Category Archives: Tianjin

Tianjin in the rain

Last Thursday Xieman took the day off  work so she could take us to Tianjin on the high speed train. She came over in the morning with her younger sister to start our journey. It was my first time to meet her younger sister, and Pattie and Theresa were happy to share gifts with them from Canada.

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We made it to the train station to purchase the tickets, to find out her younger sister could not accompany us since her mother was not along to identify her!!

The train station is HUGE so I am glad that Xieman knew where to get the tickets. (Notice all in Chinese)

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Tom was impressed when the speed got up to294 km.

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Unfortunately when we arrived it was raining, and many of the shopping streets were flooded.

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Tianjin is the 7th largest city in China near the coast, and was settled years ago by the Europeans.

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We all decided we did not want to wade in the water, so our shopping was put on hold, so we figured we would go for lunch.

Xieman asked about 10 people to suggest a restaurant for lunch, and we were directed in 10 different directions to find NO restaurants. It was a learning experience for my family to see how communication can be difficult even with a Chinese speaking person. Finally someone suggested a ride in a Chinese tuk tuk to find an eating place.

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We did not like the cafeteria style restaurant so we walked down the street and took our chances on the totally Chinese Restaurant.

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We were able to try a few of my favorite dishes which everyone else enjoyed.

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The shopping streets were still flooded after lunch so we stopped in for a tea ceremony.

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Since it was still difficult to get around, we decided to just take the train back to Beijing.

For our last day in Beijing, a trip to get a pedicure was a nice going away outing.

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Theresa got flowers.

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Pattie went with hearts.

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A Japanese noodle lunch was a necessity before everyone left.

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Also a dinner at a local Korean Restaurant was a joyous event.

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We all enjoyed Korean barbecue and the traditional Bibimbap (mixed rice and vegetables).

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We couldn’t finish the trip without a picture of the split pants.

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Food and Souvenirs from Tianjin

Stella took us to a couple Chinese Restaurants that served delicious food. I think this is the most colorful dish I have ever experienced, and it tasted great.

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Stella and I picked out these shell fish, which contained small pieces of fish that tasted similar to scallops.

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The biggest snails I have ever eaten. We picked them out while they were still crawling around, so I wasn’t quite sure if I would like them. They were chewy but good. They put the shells on the plate, so you can see that they cooked them all. The meat is laying beside the shells.

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The steamed “flounder” fish was scrumptious.

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We just looked at this sausage in the restaurant mall. Rare to see in China, especially this big.

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This is a local sweet treat made with rice powder. It is cooked in the wooden holder, placed on a the tortilla and topped with jam.

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Stella and her dad at the entrance to the Tianjin traditional shopping street.

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We stopped at the well known pottery shop.

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Stella’s dad purchased this cute little statue set for me. The tradition is that your host buys the first souvenir while visiting. This set reminded me of the story of the “Big Pumpkin”

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A trip to Tianjin

On Saturday Mark and I met Stella at school and took a taxi to the South Beijing Railway Station, to board the high speed train to Tianjin which is 137 kilometers from Beijing.

Tianjin is located in Northern China along the coast of the Bohai Gulf, a fast 30 minute ride on the train. Surrounded by Hebei on all directions except for the sea and is bordered by Beijing to the northwest, it lies at the northern end of the Grand Canal of China, which connects with the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The municipality is generally flat, and swampy near the coast, but hilly in the far north, where the Yan Mountains intrude into northern Tianjin. (Wikipedia) It is the sixth largest city in China.

The Beijing–Tianjin Intercity Railway (simplified Chinese: 京津城际铁路; traditional Chinese: 京津城際鐵路; pinyin: Jīng-Jīn chéngjì tiělù) is a high-speed rail, passenger-dedicated line between Beijing and Tianjin in China. The 117 km line was built to accommodate trains traveling at a maximum speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), and currently carries CRH high-speed trains running speeds up to 330 km/h (205 mph). When the line opened on August 1, 2008, it set the record for the fastest conventional train service in the world by top speed, and reduced travel time between the two largest cities in northern China from 70 to 30 minutes. (Wikipedia)

Stella and I at the Beijing train station.

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The station was filled with many people with trains leaving all the time.

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The windows are cleaned each time the train enters the station.

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We purchased the business class tickets, so the seats were comfy and our compartment at the very back on the train was quiet.

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Tianjin was the second port city after Hong Kong, and before Shanghai so many European influences with the architecture. It is absolutely beautiful and at times forgot I was still in China.

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An old car on display on the sidewalk.

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This is the university where Stella studied to get her degree. She told us stories of living in the first year dormitory with 8 girls in one room, on 4 bunk beds with no privacy at all. The bathroom and showers for the hundred people on each floor were at the end of the hall. It wasn’t much fun standing in line to wait your turn to shower, and being on the 20th floor with no AC in the hot hot summers. After the first year, there were only 6 girls to a room.  Once again I realized how fortunate  we are with our schools in Canada and the US.

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We strolled past this church, which is still in service.

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Tomorrow the shopping and the food.