- Comfort Zone Violation #379–Naked English Practice?
- Please Stop Paying Attention to My…
- Too fat! Too thin! Everyone’s got an opinion
- 关心 talk: so offensive it's funny
- Take an afternoon and visit the Tianjin Museum (天津博物馆) on Youyi Lu (友谊路). The second floor is dedicated to highlighting how both Tianjin and foreigners fit into the official narrative of China's modern history—you'll learn about dramatic events like the Tianjin Incident/Massacre. Here's an excerpt from the introduction, to give you a taste:
"The past hundred years after the Opium War, the Chinese nation had undergone the semi-feudal and semi-colonial miserable experience. During this period, Tianjin historically became the forefront where Chinese and Western civilizations collided with each other. In the life-and-death struggle for the defense of the Chinese nation, Tianjin more than once became the main battlefield in the resistance against foreign invasion..."
- Marriage market, Tianjin The "Marriage Market" at Central Park (中心公园) on weekend mornings in decent weather. Not only are the people friendly and talkative, but seeing this modern day match-making in action is a site to behold. You can literally browse the men's and women's sections looking for a spouse. (See the links for photos and stories from three of our visits there.)
- The few remaining not-yet-redeveloped old-style neighborhoods in Tianjin's less-redeveloped districts (红桥区 and 河北区). Here you can still find pre-Reform-and-Opening neighborhoods and hutongs. You can also see the city in transition—older neighborhoods painted with "拆" (how buildings are marked for demolition), many half-demolished but still containing many families. This is a great way to see first-hand the drastic changes sweeping major Chinese cities. Tianjin's forsaken neighborhoods are disappearing fast.
- The Haihe River (海河), along with the Foreign Concession Areas. They will show you not only historic buildings, a nice riverwalk, and pretty lights at night, but also swimmers, fishermen, and some fun local life. There's plenty of history to take in in the Concession areas, from Eric Liddell's old house (the Chariots of Fire guy) to former residences of the last Emperor and Yuan Shikai, the warlord who co-opted the republican dream of Sun Yat-Sen. I especially like the historic, crumbling, pre-Liberation church buildings.
- Ancient Culture Street (古文化街). It's a tourist trap, but colorful, noisy, and fun at the right times. If you want more shopping, the number one most popular local tourism/shopping location is the glitzy BīnJiāng Dào (滨江道) walking street. Be prepared for serious crowds, though. And watch your pockets.