Hi guys, I’m Marco from Italy. I have been au pair in Beijing for almost three months. On my spare time I travelled to lots of places both in and out of the city. One of my favoriate places is a nearby city called Tianjin, which I went with two other au pairs Toby and Roxane and one of our friends in Beijing. As a coastal city on the shore of Bohai sea, it has its unique sceneries from the cosy beach to its city life. Here are my five reasons why you should visit it.
It would be a great regret if you went to Tianjin but missed the delicious food there. Among the many kinds of food, I strongly recommend the Gǒubùlǐ Baozi, which Tianjin is famous for. It’s similar to dumplings. You can probably eat Baozi anywhere in China but the Baozi in Tianjin is the most delicious ones i have tried.
We were shocked to find there were lots of people taking the quene at the restaurant so we went in just out of curiosity. Bite a mouthful of it, oily water comes out, juicy but not greasy.
There are also lots of food courts where there are foods arranging from all kinds of barbecues, cookies, fruits, to dried nuts, you should definitely try!
Interested to Chinese dialects？ A trip to Tianjin would be a good choice to hear about the Tianjin dialect spoken by the people. Besides that, the Tianjin folk arts are spectacular. It includes Xiangsheng, which is known as the comic cross talk. Xiangsheng is a comedic dialogue performance between usually two performers. Tianjin is also famous for its arts and crafts such as Clay Figure Zhang, Zhang is the family name of the person who started the business, this kind of business can usually be dated back to the 1880s. There are also Kites Wei, Instrument Li etc.
Tianjin has a combination of both old and new, Western and Chinese buildings. The buildings are generally quite tall. I visited the Italian style street. Some of the buildings there are kind of European style, it’s really a beautiful place.
If you are looking to travel outside of Beijing but don’t have a lot of time, Tianjin is a recommended place as there isn’t a very long distance from Beijing to Tianjin. It only took me one hour from Beijing train station to Tianjin, and 30 minutes with the high-speed rail from Tianjin to Beijing. The environment on the train was very friendly, the food there was super cheap(about 10 kuai) but delicious.
Our favoriate transportation to tour the city was riding bicyles. We used those shared bicycles to a few tourist places.
Tianjin Eye has a half hour ride which offers a wonderful view of the city. I recommend you to go there at night since its more colorful. From the Tianjin Eye you will be able to see the flowing Haihe River, all sorts of ancient and new buildings, music and sounds of the city.
One more thing I liked about Tianjin is its close to the beach, something I missed back in Italy! My trip was perfect after watching the sunset! You will find people in Tianjin live their life with a slower pace than in Beijing. They have no worries about being late for work. The subway is not so crowded as that in Beijing, you could follow your own step to take the subway and enjoy the trip.