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Tianjin Travel Tips
Your first-hand tips on an area you have been to in China will help other fellow travelers on their trip planning and on-the-spot stay. Please choose one of the specific categories.
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Tianjin Zoo
By INTIANJIN | 7/2/2004 10:50:49 PM

Tianjin zoo has quite a collection of animals. Hippos, Rhinos, a giraffe, tigers, bears, reptiles, monkeys, osterichs, raindeer, yaks, zebra, tonnes of birds and more. If you haven't seen hippos or rhinos up close they are really big.

The zoo is located near Hua Cheng hotel. Chinese for zoo is dong wu yuan, give that to your taxi cab driver. The zoo costs 20RMB or 30RMB to enter. The 30RMB lets you see more. We paid 20RMB and saw almost everything. Once you've paid you'll still be asked to pay further to see certain animals. The reptiles cost 20RMB to see. The circus show is 4RMB and to see the majority of the birds you have to pay a fee to enter the large bird sanctuary part.

On a sadder note they have a bear cub which they force to ride a bike and do other tricks for people. It looks so horrible, the poor thing is skinny and has chains on it and moans as its doing its paces. Its cruel and horrid to see but other than that the zoo is cool.

They have a water park beside the zoo with carnival rides. I didn't bother going in. All I know is you can't go on the ferris wheel, its closed permanently due to a fatality.

Market psychology
By INTIANJIN | 7/2/2004 10:25:49 PM

Here is an idea of the bargaining pschology here:

You ask how much an item is. You are given a figure which seems good when you convert it to your home currency. You accept it and the seller now knows what a foreigner is willing to pay.

When bargaining the seller is going to ask you what you are willing to pay. This is a trick which benefits them. If they are asking 100RMB and you say no its too high, they will ask you what you think. You say 60RMB. The item is only worth 40RMB but you've just set a minimum so now they are going to say 'nooo...' and do some theatrics and say 80RMB. After a while you'll settle on 70RMB.

Prices you are given are going to be twice that or more than what a local will pay. Here are some examples of the bargaining I've done:

2 pillow cases.
Seller was asking 40RMB.
I got 4 for 50RMB.

1 traditional dress.
Seller was asking 100RMB.
I got it for 50RMB.

1 traditional shirt.
Seller was asking 100RMB.
I got it for 38RMB.
It took quite a bit of theatrics on both of our parts and the lady kept saying '40RMB.. only 2RMB.. not much'. I told her that the 2RMB was my breakfast.

1 traditional night robe.
Seller was asking 90RMB.
I got it for 50RMB.

A cool pocket knife.
Seller was asking 20RMB.
I got it for 10RMB.

My first purchase was 2 watches. I paid 80RMB each thinking I did good to get them down from 105. Just today I was offered the same selection of watches for 20RMB a piece.

I'm including the pics of the traditional clothing I purchased. They look beautiful in real life and will look great mounted on my wall.

Foreigner Bookstore.
By INTIANJIN | 7/2/2004 10:22:06 AM

If you want to find some books to read there is a bookstore which sells books in many languages. Its called Foreign Languages Bookstore. Browsing the english section I found titles on Quantum Physics, Genetics, DNA, Thermal Dynamics, Medicine, and other cool though intensive subjects. Those books are very thick and run at around 200RMB a piece and are from well known authors.

The cafe 'Be For Time Tea House' is just down the street and is listed on the site. Across the street is also a McDonalds and just down from that is a well stocked Tobacco World. The blind massage clinic is walking distance from there also.

This area is found in the Nan Kai district of Tianjin.

Computer Central
By INTIANJIN | 7/2/2004 10:24:44 AM

Cyber Mart is a 3 story building the size of a square block with about 200 venders inside. You can purchase things like 40GB harddrives for 415 RMB or webcams for as low as 60RMB. They have really cool stuff and all the namebrands we love. Its a total candy store :D

Cyber Mart is on An Shan Xi road in the Nan Kai district.

Exchanging money - use Bank of China
By INTIANJIN | 7/2/2004 1:05:56 AM

If you need to exchange your money or cash traveller's cheques I suggest going to the Bank of China. They give you a good rate and don't charge high commission. I was charged $3.75 on exchanging $500. They have 5 or so locations (I go to the Main Tianjin Branch and the Wang Ding Di branch)

BOC Tianjin Branch (biggest one)
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00-17:00
Addr: No. 82, North Jiefang Rd., Heping Dist.
Tel: 27102208, 27102209, 27102238

BOC Triumphal Arch Mansion Office
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00-12:00, 13:30-16:30
Addr: 10th floor, Block B, Triumphal Arch Mansion, No. 66, Xuzhou Rd.
Tel: 23133095

BOC TIB Office
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00-12:00, 13:30-16:30
Addr: 2nd Floor, TIB, No. 75, Nanjing Rd.
Tel: 23306973

BOC Shi Ying Lu Office
Hours: Mon-Sun: 9:00-17:00
Addr: No. 1, Shiying Rd., Nankai Dist.
Tel: 23911932

BOC Wang Ding Di Office
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:00-12:00, 13:30-17:00; Sat, Sun:9:00-16:00
Addr: No. 118, Fukang Rd., Nankai Dist.
Tel: 23619806

By INTIANJIN | 7/13/2004 3:34:46 PM

The big 5 star hotel's primary clientel consists of big companies like Coca Cola and such who cover the bill. If you have to pay out of your pocket then you'll be paying on par with western prices. I went to the Sheriton for dinner and it cost 350RMB for 2 people. We ate the buffet and had two orange juices. Drinks weren't included in the buffet. Our orange juices themselves were 27RMB each. A pack of Cafe Creme cigars was 110RM. 4 times the normal prices. I was told by a citizen that the Regency Hyatt is the best in Tianjin.


Sheraton Hotel Tianjin(5star)
Address: Zijinshan Road, He Xi District, Tianjin, 300074 China.
Phone: 86-22-23343388

Renaissance Tianjin Hotel(5star)
Address: 105 Jianshe Road Heping District, Tianjin
Phone: 86-22-23026888

Regency Hyatt Hotel Tianjin(4star)
219 Jie Fang North Road
Tianjin 300042, China
Tel: +86 22 2330 1234
Fax: +86 22 2331 1234

Holiday Inn Tianjin
Address: 288, Zhongshan Road, Hebei District, TIANJIN, 300141
Phone: 86-22-26288888


Tianjin Grand Hotel
Address: Youyi Road, Hexi District, Tianjin, China
Phone: 86-22-28359000

Tianjin Imperial Palace Hotel
Address: No.177 Jie Fang North Road Tianjin 300042 China
Phone: 86-22-23316003

Tianjin Friendship Hotel(3star)
Address: No.94 Nanjing Road Tianjin China.
Phone: 86-22-23310372/3

Narcissus Hotel
Address: 25 Pingshan Dao Hexi District
Tianjin, 300074

Massages from the blind
By INTIANJIN | 7/8/2004 5:49:39 PM

They say blind people are more tuned to do massage than those with sight. There is a blind massage clinic beside Ma Chang Dao primary school on Jin Gang road in the Nan Kai district. Its called Kang Hua Mang Ren (Blind people) Massage Clinic. They don't speak any english so you'll need some chinese to tell them your ailment.

It costs 30RMB for 1 session or 125RMB for 5 sessions. 60RMB for the full body massage. They massage you with your clothing on, they put a sheet over the part they are massaging. I bought 5 sessions and they did wonders for me. The two younger men didn't seem so blind because they kept staring at my gf's chest. :D Still.. nice people.

Hours: 08:00-21:30 (every day)
Tel: (86-22)23283812

On the end of this street is a Bank of China and if you go left from there you'll walk to the Tobacco World, McDonalds, Foreign Bookstore, a China post, and Be For Time Tea.

There are other clinics with massage around town. I went to one in the Wang Ding Di district which had a dentist also and got chinese suction cup treatment and a useless massage. The suction cup treatment hurt and left me with gigantic suction welts allover my back. Picture coming soon :D

Hand numbers
By INTIANJIN | 6/30/2004 10:17:46 AM

If you don't speak chinese then haggling is generally done with a calculator. If one isn't available then the common hand signs for numbers are used. I'll include a crude drawing of the hand signs and explain them below.

The 1,2,3,4,5 are the same as ours. We learn these as children.

The 6 is a 'hang ten dude' configuration.

The 7 is a 'eets a spicy meata ball' hand position or the pinching spices position.

The 8 is the gun pistol position. Of course we don't actually point it at people, we point it sideways.

The 9 is the pirate hook configuration.

The ten is the good luck crossed finger position.

To sign multi digit number you just give the signs in series. For example 98 is... 9.... 8....

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