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Tianjin City Guide

picture of ancient Tianjin
Picture of Ancient Tianjin

Tianjin(天津, The Port of Heaven) located in the conflux area of five branches of Hai River in the north Chinese plain faces the Baohai Sea in east side and backs on Yan Mountain Range in north side. Hai River goes across the downtown Tianjin, so Hai River is regarded as the mother river of Tianjin. Tianjin is the origin of Chinese modern industry; in this way, it boasts the third pillar of Chinese economy development, so it acts as the standing host city of Summer Davos Forum. Tianjin is third largest city of China, and one of four superior cities under the direct administration of central government. Tianjin is the central city undoubtedly in China and the north economic center of China as well. Exactly, Tianjin is the center of Bohai Economic Rim and the North China’s Shipping Business. Besides, Tianjin is also the international logistics center, international port city and eco-friendly city. Tianjin importantly serves as the traditional Chinese medicine research center and the largest coastal opening city in north China.

The Origin of the Name of Tianjin

night view of Tianjin
Night View of Tianjin

As for the origin of the name of Tianjin, there are diverse viewpoints in history. The Origin from Literature- Tianjin as a word initially appeared in poems of Qu Yuan, a famous patriotic poet of Chu State in Warring States Period. In his masterpiece named Li Sao(离骚, The Outlet of Sorrow and Dissatisfaction), there is a verse ”朝发轫于天津兮”(At dawn, departing from the Port of the Heaven).

The Origin from Astronomy-Tianjin also used to be a name of the star official in Chinese traditional astronomical system. It was recorded in Astronomy Record in Book of Sui. The Origin from a River Named Tianjin-It was recorded in River Record in History of Jin. The Origin from Emperor’s Name-giving-This perhaps is the most reliable point of view. Tianjin means literally The Ferry Site of Emperor (The Son of Heaven). It was said that Emperor Chengzu, who was one of sons of Emperor Taizu of Ming Dynasty, before his enthronement, for getting the crown of Emperor, launched a war against the successor of Emperor Taizu, Zhu Yunwen, the grandson of Emperor Taizhu, in Nanjing. He departed from Gu River of Tianjin. After his success in enthronement, he presented his departure site a name – Tianjin.

The Brief History of Tianjin

night view of Tianjin Treaty
Treaty of Tianjin

The history of Tianjin is not so long as other cities like Xian, Beijing, Luoyang, Nanjing, Chengdu, Hangzhou and Suzhou. But it had a specific historical record of city establishment. Tianjin was officially established as a city on December 23, 1404, and it was the only ancient city with the specific establishment record. It has more than 600 years of history. Due to the influence of the modern history, Tianjin became a city highlighted with the traditional culture and western culture. Its enchantment is quite similar to today’s Shanghai. Therefore, historians also think that Tianjin is a great display window of Chinese history in the past 100 years. In 1860, Tianjin was forced to be opened as a treaty port, and many western countries took Tianjin as their colony, and many concessions were established subsequently. Tianjin became the frontier of north China in the respect of learning from western countries, and a vital base of Chinese Movement of Learning from the West. Chinese modernization in military affairs, railway, telegraph, telephone, post, mining, education and judicature was all the first time in history of China. At the time, Tianjin was the second largest city of China and the largest financial and trade center of north China. In 2006, Chinese State Council confirmed Tianjin as the center of Baohai Economic Rim, International Port City, North China’s Economic Center and Eco-friendly City. In 2009, the Binghai Economic New Zone was reformed, which tremendously speeds up the economic development of Tianjin.

The Cuisine and Snack of Tianjin

Snack: Tianjin Mahua
Snack: Tianjin Mahua

In eating, Tianjin is absolutely famous all over the country. Four Delicacies of Tianjin respectively Goubuli Baozi(狗不理包子), Shibajie Mahua(十八街麻花), Erduyan Zhagao(耳朵眼炸糕) and Maobuwen Jiaozi(猫不闻饺子) are the representatives of Tianjin Snacks, the famous local food also include Caoji Donkey Meat, Bazhen Sheep-Leg Mutton of Guanshengyuan, Luji Tangmian Zhagao, Baiji Shuijiao, Gaogan of Zhilanzhai, Guobacai of Dafulai, Kansubao of Shitoumen and Xiaobao Chestnut. Shida Sushaobing, Shijin Shaobing of Mingshunzhai, Miancha of Shanggangzi, Wangji Mahua, Doupijuanquan, Baiji Shuijiao, Jiamenzi, Luohandu, Shuligao, Pitangzhang, Tangdun, Chatanger and so on. These famous snacks are available in Nanshi Food Street, which was a famous calling-card of Tainjin in the aspect of cuisine.

The Traditions and Attractions of Tianjin

Tianjin Yangliuqing New Year Picture
Tianjin Yangliuqing New Year Picture

Tianjin traditionally is the center of Chinese traditional arts and performances like Comic Dialogue(Xiangsheng, 相声), Zhuba Show(Bamboo Plate,快板), Clay Figurine Zhang(泥人张), Kite Wei(魏记风筝), Wei Brick-carving Liu(刻砖刘) and Yangliuqing New Year Picture(杨柳青年画). The famous tourist attractions in Tianjin include Dabei Temple, Tainjin Confucius Temple, Guajia Temple, Concession Zone of Wudadao, Xikai Cathedral ,Wanghailou Cathedral, Jewish Church, Great Mosque, The Drum Tower of Tianjin, Canton Assembly Hall, Huo Yuanjia Memorial Museum, Yangliuqing Museum, Huayun Museum, Dule Temple of Ji County, Huangyaguan Great Wall Scenic Area and so on. Tianjin is also the important educational center of China; the famous universities include Tianjin University, Nankai University and Hebei University of Technology.

The Transportation System of Tianjin

Tianjin port
Tianjin Harbor

Tianjin harbor is the world’s top-level and China’s largest artificial deepwater harbor, and the throughput capacity ranks the fifth place in the world. Located in Binghai Economic Zone, a national new economic zone of China, Tianjin harbor is the usual stop site of international cruises. Tianjin subway is also developed and greatly makes citizens’ life convenient. Tianjin-Beijing Inter-city Rail makes the inter-city life possible. Working in Tianjin and living in Beijing, or working in Beijing and living in Tianjin are not a dream at all. Tianjin Binghai International Airport located in Dongli District, Tianjin, roughly 13 kilometers away from downtown area and 30 kilometers away from Tianjin harbor. It is 134 kilometers away from Beijing.

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Writer: David from Seeraa International
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