Tianjin Journals

Tianjin, City guide

Best of IgoUgo

A February 2006 trip to Tianjin by Paul Bacon

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: I live just outside Tianjin in a small town, so I have two views of China's third city.

Amigo

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Living a few kilometers outside the main part of Tianjin makes coming into the city for food a big experience for me. The journey can often involve lengthy bus rides pressed up against some smelly Chinese migrant worker or being lurched around as the driver struggles with the concept of slowing down for corners or other vehicles in his path. Even with that being the case I was excited when I heard a new Mexican restaurant had opened up in town and couldn't wait to chow down on some burritos or fajitas. However, after I had spent a good 40 minutes clinging on for dear life on the bus into town, I have to say I was ultimately disappointed with Amigo. First off it was pricey: two fajitas set us ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 23, 2006

Alibabas Bar & Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Alibabas"

Quote:
One of the major benefits of living overseas is the expatriate lifestyle. I have always found living and socialising amongst western communities in Asia to be rather fun. In Korea there was always Seoul’s raucous Itaewon area and in Beijing there are Chaoyang and Sanliturn, both chock full of western bars and restaurants. Even in the frozen reaches of Mongolia there was scope to get together for a beer or a bite to eat in Ulaan Baatar. Tianjin on the other hand, is slightly different. Despite being a city of over 9 million people with plenty of foreigners around, its expat community seems somewhat dislocated. The first issue in the rather vague nature of the western community is probably caused mo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 5, 2006

Alibabas Bar & Restaurant
Tong An Dao #2 Hutong
Tianjin, China
+86 22 2351-3976

YY Beer House

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "YYs"

Quote:
The best restaurant in Tianjin. Y.Ys not only serves superb Thai food and a dazzling array of imported beer, but it also offers an air of intimacy to be found nowhere else in Tainjin. The Tianjin International Building on Najing Lu – Guoji Dasha to the locals – is a massive skyscraper home to luxury apartments and several Western enterprises. In contrast though, the streets to its rear offer a stark contrast to the building’s modern facade. The area south of Nanjing Lu is comprised predominantly of slightly antiquated buildings constructed in the colonial era. One of these structures, a somewhat worn two-storey creation, is home to Y.Ys. On the outside Y.Ys gives the impression that it cou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 21, 2006

YY Beer House
No. 3, Ao Men Road, Heping District
Tianjin, China
86 (22) 23399634

Balitai Brazilian Barbecue

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Chinese cuisine; rich varied, flavorsome and usually delicious. Living in the Far East definitely offers great variety for both the cultural and culinary palates. However being an ex-pat I do have to admit that there are times I do crave some foods whose origins are a little closer to home. This is where food in China takes a somewhat dramatic turn for the worse. It is evident to those who have spent any time in China that the food at their local Chinese restaurant back home is not quite the same as the real thing. Similarly the inverse of this is often, although not always, true – many restaurants in Beijing are excellent, offering a very accurate take on the western menu. Alas in Tianjin th...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 29, 2006

Balitai Brazilian Barbecue
Weijin Lu
Tianjin

Antique Market

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tianjin Antique Market"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
It was a blazingly hot Sunday afternoon in Tianjin. I had decided to head into the city centre to spend a leisurely afternoon shopping on Binjiang Dao, the city's biggest thoroughfare and shopping area. Unfortunately Binjiang was crowded, frenetic, and bereft of any serious form of shade. Barely 10 minutes in and my freshly shaved head was beginning to issue warnings of impending sunburn. My distinctly British inability to deal with any form of temperature extreme was making itself painfully evident as I scurried, in a cowardly manner, for shade. Thankfully I knew the perfect place to spend a couple of hours away from the crowds on Binjiang Dao and the sun overhead. Tianjin's antique market is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2006

Antique Market
Shenyang Dao
Tianjin, China 300000
+86 (0)22 2835 8812

Binjiang Dao

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Binjiang Dao is Tianjin's main thoroughfare and shopping area. Ask some of the locals and they will try and compare it with the glitz and glamour of Shanghai's Nanjing Lu, possibly the most famous shopping area in the whole of China. With that in mind, it may seem that the people of Tianjin are making one hell of a claim. However, whilst Tianjin may still have quite a way to go in becoming the Shanghai of the north, Binjian does not deserve to be left in the shadows. Making a serious comparison with Nanjing Lu may well be folly, but Binjiang does have several similar qualities. First, and possibly most striking, is the architecture. Like Shanghai, Tianjin also grew around a large colonial prese...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 1, 2006

Binjiang Dao

Tianjin, China

Tianjin Radio & TV Tower

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Tianjin Radio and TV Tower"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Tianjin, despite being a city of 9 million people, is often painted as the poor relation of Beijing. The view of many living in the Chinese capital is that their neighbour to the south is dirty and somewhat backward. That image notwithstanding, China’s third largest city does boast many features befitting a metropolis of its size. Possibly the most prominent of these features is the TV and radio tower situated in the south of the city. As a resident of Tianjin I understand why it is so easily overshadowed by Beijing, and unfortunately I have to admit that it is pretty dirty and not particularly forward-thinking. Consequently, when I read-up about the tower I was surprised just how tall it was and ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 6, 2006

Tianjin Radio & TV Tower
1 Jinzi Road, Hexi District
Tianjin, China 300000
+86 (0)22 2334 3557

Tianjin Natural History Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Tianjin Natural History Museum Photo, Tianjin, China
Quote:
I have never much seen the point of taxidermy. Invariably it fails to capture the true appearance or nature the dead animal involved. It is impossible to capture healthy fur, piercing eyes, or a vicious snarl in an animal that is dead. Furthermore in a museum I believe it also serves to give a rather stilted view of the animals featured. For instance how can you understand the speed and agility of a lynx or a leopard when the animal is left static in perpetuity? This was one of the major impressions I took with me when I left Tianjin’s Natural History Museum. It seemed such a shame because the museum had many other things going in its favour. Perhaps quite ironically for a place that also deals wi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 6, 2006

Tianjin Natural History Museum
272 Ma Chang Dao St.
Tianjin, China 300010
+86 (22) 2835 8812

Ancient Culture Street

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Ancient Culture Street is a slightly less than apt name for one of Tianjin’s biggest tourist attractions. The first bone of contention would be that the locale is something marginally short of ancient having being around five years ago. It is also not lavishly endowed with masses of Chinese culture. Part of Tianjin’s riverside redevelopment Culture Street is more of a tourist trap than anything else, which is slightly bizarre considering Tianjin is a city that does not attract vast swathes of sightseers. It takes on something of an updated hutong type persona – hutongs being old-style single-storey Chinese streets that formed mazes of tiny courtyards and houses. Gone though is the squalour of tra...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 13, 2006

Ancient Culture Street
West Bank of the Haihe River
Nankai District, Tianjin 300010

The Crossing

Story/Tip

Quote:
With the itchy symptoms of wanderlust, I began to figure out how I would get there. Flying was the obvious option, but seemed decidedly unambitious. I would have liked to travel by bus or train, but feared the insurmountable problem of North Korea being in the way. That left one option – boat. Passage across the Yellow Sea had a certain mystical orientalism to it. It conjured up images of opium dens and the last throws of Imperial China. The ferry would leave from Incheon in Korea’s northwest and sailed to Tianjin in northeastern China, two hours south of Beijing. The journey would take upwards of 28 hours. I bade farewell to Korea on a typically humid Friday evening. I stood on the stern of the ...Read More

BMT

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The BMT is a light railway system that runs from the city of Tianjin out towards the giant container port that serves Beijing and much of China’s northeast. It is a modern, clean and efficient, but horrendously planned. The line runs from the Dongli area in the east of the city heading through much of the region’s heavy industrial areas and out towards Tanggu. Currently several stations and a large section of the track are not yet complete and remain under construction and therein lies the problem it faces. Dongli is a fifteen minute (and RMB12) taxi ride from the centre of Tianjin. So before you can take the high-speed and hi-tech rail link, you first have to take a decidedly low-tech and somewha...Read More