Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tianjin - Part One

Tianjin is the fourth largest city in China population wise (about 15 million people) and has been on our "must visit" list for 5 years or so. It's about 130 kms south of Beijing thus a good place to stop for a few days on our way back to Shanghai. As our visit coincided with the 3 day May 1st holiday weekend, we booked our train tickets and hotel in advance. The trains were excellent but the Ibis Tianjin Railway Station Hotel failed deliver room air conditioning (cooling) as advertised on its website. That turned out to be only slightly uncomfortable as the daily highs were in the low 80's F (high 20's C). However, it's discouraging when an international hotel chain that could turn its AC on during a busy holiday weekend when prices are doubled and all hotels are full, does not.

Tainjin is a beautiful city with a lively waterfront that stretches for miles, a fine collection of historic buildings from the Colonial Era, and a good transportation system. Definitely a place worth visiting.

In addition Sun-Ling's Aunt (one of her father's older sisters) lives almost exactly midway between Beijing and Tainjin so we stopped in for a short visit on the way. Here's Sun-Ling sharing family photos via her Nexus 7 tablet.
Tianjin, China

We rolled into Tianjin Station at dusk and walked along the Haihe River to our hotel. The futuristic train station clock tower is at the right in this photo.
Tianjin, China

The area around the hotel is a favorite for construction workers to eat and we had a late dinner at a noodle place.
Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

Although we had no AC cooling in our room, we did have a great view towards city center and the firehouse below. Again the futuristic clock of Tianjin Station is visible.
Tianjin, China

Our room.
Tianjin, China

Our first afternoon, while in search of a cup of iced coffee we stumble into a high-end mall where folks were queueing a free gift. How about all those smartphones?
The Queue - Tianjin, China

Tianjin has more than few beautiful Art Deco buildings like Kiessling Cafe circa 1940.
Kiessling's (起士林) - Tianjin, China

This Synagogue.
Tianjin, China

This apartment building.
Tianjin, China

And the Bo Hai building.
Tianjin, China

Walking along the Haihe River was pleasant and fun. Folks were fishing.
Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

Working out.
Tianjin, China

And taking boat cruises.
Tianjin, China

Not to mention the bridges.
Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

There are a few reminders of Tianjin's Old City; that is, the Drum Tower and surrounding markets.
Tianjin, China

The markets are busy but old and dusty like these mannequins.
Tianjin, China

We did spot this Church with 20th Century Modern architectural elements.
Tianjin, China

Tianjin has several historic churches of note. The beautiful Wanghailou (Our Lady of Victory) Catholic Church.
Tianjin, China

And the striking green-domed St Joseph's Cathedral, located at the western end of the Binjiang Avenue shopping street.
Tianjin, China

Tianjin, China

To be continued....

3 comments:

Kathy said...

Lots of interesting buildings. Lots of modern buildings! I still don't care for my smart phone - I'm such a dinosaur.

Anonymous said...

nice pictures!!
JinYi

john said...

Thanks Yi and Kathy for the comments!

Here's a link to a very long wikipedia article that lists most of the historic buildings in Tianjin. http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%A4%A9%E6%B4%A5%E5%B8%82%E5%8E%86%E5%8F%B2%E9%A3%8E%E8%B2%8C%E5%BB%BA%E7%AD%91%E5%88%97%E8%A1%A8

The text is in Chinese but there are also photos. Click on a photo and if they its part of the Wikimdedia Commons you may be able to click on the blue button and get an English description.