to comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect. Tianjin, along with Beijing, is a center for the art of xiangsheng.

Yangliuqing (Green Willows), a town about 15 km west of Tianjin's urban area and the seat of Tianjin's Xiqing District, is famous for its popular Chinese New Year-themed, traditional-style, Yangliuqing colourful wash paintings (杨柳青年画). Tianjin is also famous for Zhang's clay figurines (泥人张) which are a type of colourful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin's Wei's kites (风筝魏), which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability.

Worship[edit]

Tianjin has a Buddhist Temple of Great Compassion, a Catholic St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Laoxikai Church), a Catholic Our Lady of Victory Church (Wanghailou Church), a Tianjin Jewish Synagoge and a Roman Catholic Diocese of Tianjin.

Do[edit]

There are a number of attractions of interest to the foreign travelers, in particular the colonial architectures and streetscapes that are a vestige of Tianjin's legacy as a treaty port. The architecture is concentrated in three main areas: Wu Da Dao(五大道), Jiefang Road North(解放北路) and the Italian Town(意大利风情旅游区) located to the west of the train station (see the previous section). All of these areas are fairly compact and flat, lending themselves well to walking tours.

  • Tianjin Italian Town (意大利风情旅游区 (yìdàlìfēngqínglǚyóuqū)), Guangfu Dao 39, Hebei (河北区光复道39号) (Bus No.27, 868 and 901 and get off at the East Station.). 24 hours. Tianjin Italian Town is also known as the Italian Concession which was built in 1902. The Italian Town was finished in 2005. It covers the area from Coast area to the Victory Road. Across the river from Italian Town lies the Ancient Culture Street, Peace Shopping and Pedestrian Street, Tianjin Financial Road, Little White CBD (小白楼) and Tianjin Municipal Government. Owning the unique location, the Italian Town is merged with different cultures. Here you can find the celebrities’ residences, chic bars, international restaurants, western art deco, etc. Among those buildings, the most famous are Liang Qichao’s Yinbin Room, Residence of Feng Guozhang, Residence of Cao Yu, Residence of Hua Shikui, First Worker Cultural Palace and Italian Military Camp. Although the Italian Town is named after a street, actually it is a small town. The center of the town is the Marco Polo Plaza. The layout of the street is shaped like a chess board. Both sides of the street are decorated with lamp lights and green trees. In addition, the well preserved fences and other ancient buildings make the town full of Italian aroma. The Free Path is the only pedestrian street in the Italian Town and most of the buildings are restaurants and bars which attracts many tourists. Most restaurateurs are from Apennines Peninsula. Here one can not only taste the real pizza, Italian pasta and other Italian aperitives, besides, he can also enjoy the Italian performances and other Italian clothes and handicraft exhibitions. There are 24-hour bars, cafés, restaurants, art museum and cinemas, attracting tourists from all over the world. free.

Buy[edit]

Tianjin has both modern shopping malls and distinctive traditional stores, for shopping delight. Binjiang Dao Business Street and Heping Lu Business Street are the busiest and most prosperous shopping centres in Tianjin. Most of the top shopping malls or department stores can be found on these two streets. Optionally, buy a good translator. Also, most restaurants have a picture menu where you can point and order. You could also learn the hand gestures for numbers that sellers and buyers occasionally use for negotiating. Always carry a pen and paper too.

There are other large shopping districts where only local people shop. You will be a novelty in those areas, but you do not need to be nervous. You will probably get some great deals because even the inflated tourist prices in Tianjin are half what they are in Beijing. Add in some friendly bargaining, and you will feel like the Champion Shopper of the World!

  • Binjiang Dao Business Street (滨江道). The most famous shopping district.
  • The Ancient Cultural Street. Has a lot of souvenirs and trinkets, but you must know (or learn) how to bargain. A small silk handbag is worth ¥12-20; a set of 4-6 chopstick sets is worth about ¥50-60 in Beijing and about ¥35-45 in Tianjin; large dolls are worth about ¥80-120 depending on how excited you seem to the seller.
  • Shenyang Dao Antique Market. Biggest antiques market in China, this is a place that is a must see on any travelers list. Shenyang Dao Antique Market is filled with all kinds of shops selling porcelain items, paintings, gold, silver, copper, jade, etc.

Tianjin is also famous for the following products:

  • Buy tea from the best at the many authentic Chinese tea houses in Tianjin.
  • Tianjin is famous for its high quality ceramics. These are a great souvenir to take home.

Eat[edit]

Tianjin cuisine places a heavy focus on seafood, due to Tianjin's proximity to the sea. Prominent menus include the Eight Great Bowls (八大碗), a combination of eight mainly meat dishes. It can be further classified into several varieties, including the rough (粗), smooth (细), and high (高). The Four Great Stews (四大扒) actually refers to a very large number of stews, including chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and mutton.

Tianjin also has several famous snack items. Goubuli Baozi (狗不理包子) is a famous and traditional brand of Baozi(steamed stuffed bun) that is famous throughout China. Guifaxiang Mahua (桂发祥麻花) is a traditional brand of mahua (fried dough twist). Erduoyan Zhagao (耳朵眼炸糕) is a traditional brand of Zhagao, or fried rice cakes.

  • Goubuli (狗不理包子; Gǒubùlǐ Bāozi), 77 Shandong Rd, Heping District (和平区山东路77号; Hépíngqū Shāndōnglù) +86 22 2730-2540. Tianjin style steamed buns restaurant also serving other dishes. Expect ¥50-100 for a couple.
  • Sheraton HotelZijinshan Rd, Hexi District +86 22 2334-3388. Fine dining available at one of three top quality restaurants available onsite.
  • Bawarchi3/F Shanggu Business Complex West Building, 69 Tianta Rd, Nankai District +86 22 2341-2786. Great Indian food, cooked in a traditional Indian tandoor clay oven by Indian chefs.
  • Helen's Cafe (Hǎilún kāfēi; 海伦咖啡), Heping District, He Yan Dao Number 116, (Close to Qixiangtai Lu and the Wu Jia Yao Number 2 Bridge); Tiānjīn shì hépíng qū hé yándào 116 hào (wú jiā yáo 2 hào qiáo páng); 天津市和平区河沿道116号(吴家窑2号桥旁). An excellent place to eat simple western food like hamburgers, fries, and pizzas. During the day, it is a nice and quiet place to study while you eat lunch. At night time, it's a very lively place for foreign expats to get drunk. Free Wi-Fi is available.
  • Qishilin (Kiessling). Western food with good reputation.
  • YY Beer House3 Aomen Rd, Heping District (Behind the International Building),  +86 22 2339-9634. A great inexpensive Thai restaurant offering a wide selection of beers. A great place to visit during the Thai Water Splashing festival in the spring!
  • Kudos Thai88 Chengdu Rd, Heping District (Just near the communication bank of china, close to Guilin Rd),  +86 22 23329988. 11:30-late. Well decorated Thai restaurant where the environment is cozy and modern. All food is authentically made by a Thai chef, without MSG or artificial additives. They've got a beautiful yard and nice terrace with a good view. ¥80-120.
  • Amazon Brazilian B.B.Q. Bar189 Nanjing Rd, Heping District (In the basement of the Exchange),  +86 22 8319-1098. Does exactly what it says on the tin and has an enthusiastic, if slightly kitschy Filipino band providing live music as you munch.
  • Alli Baba2 Hutong, Tongan Rd, Nankai University +86 22 2351-3976. Featuring international cuisine and foreign student clientele close to the Nankai University campus, which has a whole range of dishes such as pasta, pizza, salad, etc.

Drink[edit]

There are a number of expat bars catering to the visiting business community, most of which can be a little expensive (¥25 upwards for a small bottle of beer) so if you like something a bit more laid back and comfortable.

As far as clubs go, Tianjin is a big university city both for Chinese and foreign students so there are lots of places for dancing. The music policy tends to be mostly Western and Chinese dance, pop and hip hop/R&B, so if you have more alternative tastes in music, the clubs are possibly not for you!

  • Sitong Bar (Somerset Olympic Tower B1 Floor, Chengdu Road 126, Heping District, intersection with Guizhou Lu (和平区成都道126号盛捷奥林匹克大厦B1楼 贵州路口)),  +86 22 23377177. Basement of Olympic Hotel, rather nice environment with good service. It is the most cosmopolitan music bar of Tianjin, best DJ´s after 22:00 combined with best music from filipino band.The best place for meet interesting people. Have become the only place people go. The Filipino band, Barman Fire Works and if everydays Good DJ music is present.
  • AlibabaNameless lane, Opposite Bengon's, Tongan Dao, Heping District (和平区同安道兵果士对面无名的小街; Hépíngqū Tóngāndào Bīngguǒshìduìmiàn Wúmíngdexiǎojiē). Comes in a close second to Jim’s. Good Western food, cheap beer and table football. There is also a newly constructed Number 10 Downing Street themed private dining room for hire at the back. Also provides free internet access.
  • The TavernJoy Business Center, Bldg B, 3F +86 22 2341-9696. More up-market and therefore slightly more pricey but a great place to hang out nonetheless. Run by the ever-welcoming British born Aussie, David, they have a good selection of draught beers and live music.
  • Rainbow Pub12 Yanhe Rd, Hexi District (河西区沿河路12号; Héīqū Yánhélù) (Near Sheraton). Very similar to pubs you might find in an English suburban town except the clientele are predominately Chinese. There is also a very kitsch Filipino band in residence here. Great fun and unpretentious to the end. Has recently received some very poor reviews by expats in Tianjin.
  • Scarlet155 Weijing Lu (Above the KFC that is directly across from the main gate of Tianjin University (3rd floor)). This is a nice, pretty upscale dance club. There are a lot of Europeans as well as Chinese people that hang out here. Every Friday and Saturday they have open bar for ¥80, but there is a special restaurant and bar on the 2nd and 19th floors. Go through the main entrance on the 3rd floor and ask anyone that works there (a lot of them speak English) for directions or take the lift.
  • New York BarWeijing Road (Opposite Nankai Uni, 4th floor of the KFC building). Was one of the hits in Tianjin 2-3 years ago. But soon went down because of the DJ's who played there.
  • The Spot Café (The Spot Cafe), Heping District, Nanfu Fang Dajie (Across the street from Tian Yu Hotel on Dian Tai St),  +86 22 27837104. 07:30-24:00. An American owned coffee house providing great coffees, teas, and pastries, as well as a variety of art and cultural events on a regular basis. ¥10.
  • Hank's Sports Bar & GrillNo. 56, ShangGu Business Center, Nankai District (Intersection of TianTaNan Road & ShuiShangDong Road),  23417997. Noon till late evening.. Authentic Chicago cuisine. Steaks, pizza, hamburgers, cold beer & great drinks. A good family and foreigners' meeting place; fine people there; managed and owned by Hank Martin & his wife Jeannie. Cable TV via Hong Kong and Slingbox out of America). Hank's is also the only place in Tianjin that shows the actual NFL football playoffs and has a true Super Bowl party.

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Tianjin Starway Champagne Town Hotel82 Yingkou Road (Yingkou Dao) +86 22 58829999. It is located in downtown Tianjin, adjacent to the bustling Binjiang Dao Commercial Street and within easy reach of many popular stores and shopping centres. Guests can be whisked away to the airport using the airport shuttles departing from the hotel square.
  • Yangliuqing ManorThe outskirts of the city, in Yangliuqing, 20km from Beijintong road, near Ziya River (近郊杨柳青镇北津同公路20公里处 近子牙河) +86 22 27921666. ¥59.
  • Tianjin Jinluan Hotel268 Jintang Road (Jintang Gonglu) +86 22 58996648. The Tianjin Jinluan Hotel (Tianjin Jinluan Jiudian) [1] is a courtyard style hotel located on Jintang Road, 500 metres from a light rail station and close to large supermarkets and banks.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Astor Hotel33 Taierzhuang Rd +86 22 2331-1688. Regarded as a major national historical relic preservation project. It combines British classic architectural style with modern amenities. It is comprised of two wings, be sure to check out one of the rooms in the old wing for a true Old World experience. The lobby can pass as a history museum lined with murals, plaques and other interesting finds.
  • Holiday Inn Tianjin RiversidePhoenix Commercial Plaza Block A, Haihe East Road, Hebei District, near Jinhai Road (河北区海河东路凤凰商业广场A座 近金海道) +86 4008825398. ¥654.
  • Dickson Hotel18 Binshui Ave. Four star hotel located in an ideal location, within easy access to the business and entertainment areas. The hotel provides Chinese and Western cuisine as well as offering a gym, jacuzzi and gift shop.
  • Somerset Olympic Tower Tianjin (天津盛捷奥林匹克大厦服务公寓), No 126 Chengdu Dao, Heping District (86-22) 2335 5888fax: (86-22) 2335 3555, e-mail: . Close to the Central Business District and surrounded by streets with restaurants, shops and entertainment. Ranging from one to three bedrooms. Daily rates starts from ¥550.
  • Somerset Youyi Tianjin (天津盛捷友谊服务公寓), Block B, No35 Youyi Road, Hexi District (86-22) 2810 7888fax: (86-22) 2810 7999, e-mail: . Located in the financial area hub. Daily rates starts from ¥570.
  • Tianjin Crystal Palace Hotel28 Youyi Rd, Hexi District +86 22 2835-6888. You will not be able to miss this hotel, which looks like two beached cruise ships butted up against a lake. Has a good variety of features and amenities, but its location is a bit out of the way from downtown.
  • Tianjin First Hotel158 Jie Fang N Rd (Just across from the Hyatt and newly built Hisense Plaza),  +86 22 3309988fax: +86 22 313000. Built in 1922, the rooms have high ceilings and a bit of a classic feel. In room internet can be had for ¥10 per day. Staff English ability is a bit low. ¥270 and up.

Splurge[edit]

  • Renai Tuanbohu Spa Hotel(近郊静海县团泊新城津王公路 近团泊湖) +86 22 68578888. ¥152.
  • Renaissance Tianjin105 Jianshe Rd, Heping District +86 22 2302-6888. Offering deluxe accommodations and superior facilities, it has a pool and fitness centre and meeting facilities.
  • Sheraton HotelZijinshan Rd, Hexi District +86 22 2334-3388. The Sheraton provides luxurious relaxation in every one of its 296 rooms.
  • Teda International Club7-2 Fukang Rd, Nankai District +86 22 2300-5555. International 5 star hotel that is nicely decorated and equipped with modern facilities. All rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, satellite TV, IDD telephone, internet access, mini bar and 24-hour room service.

Stay safe[edit]

Tianjin is known to be as safe as any city in China.

Generally you do not have to concern about personal safety in China if you just follow the basics you would at home. Girls generally say they are happy to walk anywhere in the main city areas where there are lights. But if you come out of a night club drunk, you are an obvious target.

  • There are several pedestrian bridge crossing but few tunnel crossings like Beijing. Many people cross at traffic lights or zebra crossing. But generally especially since the roads are wide and new due to recent construction, road crossing should be done with care.
  • Make sure your cab driver turns on the meter. Many try to take a foreigner to their destination and over charge them. If they do not turn it on either ask them to stop and get a new cab or refuse to pay at the end. Cheating Hotline: +86 22 23549000
  • Being a new train station, there is a bit of confusion when getting out of the Tianjin Station to your next connection. There is a taxi and bus hub. At the same time, there are many offering transport or day tours. It is illegal and it is better to wait until you find a travel agency or use the public bus or meter taxi to get to your next destination. If you really want to get one, the price is generally below ¥30 to the downtown.

Enforcement Hotlines[edit]

  • Fire: 119
  • First aid: 120
  • Police:110
  • Traffic Accident: 122
  • Counterfeit Crime: 12333

Connect[edit]

  • Tianjin Balitai Post Office (天津八里台), Weijin Rd, No. 215 District (Opposite The Gate of Nankai University), 23378621.

Cope[edit]

Though credit and debit cards are gradually becoming more widely accepted at department stores and supermarkets most stores and all attractions still operate on a cash-only basis and only the very largest or most expensive shops accept foreign credit cards. It's generally best to ensure that you have a decent amount of cash on hand when going out. ATMs are located at virtually all bank branches, and most (though not all) of the large banks now accept foreign debit or credit cards. Bank of China branches all have the ability to take cards from foreign banks, and most offer English instructions. For more advanced financial transactions (converting currency or travellers checks, for instance) the best places to go are the Bank of China branch.

  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of ChinaDagu Lu 1040, Hexi, near East Garden, University of Science and Technology(天津市河西区大沽路1040号,科技大学旁东花园底墒) (022)28192329.
  • China CITIC BankJinwei Lu Road 28, Hebei (天津市河北区金纬路28号) 022-26012807.

Go next[edit]

  • Beijing, the nation's capital is close by
Routes through Tianjin
Beijing  W Jingha Railway icon.png E  TangshanHarbin
Beijing  W Jinghu Railway icon.png S  DezhouShanghai


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