China's 3rd largest city - Tianjin

Written by Jun 30, 2004 10:06
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Home to 10 million people, only a few million less than Beijing. Tianjin is an active mix of old and new culture. There are McDonalds and KFC all over. Shopping plazas are stacked in rows and old traditional markets can be found along side them. Taxis litter the streets and an average day looks like a biking marithon.

There are many activities available here, biking, swimming, boating, karoke (KTV), site seeing, accupuncture, body massages, shopping, and at night there are bars, shower houses and foot massage clinics (the latter 2 double as prostituion houses after nightfall).

Shopping seems to be endless entertainment here. There are so many markets and places to see and so many items and gadgets for sale. Tianjin is cheaper than Beijing so if you are enroute to both cities, do your shopping in Tianjin.

Life here in Tianjin

After being in China for a while I've become accustomed to most things I first found to be new. I'm going to list some things that may be interesting to some.

The smells were the first things that hit me. Often areas of the city had a raw sewage scent. Walking thru a market or along a narrow side street sometimes filled my nostrils with the odor of rotting meat. Food markets having the strong odours of the seafood and meat being sold. Public washrooms always smelling strongly of urine.

The entrepreneurial spirit is strong here. For many there are no jobs so they create their own work. People planted on sidewalks selling drinks out of coolers, wheeled in restraunt carts selling everything from noodles to sausages. People on bike carts roaming the streets calling out to buy people's garbage. Finding services or goods is rather easy because someone is always nearby selling the many things people need daily.

Business's aren't all lined up in stores like the west. You'll find shoe stores, clothing stores, grocery stores, and manicurists set up under an umbrellas on the sides of the streets. Some home owners also turn their front porch into a mini store.

Around 06:00 the streets begin to wake up. People get ready for work and the restraunts and carts set up to serve breakfast. Parks fill with people doing their morning excersizes and the daily markets start appearing. The streets are very busy during the day with people haggling for foods and all types of items. At night many food sellers close down and more people selling clothing, toys, misc goods start to appear. People take advantage of the cooler night to get out and stroll. Dances are a nightly thing too. Adults get together and go to known outside dance locations to spend the night twirling around socializing without alcohol or a cover charge. After 22:00 the streets start to quiet down and people start heading home. The aftermath of the busy day is a city with garbage piled and spilt allover the streets. After society has gone to bed the night workers wake up and go thru all the garbage on the street. Some are looking for bottle caps, some for plastic bags, some for styrofoam containers and some for papers. By the morning the once garbage covered streets have been picked clean and the city is new again.

 More Tianjin Travel Reviews
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