TIANJIN

Sights & Landmarks

Sights & Landmarks


Buildings

  • The Five Avenues (五大道; Wǔdàdào; lit. The Five Avenues), Wudadao, Heping, Tianjin (和平区五大道) (Best route: cross between Hebei Lu and Chengdu Dao — Chongqing Dao — Changde Dao — Dali Dao — Xinhua Lu — Machang Dao — Munan Dao — Hong Kong Lu — Chongqing Dao — Nanhai Lu — Hebei Lu). Fifth Avenue (Wudadao) is located in the south of the downtown Tianjin, a parallel street from east to west named under five cities of southwest China, namely Chongqing, Changde, Dali, Munan and Machang. Local Tianjinese call it the "Fifth Avenue", together with over 230 buildings of all kinds from the architecture of Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain, as well as over 50 houses ever been lived by celebrities. Colourful architecture style range from the Renaissance, Greek, Gothic, Romantic, Eclectic, and Carson, which constitute a true fun of art. The second part is the residential area, with the first small Western-style residential area for foreign people who opened up concessions, whose residence next to the office area, close to Jiefang Road, around the former Italian concession in the east of Marco Polo Plaza. In the 20th century, due to the current situation, Tianjin's position in China had become very special and important. On one hand, social and political unrest made concessions a haven for ousted politicians and businessmen, on the other hand, Tianjin, had geographically profits for transportation and duty-free customs, was full of opportunities. Various dignitaries and rich people lived in Tianjin. Living in a small Western-style house was more comfortable and convenient than a traditional courtyard and the Fifth Avenue was located in a prime location of the British concession, thus people rushed in to build their houses here. The neighbourhood became Tianjin's rich area at that time. Tianjin was undoubtedly the first in term of the size of rich area among the affluent cities in modern China.
  • Tianjin Ancient Culture Street (古文化街; gǔwénhuàjiē), 天津市南开区鼓楼北 North of Gulou, Nankai,  +86-22-27275039. Open throughout the day, extended opening hours on holidays or major events.. Tianjin Ancient Culture Street was opened on New Year´s Day in 1986, the overall construction has the folk architectural styple of Qing dynasty, with Tin Hau (Matsu Temple) located in the centre of the whole street. There are nearly hundreds of stores along the street, among them Yangliuqing painting gallery and painted clay sculpture of Clay Figure Zhang are most famous, as well as calligraphy and painting brushes(文房四宝) of Four Treasures and Spring Church, cultural antiques of Sui Man Chai and cloisonne (景泰蓝), double-sided embroidery (双面绣), jade carvings (牙玉雕), art ceramics (艺术陶瓷), Chinese and Western musical instruments and gold and silver jewelry from other dozens of famous artists and craftmen. All goods are genuine, affordable and with good quality. free.
  • Tianjin Eye (天津眼(tiānjīnyǎn) or Yongle Bridge ferris wheel), Tianjin Eye, Hongqiao (天津市红桥区天津眼) (Bus 1, 4, 12, 18, 34, 177, 609, 610, 611, 619 Station: Jingang Qiao (750 meters away)).Maintenance on Monday morning, still open in the afternoon. The world's second largest Ferris wheel and the only Ferris wheel built on the bridge in the world, Tianjin Eye has a diameter of 110 meters and 64 exterior transparent hangings with 360º sightseeing. Ideal for surrounding scenery glance. A round requires 40 minutes. On the highest point, it is able to see the scenery within a radius of 40 km. Adult ¥70, Children ¥35 / person (under 1.2 meters), Box ticket ¥400 (less than five persons), Couple ¥240 (2 or less), VIP ¥140 (avoid queuing), Couple VIP ¥480 (2 persons within a separate box, avoid queuing), Box VIP ¥800 (less than five persons).
  • Tianjin Museum (天津博物馆(tiānjīnbówùguǎn)), Youyi Lu 31, Hexi, near Pingjiang Daokou(河西区友谊路31号,平江道口),  +86 22 58793000. 9:00 — 16:30 (Tuesday to Friday, closed on Monday. Tianjin Museum has modern exhibition halls with an area of 11,000 square meters as well as cultural and leisure facilities with multiple functions. It looks like a swan spreading its wings to fly from the lake surface. With fluent and concise exterior line, it is full of modernity and artistic quality. All of these make it characteristic and imaginative. It possesses cultural relics of almost 200,000 items, including calligraphy, painting, bronze, ceramics, jade article, stamp of ruler’s seal, carapace bone, coin, historical document, relics of modern times, folk craftwork and so on. Among them, there are nearly 1000 grade one cultural relics of the state. free.
  • Dabei Monastery (大悲院; Dàbēiyuàn; lit. Great Compassion Temple), Tianwei Road, Hebei District (河北区天纬路; Héběiqū Tiānwěilù (About 2 km W of Tianjin North Railway Station. Take buses 1, 2, 4, 12, 18, 34, 177, 609, 609, 610, 611, 619, 632, 641, 646, 659, 670, 671, 818, 861, 878, 904 to Jingangqiao Stn (金钢桥; Jīngāngqiáo) on Zhongshan Rd (中山路; Zhōngshānlù) and walk NW of Tianwei Rd). 09:00-11:20, 14:00-16:30. The monastery was first built in the Ming Dynasty, but has been heavily rebuilt and renovated since and consists now of the West Monastery from 1669 and the East Monastery from 1940. It is the largest and oldest in town covering 10,600 m² (114,000 ft²). The temple houses Tianjin Buddhist Institute and exhibits quite many ancient statues.The Dabei Buddhist Monastery is made up of two parts: old monastery and new monastery. The old monastery refers to the three great halls in the west yard. The construction of the old monastery was start in the beginning of Qing Dynasty, and was renovated in the eighth ruling year of Kangxi Emperor in Qing Dynasty. The east yard features in the new monasterys. The statue of Sakyamuni oblated in the Daxiong Palace from the east yard was created in Ming Dynasty. The whole Sakyamuni Statue is 7 meters high, 6 tons weight, with 9,999 small Buddha carved on the lotus throne. Inside the Great Compassion hall, a 3.6-meters-high-mud-statue of Thousand-hand Kwan-yin is oblate. The monastery was once famous for holding a skull relic of Xuanzang, however, the relic was presented to India in 1956 when it was taken to Nalanda - allegedly by the Dalai Lama - and presented to India. The relic is now in the Patna museum. And from then on, Great Compassion monastery takes the image of Xuanzang Master instead of the spirit bones for the worship of the Buddhist. There are memorials for Xuanzang Master and Hongyi Master in the east yard, while the west yard becomes an office for Cultural Relic Palace, Abbot Palace and Chinese Buddhism Association Tianjin Branch. In the Cultural Relic Palace of the west yard, there many collections from every dynasties since Wei and Jin Period including hundreds of Buddha statues which are made of various materials from bronze, iron, stone to wood. Vegetarian Food: Dabei Great Monastery is the only monastery in Tianjin providing vegetarian food, so it's a good new for the vegetarian visitors. Food made by the famous Tianjin Dabei Buddhist Monastery Vegetarian Food Corporation are served in the monastery, which includes Longevity Perch present basket, soybean vegetarian, muti-vitamins-calcium noodles, deepfreeze eight precious vegetarian steamed-buns and vegetarian dumplings etc. ¥10.
  • Haihe River (海河),  Haihe Cruise +86 22 27059678. The Haihe River is one of the great rivers of northern China. North Canal, the Yongding River, Daqing River, Ziya River, South Canal, five rivers on three sides, north, west and south convergence to Tianjin. free.
  • Confucian Temple (孔庙), 2 Dongmenli, Nankai District (南开区东门里大街2号; Nánkāiqū Dōngménlǐdàjiē. 09:00-17:00. Early Qing Dynasty temple with a hall to honour Confucius and other halls for prayers. ¥4.
  • Grand Mosque (清真大寺; Qīngzhēndàsì), Xiaohuo Ln, Dafeng Rd, Hongqiao District (红桥区红桥区大丰路小伙巷; Hóngqiáoqū Dàfēnglù Xiǎohuǒxiàng)(Close to the Ancient Cultural Street, NE of Xibeijue Metro Stn (西北角; Xīběijué)). 09:00-17:00. Built in 1644 and constructed in wood. The mosque is still in use by the Tianjin Muslim community. Access for tourists to the interior is limited. Free.
  • Xikai Church (西开天主教堂; Xīkāitiānzhǔjiàotáng; also known as the French Church or the Catholic Church), Dushan Rd,  +86 22 2835-8812. M-Sa 09:00-11:00, 14:00-16:00. Built in 1917 by French Jesuits.
  • Drum Tower (鼓楼; Gǔlóu), Gulou E St, Nankai District (南开区鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóudōngjiē) (Bus 652 will take you right to the door, buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 will also get you really close). The tower was originally built in the Ming Dynasty, but was destroyed during the culture revolution. The Drum Tower was rebuilt in 2001 and now actually houses a bell and not drums. The tower is home to varying exhibitions. Free.
  • Tianjin Radio&TV Tower (广播电视塔; Guǎngbōdiànshìtǎ), 1 Jinzi Rd, Hexi District,  +86 22 2334-3557. The fourth largest tower in the world. But this one might be the most spectacular as it is surrounded by water.

Parks

  • Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World (天津海昌极地海洋世界; Tiānjīn Hǎichāng Jídì Hǎiyáng Shìjiè), Tianjin Binhai New Area Xiangluowan Business District No. 61; 天津市滨海新区响螺湾商务区第61号(Tiānjīn Bīnhǎi Xīn Qū Xiǎng Luówān Yóuxiāng Qū Qì 61 Hào),  +86 22-66227777. A large building where you can see a wide variety of fish and mammals from both the Northern and Southern polar regions such as, Penguins, Polar Bears, Whales, Seals, Wolves, a wide variety of marine life, etc. You can also check out the Dolphin performances that they have scheduled a few times a day.

Streets and areas

  • Ancient Cultural Street (古文化街; Gǔwénhuàjiē), Gongbei Ave-Gongnan Ave, Nankai District (南开区 宫北大街-宫南大街; Nánkāiqū Gōngběidàjiē-Gōngnándàjiē) (2 km E of Xibeijue Train Stn (西北角), buses 1, 4, 12, 15, 611, 612, 619, 624, 824 will also take you much closer to the street). Street not only lined with shops and cafes but also with interesting architecture, including lots of copies of Qing Dynasty buildings. Some of the most interesting buildings are Tianhou Palace (天后宫; Tiānhòugōng; Mazu temple), Yuhuang Cabinet (玉皇阁; Yùhuánggé; Ming Dynasty building) and Tongqingli (large residential building). This street is worth a visit even if it is very touristy.
  • Gulou Street (鼓楼街; Gǔlóujiē), Gulou West Street-Gulou E St, Nankai District (南开区 鼓楼西街-鼓楼东街; Nánkāiqū Gǔlóuxījiē-Gǔlóudōngjiē) (Getting off at Xinanjue Train Stn (西南角) you will be 500 m S of the far western end of Gulou St, bus 652 is running along part of the street, and buses 161, 635, 652, 657, 855, 863, 865 are crossing the street). Ancient cultural street full of cheap and tasty cafes.
  • Jiefang Road North (解放北路; Jiefang Beilu). Running north-south a couple of streets back from the River Hai, this street is where colonial banks built their branches in Tianjin during the treaty-port era and will definitely be of interest to those interested in colonial architecture or history. Many of the buildings have been retained and are well-preserved, giving the street a distinctly European feel. No longer the central business district, it isn't a very busy street, with noticeably less car and pedestrian traffic than other parts of the city, making it a good place to spend a couple of hours wandering. Most of the buildings now house local Chinese banks so feel free to have a look inside (though staff may object to photography) at the interiors, many of which feature original wooden panelling and stained glass. Also on the street is the 'Chinese Museuum of Finance' which is home to several interesting financial artifacts, including the only share certificate in existence featuring a picture of Mao Zedong.
  • Heping Road. One of the busiest shopping precincts in Tianjin.
  • Machang Dao. Lined with large English style homes, another cultural street in Tianjin.
  • Binjiang Dao. Enormous street with block upon block of stalls and shops containing almost anything you may need.
  • Binhai District. The 183 km² Binhai New District holds three administrative areas: Tanggu, Hangu and Dagang, as well as some towns.

Further away

  • Huangyaguan Great Wall (黄崖关长城 (huángyáguānchángchéng)), 30 km north of Jixian (take a train from Tianjin East Railway Station for Jixian, departure 8:30 ¥8, or take a bus from Hebei Coach Station to Jixian Coach Station ¥16, and then take a van ¥5/person),  +86 22 22718718. Huangya, means "yellow cliff". The pass takes this name from the yellowish hills and rocks nearby. Originally built in Tianbao 7th of Beiqi (557 A D), the Huangyanguan was repaired for the first time in Ming Dynasty with bricks and for the second time in 1985. In 1986 it was listed as a key relics protection target of Tianjin city. Now it is also chosen as a patriotic education and national defense education base of Tianjin. Besides, starting form 1999, there is going to be a special tourism activity there-International Field Marathon.With various forms of water towers presented along the walls, and the largest tower of the Great Wall "PhoenixTower" and the most unique "BaguaguanCastle", Huangyaguan Great Wall is like a library of the Great Wall. By now 3025 meters of the Huangyaguan Great Wall, 20 water towers and a water pass have been repaired. This section has several features: Strong: With its walls and towers built on mountain ridge with an average altitude of 738 meters, the Huangyaguan is really overwhelming. To the east there is the cliff, and the west, crags. It winds its way across mountains like a dragon. Guarding a stronghold, it has been the north entrance of Jinxian. Thrilling: On the mountains with peaks rising one higher than another, the Great wall jumps its way up and down as a linkage between the cliff and crags. Since the mountain is sloppy, the steps are very high. In some sections, it looks like that the wall is running straight up or down. When you look down, you will feel dizzy at the sight. Beautiful: On Huangyaguan, you will be able to enjoy both mountain scenery and waterfalls and springs. Ancient: With a history of over 1400 years, the ancient walls was first build in Beiqi, and reserved well until today. In Ming Dynasty, it was added with walls made of bricks. How to get there: There are tourist buses available every weekend at the Northeast Bus Station of Tianjin and there are also buses available from the Tianjin Railway Station, but fewer. Worth a visit for its water run-off controls, well-preserved Great Wall of China towers, challenging hiking and striking scenery. ¥50.
  • Eight Immortals Mountain (八仙山). 
  • Nine Dragon Mountain (九龙山).
  • Dule Temple (独乐寺).
  • Dagu Fort (大沽堡).
  • Chaoyin temple (潮音寺) The Chaoyin Temple was built on 1404 (Ming Dynasty). It used to be called Nanhaidasi Temple or Shuangshan Temple. It faces the Haihe River Mouth at Dagu and is one the few temples that faces east. It is the only cultural relics in the south of Tanggu District that opens to outside world.

Culture

People from urban Tianjin speak Tianjin dialect, which comes under the Mandarin subdivision of spoken Chinese. Despite its proximity to Beijing, Tianjin dialect sounds quite different from Beijing dialect, which provides the basis for Putonghua, the official spoken language of the People's Republic of China.

Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.

Tianjin is famous for its Xiangsheng (相声) stand up comic crosstalk and comedians including Guo Degang and Ma Sanli. Ma Sanli (马三立) (1914–2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is renowned for his xiangsheng, a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment similar to comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect. Tianjin, along with Beijing, is a center for the art of xiangsheng.

Yangliuqing (Green Willows), a town about 15 km west of Tianjin's urban area and the seat of Tianjin's Xiqing District, is famous for its popular Chinese New Year-themed, traditional-style, Yangliuqing colourful wash paintings (杨柳青年画). Tianjin is also famous for Zhang's clay figurines (泥人张) which are a type of colourful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin's Wei's kites(风筝魏), which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability.


Worship

Tianjin has a Buddhist Temple of Great Compassion, a Catholic St. Joseph’s Cathedral (Laoxikai Church), a Catholic Our Lady of Victory Church(Wanghailou Church), a Tianjin Jewish Synagoge and a Roman Catholic Diocese of Tianjin.

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