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Tianjin

Overview

Tianjin is one of China's four municipalities under the direct administration of central government. It is an international port city and the largest seaside city in the North of China, 137 km away from Beijing, the capital of China.

Tianjin is a birthplace of modern industry of China: the first wrist watch, bicycle and television in New China were all made here. Since 1980s, Tianjin has turned itself into an important industrial base in North China. Tianjin is also a transportation hub with railway, waterway (sea and river), highway and airway connecting other major cities in China and outside the country.

Tianjin is a well known city with a long history and abundant resources. Panshan Mountain, the No. 1 Mountain in Capital's East; Dule Temple, one of the oldest wooden structures in China; Ancient Culture Street, full of ancient Chinese culture and Tianjin custom. More surprises are waiting for your exploration.

The weather in spring and autumn are mild and are better seasons to visit Tianjin. The anural average temperature is 13 ℃, July being the hottest with 26 ℃ and January being the coldest with -4 ℃.


Attractions

Huangyaguan Great Wall

Located in the mountains 30 km north of Jixian County, Huangyaguan Great Wall is 42 km long and belongs to a part of old Great Wall. To the east, it reaches Malanguan Pass in Hebei province; to the west, it meets Jiangjunguan Pass in Beijing.

Huangyaguan Great Wall owns four towers with city gates, facing east, west, south and north respectively. Such a structure forms the whole defensive system. It was built originally in AD 557 and was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty. Especially, national hero ? Qi Ji-guang, contributed much to this section of Great Wall in Jixian County. His story has been widely spread among the local people.

In 1984, the Great Wall was rebuilt by the government, and later many cultural attractions were added to the area, including Great Wall Museum, Bagua Town (eight diagrams) and so on. Panshan Scenic Area Located 120 kilometers away from Tianjin and 90 kilometers away from Beijing, Panshan Scenic Area is in the 12 km northwest of Jixian County, covering 106 km2. Mt. Panshan stands in the east of Beijing, so it is also called the No. 1 Mountain in the Capital's East. It has an area of 20 square kilometers and its highest peak is 858 meters above the sea level.

Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty loved traveling incognito to Yangtze Riverg Delta area, he once claimed that there was no need to go to the south, if he had known Mt. Panshan was so beautiful.

The best scenery of Mt. Panshan is the pine forests at the top, the strange rocks at the middle and the streams at the foot of the mountain. In Panshan Scenic Area, the spot of interest lies everywhere including the natural landscape and historical structures. Just owing to its stunning views, emperors of different dynasties have visited here, and many Buddhist temples were built on the mountain. The four major ones are Tiancheng Tmeple, Yunzhao Temple, Wanfo Temple and Wansong Temple.


Dule Temple

Located inside the western gate of Jixian County of Tianjin Municipality, Dule Temple is also called Dafo Temple. First built in Tang Dynasty, it is one of the oldest and best-preserved tall wooden structures in China. The temple consists of east, west and central parts with monks' rooms and Xanadus in the east and west parts, and the temple gate and the Kwan-yin Pavilion in the central part. The present temple gate and Kwan-yin Pavilion were built in Liao Dynasty (916-1125); other major structures were built in the Ming and Qing Dynasty.

Passing the temple gate through stairs up to the north, there is a three-storied wooden pavilion with 5 bays wide, 4 bays deep and 23 meters high. It is the oldest extant pavilion architecture in China. On the pedestal at the center of the pavilion stands a Kwan-yin statue of 16 meters high. The Dule Temple is the masterpiece of ancient Chinese wooden architecture, and its superb architectural techniques made it endure many intense earthquakes but still stand there intact.


Ancient Culture Street

Ancient Culture Street is lying in Nankai District at the west bank of Hai River, covering 22,000 m2 and being 580 m long. It was built in 1986 and open to tourists at the same time, which show the appearance of cities in Qing Dynasty in China.

There are over hundreds of stores in the street, specializing in Yang Liuqing New Year Painting, the treasures of the study (writing brush, ink stick, paper, and ink slab), famous calligraphy and painting, craftworks, etc. A giant archway inscribed with the words 'an Old Neighborhood of Tianjin' stands at the entrance to the street, and behind the archway is a street of 600 meters long lined with buildings in the Qing-dynasty architectural style. There are so many different buildings that the eye cannot take them in all at once. Walking by these buildings with grey walls and decorated with colorful streamers is like walking into the past. The most note-worthy things are the boards inscribed with the names of shops and with couplets at the shop fronts, which are written by famous calligraphers.

Tianhou Palace stands centrally in the street. Tianhou (Heaven Queen) is the goddess of the sea and is well know by other names like Mazu in other parts of China. Two booms outside the gate of Tianhou Palace are already 600 years old. The square in front the palace is big enough to hold a thousand people. Built around the square are arts and ballad halls, where fine performances are given on almost all festival days. A spectacular 'Imperial Festival' is held in and around the square every year on the 23rd day of the third lunar month.


Dining

Tianjin dining culture is renowned throughout China, and not only the traditional Tianjin snacks, but the cuisines from other regions of China can also be found. Food Street is a fairly good place for you to sample these cross-cultural Chinese dishes. These traditional and famed snacks cannot be missed should you ever come to visit this charming municipality.


Three top snacks of Tianjin

Shiba Jie Mahua (fried dough twist)

Shiba Jie Mahua is sweet-smelling and crispy. It cannot go bad even being stored for several months.

Goubuli Baozi (steamed stuffed bun)

Goubuli means the infant of a restaurateur; while Baozi means steamed stuffed bun. Goubuli Baozi has had more than 150 years of history. It is not an exaggeration to say that Goubuli Baozi is a food calling card of Tianjin. Now its chain restaurants can be found in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and other cities in China as well as cities in America, Japan and Korea.

Erduoyan Zhagao

With relatively fine ingredients and a renowned reputation in Tianjin, Erduoyan Zhagao is almost 100 years old.

Except for the traditional snacks mentioned above, exotic flavors can be enjoyed here as well. Korean, Japanese and other western style cuisines will make your mouth water and satisfy your stomach.