Tianjin (Tiānjīn, 天津), China's third largest municipality-level city after international superstar Shanghai and nearby Beijing, tends to get lost in the shuffle. It's not perceived as archetypal of China's present warp-speed rush to modernize like Shanghai, nor is it widely known for its historical significance like Beijing. It's too bad, because this often overlooked city has much to offer: an eclectic stock of colonial-era, European-style buildings to rival Shanghai's famous Bund, excellent examples of classical Chinese architecture such as the Monastery of Deep Compassion and Tianhou Temple, great shopping at the Antiques Market and in modern malls, a dynamic local culture featuring a delicious seafood-based cuisine, and, in the northern reaches of the municipality well beyond the urban core, the Huangyaguan stretch of the Great Wall. The best of Tianjin isn't served up on a pre-arranged package-tour platter, but with a little effort it's a rewarding and fascinating destination.
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Like many other cities in China where ancient historical sites remain somewhat intact, Tianjin boasts a large palace-like Tianjin Confucius Temple (Tiānjīn Wénmiào,..
Tianjin's famous Grand Mercy Monastery (Dàbēi Chányuàn, 大悲禅院) is located beside the Haihe River on Tianwei Lu (Tiánwěi Lù, 田尾路). Belonging to..
Located approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Tianjin in Jixian County, Pan Shan (Pán Shān, 盘山) makes for a great getaway from hyper-urban Tianjin and..
The Shi Family Courtyard Residence (Tiānjīn Shí Jiā Dà Yuàn, 天津石家大院) is a monument to the wealth of the merchant Shi clan, one of 19th-century Tianjin's..