Timothy Tye
Tianjin Travel Tips 天津

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Tianjin, ChinaTianjin, China
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Tianjin (天津) is a city in northeast China. It is administered as one of the four municipalities in China with provincial-level status. In terms of population, it is the 5th largest city in the country behind Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Tianjin is located on the Hai He River, and linked to the Huanghe and Yangtze Rivers by the Grand Canal. The area on which Tianjin is located was created by sedimentation of the many rivers emptying into the Bohai Gulf.

According to historical chronicles, Tianjin was known as Zhigu until 1404, when it was renamed Tianjin, meaning "heavenly ford" by the Yongle Emperor (the son of heaven), for having forded the river at that point.

Tianjin, ChinaTianjin, China
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Planning your trip to Tianjin

By Plane
Most foreign visitors fly to Beijing International Airport, and from there, take a bus to Tianjin. The fare is ¥70 and the journey takes two hours.

Alternatively, you can fly to Tianjin Binhai International Airport, the second biggest airport in northern China after the one in Beijing. The airport is located some 15 kilometers to the east of downtown. The low cost carrier AirAsia now flies there from Kuala Lumpur. To leave the airport, you can take the airport shuttle bus for ¥10. The journey takes roughly 30 minutes.

By Bus
There are numerous buses connecting Beijing with Tianjin. Expect the fare to be around ¥30.

A bridge in TianjinA bridge in Tianjin
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Exploring Tianjin

By Metro
Tianjin is served by bus and metro. For travelers, I suggest you use the Tianjin Metro. Opened in 1980, it is the second subway system in China. Well actually the old subway was shut down in 2001 for a five-year facelift and reopened in 2006.

The Tianjin Metro presently comprises Line 1 and Line 9, while Lines 2 and 3 are under construction. Lines 1 and 9 do not intersect. Line 1 runs from Liuyuan to Shuanglin, cutting across Tianjin from northwest to southeast. Line 9 goes eastwards from Hualong dao to serve the Tianjin Economic Development Area, a fast growing industrial zone in Tianjin.

The fare on the Tianjin Metro is presently ¥2-5.

By Taxi
Taxis are numerous and relatively cheap in Tianjin. The first 3 km flag off rate is ¥ 8 followed by ¥ 1.70 for every subsequent kilometer. If you get caught in a jam, the meter will still run at ¥ 1.70 for every five minutes.

As far as possible, try to use an official taxi stand (follow the signage). Have your destinations written down in Chinese as the drivers are unlikely to understand any other language.

Places of Interest in Tianjin

  1. Ancient Culture Street
    Street recreated to look like an ancient Chinese street.
  2. Tianhou Temple
    Temple dedicated to the goddess of the sea
  3. Confucius Temple
    Temple dedicated to Confucius.
  4. Wang Hai Lou Cathedral
    Roman Catholic cathedral of Tianjin which had suffered repeated damage through history.
  5. Dabei Monastery
    Monastery reached through a market place selling talisman and worship paraphernalia.
  6. Qingzhen Si Temple
    Chinese-style mosque in Tianjin, not open to the public.
  7. Jiefang Bei Lu
    Road with many colonial buildings in Tianjin.
  8. Tianjin Radio & TV Tower
    The fourth tallest telecommunications tower in the world.
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