Tianjin is one of the four cities of central subordination in the People’s Republic of China. Its urban area is the third largest in continental China. As of 2014, the population of the city is over 18,000,000 people. The total area of Tianjin is 11,943 sq. km.
Being one of the oldest cities in the country, it has quite an unusual look: it possesses the features of both the West and the East. Tianjin is the unique outdoor museum of European architecture of the XIX−XX centuries in China. No place in the world has such works of Italian, French, and Austrian architects, which faultlessly fuse with classical Chinese buildings. Every street of this city is a museum, every temple is a halidom.
In the middle of the XIX century, foreigners conducted bitter hostilities near Tianjin for the purpose of obtaining complete economical and political control over China. The government of the country had to make concessions. One of them was to offer foreigners a number of concessions in China: Austro-Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Japanese, French, etc. Nowadays, there are the whole blocks of European houses on the places of former western concessions.
The nights in Tianjin are quiet, calm, but not boring. There is no excessive frontage, as it is in Shanghai. There are no noisy crowds, as distinguished from the Forbidden City of Beijing. Moreover, it doesn’t look like other southern cities, where pleasant wind blows and you hear sometimes low whisper in the vernacular. Tianjin bears no resemblance to other coastal cities, in which the young are usually looking for some extra-fashionable entertainments. The unique taste of this city does not float to the surface for some reason, but stays hidden in the details. Only the one can feel it who has delved into the life of the city. When you get out of the car and walk down it streets, you see that Tianjin is a very friendly city, in which everyone can find his favorite form of rest and entertainment.
Sailing Down the River of Haihe
The Haihe flowing through the whole city is the ‘mother-river’ of Tianjin. Over the last years, its channel has been continuously cleaned up and reconstructed. As a result, the old bridge has retrieved its previous look: today, it resembles an ancient monument, telling visitors its deep history.
If you arrive at the place in summer evening, we would advise you to sail down the Haihe by powerboat. The embarkation station is at the pier near Ancient Culture Street (it is located not far from the Sanchakow estuary). On the river banks you will see innumerable blinker lights in the buildings looking like the ancient constructions. When you approach Tszintantsyao with glass stairs and balustrade, you see the magic transparent bridge in the light of the blue lanterns. If you step on it, you notice a new bridge, which is built not far from here.
Having a Rest at the Sea
In summer, everyone wants to relax on the sea, enjoy its endless beauty, and roam about its shore. You can find such places in Tianjin, too. There is a picturesque seashore in 18 km from the city, with 3*-5* hotels and numerous hostels, in which you can stay overnight. The hotels near the sea offer you clamorous, cheerful rest, but if you want you can find a quiet and secluded place for relaxation.
In Tianjin one can feel not only the influence of the Pacific Ocean, but also the nearness of the Yellow Sea. Even though geographically its location sounds as «the North China», from May to September inclusive the air temperature here is about +25 … +30°C (in July-August). The ever-increasing inrush of foreign tourists is explained by the presence of equipped beaches: they are located at a certain remove from the harbor.
In 2013, a new amusement park was opened in Tianjin, with a number of water rides and attractions looking like the Disney Park in Hong Kong. The total area of the park is 350,000 sq. meters.