Daytrip to Tianjin

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
Trip End Jun 25, 2008

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Since we have a four day weekend because of New Year's, I thought I should get out for some sightseeing instead of just lazing around all weekend, so I took my first solo daytrip outside of Beijing (yay me! lol) to Tianjin, which is about 100km away.

Since I was really only there for the afternoon (I took a train in and out in the morning and evening) I decided to just do the 4 highlights listed in my Lonely Planet: the Treaty Port Architecture, Ancient Culture Street, Antique Market and Monastery of Deep Compassion. While Tianjin isn't the most excited city in China, it still had some interesting things to see.

I think my favourite was the Treaty Port Architecture, which is an area that has a lot of old European-style buildings which were built at the beginning of the 20th century. Many of pretty good English descriptions of their history, which makes it more interesting to walk around and look at them. It is sometimes sad though to see a beautiful, stately building being used for something completely different than its original purpose, or simply decaying away as some memory of the city's past.

The Ancient Culture Street, I guess, was pretty much the opposite of that- a lot of traditional old Chinese style buildings, and the street brimming with stalls selling all of the stereotypical things to buy in China. It was a nice place to just stroll around and look at, even if it might not have been the most genuine representation of Old China! The Antique Market (which I'm not 100% sure I actually found, since where I was was pretty small... although that could just be because no one was out because today was freeezing!) had some neat things too, although I wasn't in any sort of position to judge based on antique quality... just what I thought was pretty!

Lastly the Monastery of Deep Compassion. It was nice, although the lack of any sort of English explanation made it seem no different than any of the Monasteries I've been to other places in China, so I didn't really stay too long here.

Overall though it was nice to get out of the city for a day, since I hadn't actually left Beijing since our last holiday in October!

Hope all's well at home, and wish you guys a Happy New Year,
xox Katie
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