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    Travel Tips - Hotels & Accommodations

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    Tianjin, Tianjin Province, China
    Tianjin is one of the four municipalities in China. Its name means 'the place where the emperor crossed the river'. In recent years Tianjin has received more and more attention from both tourists at home and abroad due to its numerous travel resources and rich history. It is no exaggeration to say that Tianjin bears a splendid historical background. However, it was desecrated by foreign invaders long before the foundation of People's Republic of China. Tianjin was shared by nine countries: Italy, Germany, France, Russia, Great Britain, Austria, Japan and Belgium. This marked an extremely hard period for Tianjin and her people because those imperialist countries left permanent marks in her body, most notable of which were thousands of villas. Today those villas provide an exotic flavor to Tianjin, enhancing the beauty of the entire city. Blessed with variety of tourist attractions, Tianjin is a good place to explore. The top ten attractions in Tianjin, known as Jinmen Shijing, are Gu Wenhua Jie, Dagu Emplacement, Huangyaguan Great Wall , Dule Temple, Haihe River, Water Park, Panshan Mountain, Hotel Street and Food Street, Tianjin TV Radio Tower and Zhonghuan Cailian. There are also many natural scenes of beauty as well as great historical events. Getting in and out of the city is convenient because of the well-planned transportation system. If you want to come by water, there are a series of international and domestic sea routes in the port of Tianjin, which is the biggest man-made port in China. If you plan to arrive by air, Tianjin Binhai International Airport offers excellent service. Planes have routes that reach most of the major cities in China and also cities in Europe and America. Of course, arriving in Tianjin by land is another option, while trains or long-distance buses are yet another alternative. Various hotels, guesthouses and hostels can also meet your different needs. In addition, there are all types of entertainment available to relax both your body and mind.
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    Tianjin, Tianjin Province, China
    I had little free time during my visit to this city. The colonial architecture is a treat, especially in this country that seems bent on new construction with little regard to the past, and emphasizes quantity over quality. Food - Goubuli Steamed Stuffed Bun - This stuffed bun-shaped dumpling was invented in Tianjin. It has the nickname of "Doggy", some long story having to do with the nickname of the inventor. The most famous and beloved home for this speciality is the Goubuli Bun Shop located on the edge of the Food Street in Tianjin, 77 Shandong Lu , Heping District. My hosts, deans of Tianjin Law School and Nanki University School of Law, were very proud to take me there and show off their local cuisine. Shopping - Gu Wenhua Jie (Ancient Culture Street) is a great place to shop. Traditionally designed stores line either side of the street, dealing in paintings, calligraphy, jade, or other renowned Chinese arts and crafts. My personal favorite was shopping for tea pots. It is a good place to find souvenirs and enjoy the architectural spectacle. Be aware that it closes at 6 pm, earlier than I would have liked. Lodging - Although there are many well-known hotel chains represented in Tianjin, for a taste of the city's colonial past, you must stay at the Astor Hotel. The British erected the colonial style hotel in 1863 along the Hai He River and it underwent expansions in 1927 and 1987. It is comprised of two wings; if possible nab one of the 94 rooms in the old wing for a true Old World experience. The rooms in the new wing are more spacious and more modern. The 1st floor lobby and halls are lined with murals, plaques, and photos of the many famous guests who have preceeded your stay at the Astor. Despite the pedigree of this fine hotel, hookers linger by the lobby elevators in the evening, apparantly with the blessing of the hotel staff.
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