Tianjin Time

Trip Start Jul 19, 2008
Trip End Sep 29, 2008

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Where I stayed
Tianjin City Youth Hostel

Flag of China  , Tianjin,
Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hello everyone
Me and Pete have spent the past 2 days in Tianjin, China's 3rd biggest city.
We arrived late Sunday night and got a taxi to the hostel. The driver didn't know where exactly it was so got out and ask a passer by. It turned out to be right in front of us! Anyways, we got in and planned  the next day.
Monday came and we first went to the train station to book tickets to Qingdao (which we leave 2moz morning).
We then started sightseeing. Tianjin used to be owned by several European countries so it has alot of European style buildings and influences. We started by walking down Jiefan Beilu (aka Bank Street), where we saw lots of impressive old banks that wouldn't go astray in any European city! We even saw a red phone box like the old ones in London. We continued to walk along the banks of the Hai river, seeing impressive skyscrapers and bridges. We then wondered into the Italian Concession, where several Italian style buildings were found. After some lunch, we wondered down the main shopping street (looked like any shopping street in Europe except everything was in Mandarin!). We eventually ended up at the Antique Market, which had all sorts of stuff for sale. We continued to walk and found a nice small park and eventually we found the China House. This house was insane, it was literally covered in china and porcelain pots (looked out of this world!). We then went to Xikai Church, the largest church in Tianjin which was pretty nice. We caught a taxi to the other side of town and went to the TV tower. This was the 4th largest TV tower in the world and the views from the top were stunning (the pollution was pretty bad so you couldn't see for miles but most of the city though!) We then wondered through the Water Park, which was basically a massive park with large ponds and nice scenic views.
Today, we started by walking over the river (the bridge with a giant wheel!) to the Monastery of Deep Compassion, which was quite impressive, lots of locals offering prayers and gifts to Buddha. We then wondered over to the Wanghuilou Church which was OK. We walked further on to the Ancient Culture Street which sold loads of Chinese gifts, musical instruments and everything made of Jade. On the same street was the Heaven Queen Temple, which was also pretty cool. We continued to walk onto the China Town district, where there was a drum tower (good views from top) and the Guangdong Guild Hall, which was an old style Chinese opera house. We then wondered over to a Chinese style mosque before catching the metro to the Wudadao district (the old British concession) which housed several old British style buildings.
Well thats all for Tianjin, we set of for Qingdao on the Yellow Sea coast tomorrow morning so hope everyone is well and see you all in a few days.
Mark and Peter
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