Travel Report: Tianjin, China.
July 2009. How can I ever forget the modest city of Tianjin, the first stop of my great 2009 China road trip? Tianjin isn’t the most exciting place in China, but it did provide S and I with a gentle, hassle-free start to our amazing four-week adventure. This photo was taken on our first day as we wandered aimlessly around Tianjin’s pretty port. In fact, I think it may have been the first time I was stopped by Chinese tourists and asked if they could have their photo taken with me. Little did I know it then, but the novelty would rapidly wear off.
July 2009. There were barely a handful of sights to check out in Tianjin and the traditional Ancient Culture Street was probably the city’s biggest draw. Take your time to saunter through the craft shops, sculpture stalls and upmarket lantern boutiques.
There’s a sizeable temple on Ancient Culture Street too, while all the surrounding buildings are Qing replicas, with their red and green facades and ornate, painted windows.
July 2009. When I stumbled into this side street restaurant in search of lunch I had my first “Whoa, I really am in China!” moment. With its sparse décor, huge Chairman Mao painting and gnarled old men with their shrarrey farmer’s accents, there could be no doubt that I was a long way from home Toto. It was here that I ate my first f?nqié ch?o dàn, a mouth-watering concoction of tomato, egg and rice drowned in a rich ginger soy sauce.
July 2009. This kooky museum, known locally as Porcelain House, is a contemporary centre for pottery and antiques. Originally an old colonial building, the entire structure was remodelled using broken porcelain parts by eccentric museum founder Zhang Lianzhi. You can wander around inside for 60RMB.
July 2009. Tianjin’s small but pretty Zhonxing Park was a good place for observing locals going about their daily lives. On the day of my visit there was a collection of old ladies performing elaborate stretching exercises, while gossiping mothers kept half an eye on their children as they frolicked around a large fountain.
For more on my adventures in Tianjin, take a look at my short story Give Me Money!
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