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Municipality Cities

Tianjin

Tianjin is the sixth largest city of China in terms of urban population. Administratively it is one of the four municipalities that have provincial-level status, reporting directly to the central government. Also, its urban land area is the fifth largest in China, ranked only after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Map of TianjinTianjin's urban area is located along the Hai He River, which connects to the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers via the Grand Canal in Tianjin. Its ports, some distance away, are located on Bohai Gulf in the Pacific Ocean. Tianjin was once home to foreign concessions in the late Qing Dynasty and early Kuomintang (KMT) era. The municipality now incorporates the coastal region of Tanggu, home to the Binhai and the Technology and Economic Developing Area (TEDA). Tianjin Municipality borders Hebei province to the north, south, and west; Chinese capital Beijing is to the northwest, and Bohai Gulf to the east.

History
The land where Tianjin lies today was created in historical times by sedimentation of various rivers entering the sea at Bohai Gulf, including the Yellow River, which entered the sea in this area at one point.

The opening of the Grand Canal of China during the Sui Dynasty prompted the development of Tianjin into a trading center. Until 1404, Tianjin was called "Zhigu", or "Straight Port". In that year, the Yongle Emperor renamed the city Tianjin, literally means "the Heavenly Ford", to indicate that the Emperor (son of heaven) forded the river at that point. This is because he had indeed forded the river in Tianjin while on a campaign to scramble for the throne from his nephew. Later on, a fort was established in Tianjin, known as "Tianjin Wei", the Fort of Tianjin.

Language
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, official spoken language of the People's Republic of China.

Food
Tianjin cuisine places a heavy focus on seafood, due to Tianjin's proximity to the sea. Prominent menus include the Eight Great Bowls, a combination of eight mainly meat dishes. It can be further classified into several varieties, including the rough, smooth, and high. The Four Great Stews refers actually to a very large number of stews, including chicken, duck, seafood, beef, and mutton.

Tianjin also has several famous snack items. Goubuli is a traditional brand of baozi (steamed buns with filling) that is famous throughout China. Guifaxiang is a traditional brand of mahua (twisted dough sticks). Erduoyan  is a traditional brand of fried rice cakes. Tianjin is a respected home base of Beijing opera, one of the most prestigious forms of Chinese opera.

Culture and Art
Tianjin is famous for its crosstalk comedians including Guo Degang and Ma Sanli. Ma Sanli(1914 - 2003), an ethnic Hui and longtime resident of Tianjin, is paramountly respected in China for his xiangsheng (cross-talk), a hugely popular form of Chinese entertainment similar to stand-up comedy. Ma Sanli delivered some of his xiangsheng in the Tianjin dialect .

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, colourful wash paintings. Tianjin is also famous for Zhang's clay figurines which are a type of colourful figurine depicting a variety of vivid characters, and Tianjin's Wei's kites , which can be folded to a fraction of their full sizes, are noted for portability.

People from Tianjin are stereotyped to be talkative, eloquent, humorous, open, and unfettered.There is a term for the stereotype of the always-eloquent and sometimes-humorous Tianjin native: wèizuǐzi, which translates roughly as "the Tianjin mouth". Tianjin is famous for its native talking art - Xiangsheng, sometimes translated as crosstalk, is a traditional Chinese comedy duo performance in the form of a dialogue, rich in puns and allusions, is used in a rapid, bantering style. Xiangsheng is one of China's foremost performing arts. Canadian xiangsheng comedian Dashan (Mark Rowswell) says the closest equivalent in English would be Abbott and Costello's "Who's on First?"


Tourist Attractions
Italian District
Hai River Music Park
Boxer Rebellion Museum
Guwan Shichang (Antique Market)
Guwenhua Jie  (Ancient Culture Street)
Wen Miao  (An important Temple of Confucius)
Yuhuangge Taoist Temple
Temple of Great Compassion (A Zen Buddhist Temple)
Tianhou Palace (Mazu Temple in Tianjin, the biggest one in the entire Northern China region)
Our Lady of Victory Church (Wanghailou Church)
St. Joseph's Cathedral (Laoxikai Church)
Tianjin Jewish Synagogue
Former Concessions in Tianjin
Tianjin Radio and Television Tower
Tianjin Eye (The world's only and tallest built ferris wheel over a bridge, 6th tallest in height)
The Tianjin Tower  (Open in 2010, 336.9 meters)
Tianjin International Trade Center  (Open in 2012, 300 meters)
Tianjin Water Park
Tianjin Zoo
Tianjin Museum
Hai River Park
Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium, also known as "The Water Drop"
Wu Da Dao (Five Main Avenues)
Italian District
Shijia Dayuan (Shi Family Residence)
Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao
Lishunde Grand Hotel
The Century Clock of Tianjin (Tianjin Shijizhong)

Sights Outside the Tianjin Urban Area
Soviet aircraft carrier Kiev Theme Park
TEDA Football Stadium  (Home stadium of Tianjin Teda F.C. in the Chinese Super League)
Tianjin Binhai International Airport
Taku Forts  (Cannon battlement Platform in Qing Dynasty)
Huangyaguan Great Wall  (A famous fort on the Great Wall)
Mount Panshan
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city

Questions & Comments

  • Mike on February 18, 2011, 9:50 am

    We would like to visit Jewish Tianjin, how can we do that? We live in Beijing Thank you mike

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