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Tianjin Travel Guide

Tianjin Overview

Tianjin Map

Tianjin, one of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government in China, is located in the northeast of the North China Plain and is the closest seaport to Beijing. The city is one of the biggest industrial and port cities in China and it is also known as 'the diamond of the Bohai Gulf'. Tianjin covers an area of 11,000 square kilometers (4,200 square miles) and has a population in excess of 10 million people.

When to Go
Tianjin lies in a temperate zone and it enjoys four distinct seasons a year. The average yearly temperature is only 13oC with hot summers (in July the temperature can be higher than 26oC) and freezing temperatures in January. The best periods to visit Tianjin are spring and autumn when pleasant temperatures can be expected.

Tianjin has a long and illustrious history, from an ordinary fishing village to the most important trade center in Northern China. Tianjin was considered to be one of China's most important military fortresses in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) due to its particular geographic location as access point to Beijing, the national capital. Its name 'Tianjin' was graciously bestowed by the Emperor Zhudi in the early years of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Tianjin means 'the place where the emperor crossed the river'. In 1860, after the First Opium War, Tianjin was further expanded to become the second largest business and communications center in the country. By the end of the 19th century, it had grown into a bustling center for international commerce.

Tianjin's location in the middle of North China's gold coast was a natural setting to be developed as a trading port. Today Tianjin has China's largest container wharf and ships from every country of the world use its facilities. Major domestic and international airlines serve the coastal international airport. Tianjin also is a very important railway junction terminal for the two main lines: Tianjin to Shandong and Tianjin to Shanghai. A nice and relaxing way to travel along the gold coast is by train. You can obtain the train ticket from your hotel concierge. You can also rent a car and explore the city outskirts, still an almost unknown area to most foreign visitors.

What to See
Besides being a business and trade center, Tianjin is also a famous historic and cultural city. The principal sights are:

Huangyaguan Great Wall
Dagukou Emplacement
Dule Temple
Mt. Panshan
Haihe Park
Water Park
Central Line Scenic Area
Culture and Food Streets

The visitor can also enjoy the varied and beautiful architectures of the old concessionary areas where various objects and antiques can be found in the winding streets of the antique market.

Food in Tianjin is quite different from other regions in China. The famous Tianjin-style braised creamed cabbage (steamed stuffed buns called 'goubuli') are definitely worth a try. Fish and seafood are also very common. In the Chinese custom, fish is brought live to your table before being prepared according to your taste in either a local or a more cosmopolitan style. A discussion with the waiter on how to cook the meal is one of the pleasures of eating in China.

UPDATE[ 2007-9-21 ]    HIT[ 3736 ]
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