Monday, 21 April 2014

What to do in Tianjin

Tianjin Eye and Haihe River               Photo credit - kele_jb1984


The third largest city in China is famous for being a colonial port. Many western countries have left their fingerprints on the architecture - Italy, Britain, Belgium, France, etc. Despite the fact that it is not recognised as a major tourist destination it has many things to offer and to help you expand your knowledge about modern China and the Chinese culture.



I have always appreciated cities and towns where there is a sea or a river. I don’t know it just calms your mind and gives your spirit a sense of freedom. Don’t know about you. Luckily, Tianjin has both

Walk along the river Haihe River. 


The stream passes through the central area and is attracting fisherman, young skateboarders and couples. You will witness the result of the modernisation, reflected in numerous office buildings and bridges. I recommend that you go for a walk, when it gets darker in order to see the splendid plethora of lights.

Fishermen at Haihe bank


I have seen people in the summer in bathing suits practising their swimming skills. Personally, I was tempted to dangle my feet in the water but would not go so far as to jump in this dark substance. Who knows what kinds of mutants are lurking beneath the water. 

Walk around the Bohai sea port in Tanggu region


It is located near Tanggu industrial region station. You can go there with Line 9 of the Tianjin metro. Numerous interesting places to visit in the region. In some of the parks you will enjoy the communist statues of once great (for some people) leaders who were fighting for socialistic ideals. One must not forget that this is the business and development district, so ... you are kindly reminded China is a peculiar country. 

In case you head for the sea port you will be rewarded with a fresh breeze and almost romantic atmosphere – seagulls, hieroglyphic symbols on the walls and lonely waves. There is a bridge (I can't recall the name) that is lifted up and down at a particular time, depending on the ships schedule. For sure, you can stop by the souvenir stalls selling Buddhist malas and various bracelets. 

Although, some people opt to go to the actual beach, the distance is really big and I don’t recommend you doing it. It will be a costly adventure and from what I‘ve heard may not be something truly breathtaking. 

Parks 


They are your haven and shelter from the overpopulated civilization. You will be surprised that adults and seniors occupy the place and start their practise as early as 5 am. I bet in the Western world there is hardly any nation that can beat this attitude and perseverance. 

Expatriate community


Go in the Expatriates pub – Alibaba and lose sense of time there. It earned cult status among the overseas students and expatriate community. You will meet like-minded and eclectic personae from all over the world. You might play table football with Italian ladies and the next minutes get beaten in chess by a Uygur lady. How to get there? Well, that the toughest part it, if you are unfamiliar with Tianjin (most probably that is the case) take a taxi to TongAn Avenue (near Nankai university) and look for students or foreigners hanging around. They know it for sure. And let me kindly remind you a pint of Tsingtao beer is 8Y.



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