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Scenic Spots in Urban Area

Golden Street

The Golden Street: also called Hepinglu Commercial Street, stretches for 2,138 meters on the west bank of the Haihe River. Intersected with Bingjianglu Trade Street, it forms Tianjin’s most prosperous trade district. The buildings along the Golden Street are mostly European style, while some are Japanese style, among which the Department Store, Hui Zhong Hotel, Communications Hotel and National Hotel have a history of nearly 100 years.

Along the street, there are shops providing services, general merchandise, foods & drinks, culture, education, recreation, which incorporate shopping, tourism, catering and entertainment. There are also rows and rows of time-honored stores, including Zheng Xingde Teahouse, Guan Sheng Yuan, Henry Clock & Glasses Company and Laomeihua Shoe Shop.

Ancient Culture Street

The Ancient Culture Street, 580 meters in length, boasts an architectural style of the Qing Dynasty. The Palace of Heavenly Empress divides the street into two sections: The Gongnan Avenue and Gongbei Avenue. The archway at the south entrance bears inscriptions “Hometown of Tianjin”, while the one at the north entrance bears “Garden over the Dagu River.” Along the street are some 130 stores, most of which deal in “four treasures of the study” (i.e., writing brush, ink stick, paper and ink slab), as well as jade ware, curios and calligraphic and painting works. In addition, there are stores specializing in Tianjin folk handicrafts, such as Yangliuqing Spring Festival Pictures. A tourist attraction with adequate commercial atmosphere and distinctive local flavor, the street has become a preferential destination for both Chinese and foreign visitors.

Gulou Pedestrian Street

Situated in the heart of Tianjin, Gulou covers 190,000 square meters and has an architectural area of more than 300,000 square meters. Along the Gulou Pedestrian Street are richly-ornamented buildings of the Ming and Qing dynasties. There are also preserved some archways and opera towers that boast primitive but elegant charm. As a crossroad, the street spans 590 meters from north to south and 482 meters from east to west. The north section concentrates many shops dealing in jewelry and folk handicrafts, the south section is a street frequently visited by collection lovers, the west section is mainly used for cultural shows and shopping, and the east section focuses on recreation and entertainment. Moreover, the distinctive Tianjin Gulou Tourist Supermarket is also located here.

Haihe Tower Commercial & Trade District

The Haihe Tower Commercial & Trade District on Tianjin Ancient Culture Street is adjacent to the city’s Sanchakou area, which had developed into a town before the city of Tianjin was established in December 1404. The area was the city’s oldest place integrating cultures, religious and commerce. The Haihe Tower Commercial & Trade District stretches southwards from Tongbei Road to Shuige Street, and spans eastwards from Dongma Road to Zhangzizhong Road. Totally covering architectural areas of 200,000 square meter, it is multipurpose commercial area integrating tourism, shopping, catering, hostelling, entertainment, recreation and bodybuilding.

Such historical sites as the 100-year-old Tongqingli Residence, Hall of Jade Emperor, Palace of Heavenly Empress (also called Matsu, the Goddess of Sea), Liu’s Residence, and Baby Lane are preserved and refurnished on the ancient culture street. There are also such new artificial eastablishments as the Culture Town, Antiquity City and Bomei New City, as well as many modem supermarkets, banks, gyms and recreation venues. After reconstruction, the street reserves its original architectural style of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Straight lanes and traditional residences compose the main feature of the 680-meter-long street, and they imbue the street with an atmosphere of primitiveness and civilization, as well as Chinese and local flavors.

Two archways stand respectively in the north and south of the street, carrying inscriptions “Tianjin as the Home” and “Snow in the Sun.” The inscriptions “Artistic Garden on the Dagu River” and “Golden Turtle” are found at the north entrance. More than 500 frescos depicting stories of the Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties are displayed in the temporal order. The subjects of the frescos cover scenes from China’s four most famous ancient novels—The Romance of Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, Journey to the West and The Dream of the Red Chamber, historical legends, ancient myths and famous dramas. Walking along the fresco corridor, people may feel as if they were lingering in the past. The Food Street and the Ancient Culture Street are both must for visitors to Tianjin.

Jiefanglu Financial Street

The Jiefanglu Financial Street is situated in the easternmost Heping District, on the east bank of the Haihe River. It spans from Zhangzizhong Road in the north to Xuzhou Road in the south, and is connected to the Liberation Bridge and the South Jiefang Road in the north and south, respectively. Along the street are many international financial institutions, including Yokohama Specie Bank, Ltd. and the Charted Bank of India, Australia and China, as well as HSBC, Citibank, Russo-Chinese Bank and Calyon Bank. The buildings on the street vary in architectural styles, including magnificent Roman, British and French buildings, as well as contemporary aggregated structures and modern architectures. The street is thus reputed as the Exposition of Contemporary Architectures. At present, here are still concentrated many financial institutions.

Wudadao Touristm & Customs Street

The Wudadao area is known for its countless western-style buildings. Literally meaning avenues,” Wudadao derives its name from five main streets—Machang Road, Munan Roa ‘ Road, Chongqing Road and Chengdu Road. The area covers 1.28 square kilometers and has roads and lanes, with a total length of 17 kilometers. There are over 2,000 villas of various architectural styles that were built during the 1920s and 1930s. With architectural areas of more than one million square meters, they cover a total land area of 60 hectares. Among them are more than buildings of celebrities. Thus, the area is recognized as the World Architectural Fair.

A travel itinerary unique to Tianjin has been developed here to allow tourists to learn about ups and downs that China has undergone in the past 100 years. With former residences o . presidents and six prime ministers of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and a prince s mansion as the mainstays, the travel itinerary focuses on former residences of celebrities, historical tales and foreign buildings.

Tourists are allowed to travel the street by European-style carriages, and such a journey spends about one hour. The route is like that: Minyuan Stadium—Chongqing Road—Kunming Road—Chang e Road—Hengyang Road—Dali Road—Kunming Road—Munan Road—Hong Kong Road― hongqmg Road—Xinhua Road—Luoyang Road—Hunan Road—front entrance to Minyuan Stadium.

Galaxy Park

Situated in Tianjin’s Hexi District, the Galaxy Park covers 19.89 hectares and is a semiunderground park that opens to the public for free. As a large park with profound cultural taste and modern fashionable atmosphere, it is an ideal place for entertainment, recreation, sports and sightseeing.

The park mainly consists of the Three-Moon Square, Star Square and Xiankelai Square. Covering an area of 2.99 hectares, the Three-Moon Square occupies the heart of the park and is comprised of Full-Moon Tower, Full-Moon Lake, Mother- Moon Vault, Son-Moon Vault, Mother-Moon Square, Son- Moon Square and Central Square. With an area of 2.87 hectares, the Star Square radiates from the Three-Moon Square. The radiant lamps light up the square at night, looking like a starry sky. The 6.01-hectare Xiankelai Square consists of the Holiday Square and Green Shade Garden, as well as such small squares as Children’s Amusement Garden, Shadowboxing Garden, Opera Garden, Art Garden, English Corner and Fitness Garden, each covering 407 square meters.

Water Park

First built in 1950, the Water Park is known as the largest comprehensive park in Tianjin. The park covers 165.68 hectares, of which 89.3 hectares are water surface. There are three lakes and nine islets Big trees cast shade on the lakesides, while water chestnuts and lotuses compete over beauty on the vast, misty lakes. Shuttling on the lakes are not only modern houseboats and yachts, but also traditional gaily-painted boats and dragon boats.

The Bibo Villa, Shenhu Garden and Bonsai Garden in the park are places to display Chinese and Western miniature garden arts. The newly-built Sightseeing Dyke and Crystal Square are surrounded by gorgeous lamps, adding endless charm to the park when night falls.

Tianjin Amusement Park

The Tianjin Amusement Park, also called Tianjin Juve-nile Activity Center, covers an area of 55 hectares and is known as China’s largest after-school activity base for children.

The park is equipped with more than 40 categories of entertainment facilities imported from Japan and the United States, including tour trains, water slide and 180° circle-vision cinema. As the largest and most complete aquatic entertainment facility in northern China, the Zhubo Natatorium in the park consists of a wave-producing pool, a circular river, a float bridge, an artificial waterfall for massage purpose and a pulley rope and can accommodate 500 persons at the same time.

Tianjin Radio & TV Tower

Completed in 1991, the Tianjin Radio & TV Tower is the highest tower in northern China and is unique around the world for it stands in the seawater. It points skywards like a massive sword, winning itself the reputation as “Heavenly Tower Whirling the Clouds.” The 415.2-meter-tall tower is equipped with a sightseeing hall and a revolving restaurant, which rotates 360 degrees every 45-60 minutes.

Baocheng Stone Garden

With an area of 17.3 hectares, the garden holds a collection of several dozen categories of stones transported from such provinces and autonomous regions as Anhui, Guangxi, Hebei and Shandong to Tianjin, including Lingbi Stone, Taihu Stone, Yingde Stone and stalactites. Housed here also include 4,000 pieces of Lingbi Stone, known as one of the four most famous stones in China. The Big World Guinness Record certificate granted by the Shanghai Big World Guinness Headquarters verifies that the garden is the largest artificial park of natural Lingbi stones in the world. The garden is divided into the north and south courtyards. Housed in the massive, grotesquely-shaped stones gathered from such regions as Lingbi and Taihu, all with high value of appreciation and collection. Among these stones, the most attractive is a huge rock named Buddha in Meditation,” which is 10.7 meters in height and 73 tons in weight and reputed as the No.1 Stone of Asia. The south courtyard is a picturesque garden of southern China flavor, in which are scattered pavilions and towers in different styles, as well as rare arbores and shrubs.

Scenic Spots in the Subsurbs

Beach Park

The Beach Park, located in Tianjin’s Tanggu District, adjoins Jiefanglu Pedestrian Commercial Street in the north and the Haihe River in the south. It extends about one kilometer and covers 13 hectares. Out of the hands of world-famous designers, the park serves as a modern sightseeing and commercial area integrating tourism, recreation, shopping, catering and entertainment. The famous ocean liner “Orient Princess” berths here, adding endless charm to the park.

Chinese Stone Garden

Situated in Shuanggang Town, Jinnan District, the Chinese Stone Garden covers four hectares and is China’s largest private stone museum integrating biology, minerals, history and culture.

The museum consists of six villas varying in architectural styles. Here are housed 1,000 kinds of stones and rocks, all displayed against bonsais and painting works. The Stone Spring Cave in the garden is mainly used to exhibit shells, root carvings and stone sculptures.

Shi's Mansion

Situated in Yangliuqing Town, Shiqing District, Shi’s Mansion is the former residence of Shi Yuanshi, the fourth son of Shi Wancheng who was the patriarch of one of the Eight Eminent Families in Tianjin. First built in 1875, the mansion covers more than 6,000 square meters and consists of over 200 rooms in four courtyards. The Shi’s Garden that was reconstructed in October 2003 covers some 1,200 square meters and combines the elegance of imperial gardens and the charm of gardens in South China, setting off each other with the magnificent building complex of Shi’s Mansion. After reconstruction, Shi’s Mansion now covers nearly 10,000 square meters and is reputed as the No.1 Residence of North China. Currently, it serves as the Yangliuqing Folklore Museum, in which are collected many folk artworks and craftworks, including Yangliuqing . Spring Festival Picture, Zhang’s Clay Sculpture and brick carvings.

Tuanbo Lake Scenic Area

Tuanbo Lake lies only three kilometers away from downtown Tianjin. It is also called Qianlong Lake for Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty once traveled here. The water surface covers nearly 60 square kilometers. The tranquil, reedy lake feeds a huge amount of wild fish, and it is also an ideal habitat for over 60 species of migratory birds, such as swans, mandarin ducks and egrets. Pleasure boats and yachts cruise on the Clearlake. It is an ideal destination of countryside tour.

Tianjin Seashore Tourist & Holiday Area

The Tianjin Seashore Tourist & Holiday Area Iies on the coast of the Bohai Sea, 45 kilometers soil st of urban Tianjin, and is one of China’s 4A-grade scenic areas Besides convenient transportation and tranquil environment, it also boasts various aquatic entertainment facilities, making itself a summer resort integrating tourism, holiday recreation and health imporvement. Relation facilities here include a bathing beach, a multifunctional hot-spring palace and a hot spring amusement garden for children. Furthermore, tourists can enjoy such festive activities as shell gathering, fish angling, fishermen’s banquets and folklore performances There are also various service facilities, including guestrooms on the water, villas, beach tents, star-rated hotels, seafood restaurants and shopping malls.

Dagukou Emplacement

The Dagukou Emplacement is in Tanggu District, 60 kilometers southeastern of urban Tianjin. The estuary and the de叩 sea join here, so the Dagukou has long occupied a place of strategic importance for defending Tianjin and Beijing. The emplacement was built in the late Ming Dynasty and reconstructed several times during the Qing Dynasty. In June 1900, the Eight-Power Allied Forces attacked the emplacement. Though fearless Tianjin people fought hard in bloody battles, the emplacement eventually fell because its ammunition depot was destroyed.

Preserved at the emplacement are three cannons, which are respectively named Wei, Zhen and Hai. As a witness of Chinese people fighting against invaders, the Dagukou Emplacement has been listed among historical sites under special state protection.

Jixian Scenic Area

Known as the rear garden of Tianjin, the mountainous Jixian County boasts picturesque landscapes and numerous places of interest. Among its scenic spots are the Huangyaguan Great Wall that is famous for its magnificence, steepness, singularity and elegance; Mount Panshan , known as one of the 15 most famous mountains across China; the 1,000-year-old Dule Temple; and the imposing East Mausoleum of the Qing Dynasty, a sepulchral complex for emperors of the last feudal dynasty of China.

Mt. Panshan Scenic Resort

As a key state-class scenic resort, Mt. Panshan in Jixian County is located 90 kilometers east of Beijing and 120 kilometers north of urban Tianjin. It is a tourist resort integrating natural landscapes, historical sites, Buddhist temples and imperial gardens.

As early as the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), human establishments had been found in Mt. Panshan. The mountain became popular during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and reached its zenith in the Qing Dynasty. During the Kangxi region (1662-1723) of the Qing Dynasty, it was known as the No.1 Mountain East to Beijing both at home and abroad. In 1990, “Mt. Panshan in Evening Rain” was listed among the Top Ten Sights of Tianjin. In 1994, the State Council ratified the mountain as a key state-class scenic resort. On December 10, 2001. it became a National Geopark with the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources.

The mountain features precipitous terrain, picturesque peaks, clouds, pine trees and clear streams. It is particularly famous for its nine peaks, eight rocks and the beautiful Sanpan Resort. Emperor Qianlong traveled here for 32 times and wrote 1,336 poems praising the mountain. The scenic resort holds China Mt. Panshan International Mountain Sports Fair and ML Panshan Temple Fair every year, perfectly combining tourism and sports. Besides, the Yuyang Mountain Travel Festival is held here every autumn. These tourist activities are popular amidst both Chinese and foreign visitors.

Huangyuguan Great Wall

Located some 100 kilometers away from urban Tianjin, the Huangyaguan Great Wall was originally built in 557 and reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty. Lying on precipitous mountain ranges, this section of the Great Wall boasts for its magnificence and dangerousness. As an ancient defense work, it is equipped with watchtowers, beacons, battlements, fortresses and barracks, as well as the Eight-Diagram Pass. There are also the Stone Tablets of 100 Generals, Hall of Celebrated Couplets, Great Wall Museum and Aquatic Amusement Park.

Dule Temple

Situated in Jixian County, the Dule Temple is a historic site under state-class protection. With a history of more than 1,000 years, it was originally built in the Tang Dynasty and reconstructed in 984. The characters “Dule Temple” on its front gate are inscriptions by Yan Song, an official of the Ming Dynasty.

The main building, Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy) Pavilion, is now the oldest multi-story wood structure in China. The 16-meter-tall statue of Guanyin in the pavilion is the largest clay sculpture in the country. On the head of the statue are sculptured ten smaller ones, hence its name “11-Face Guanyin.” The inscriptions “Pavilion of Guanyin” carried on the plaque were out of the hands of Li Bai, an eminent poet from the Tang Dynasty. There are also frescos depicting scenes from Buddhist classics and secular tales.

Rock Garden

The Rock Garden lies at the foot of Mt. Panshan. There are the 10,000-Budda Temple, known as the largest of its kind in the area east to Beijing, distinctive mineral bathhouses and numerous rocks in grotesque shapes, as well as the Yu Nicheng Museum of Clay Sculpture with strong folk flavor. Particularly, the massive 87-Immortal Rock Painting on a stone dam has been granted a Big World Guinness Certificate.

Jixian National Geopark

Established on December 10, 2001, the Jixian National Geopark in Tianjin adjoins Jiushan Summit in the north and Mt. Fujun in the south, and reaches up to Eight-lmmortal Mountain in the east and Mt. Panshan in the west, covering a total area of 342 square kilometers.

The Jixian National Geopark is divided into seven scenic zones, including the Mesoproterozoic Geological Nature Reserve, Mountain Quartzite Forests and Valley Scenic Zone Panshan Grange landfom Scenic Zone, Nine-Dragon Mountain Carbonate Peaks Scenic Zone, Huangyaguan Geological Faults Scenic Zone, Jiushan Summit Quartzite and Sandstone Peaks Scenic Zone and Mt. Fujun Geological Relics Scenic Zone. It is the only park that displays the geological evolution of Mesoproterozoic Era in China. The geological section is estimated to date back 1.95 billion years. As a precious natural and historical heirtage, the park showcases the astonishing attraction of nature and records the geological evolution of the Earth.

Cuiping Lake

The Cuiping Lake, also named Yuqiao Reservoir, is located four kilometers east of Jixian County. Its name derives from the Cuiping Mountain in the south. The lake attracts numerous tourists for its beautiful landscapes. It boasts a vast water surface, spanning 30 kilometers from east to west and about eight kilometers from north to south. Surrounding the lake are towering peaks and dense forests, which provide an ideal habitat for various species of rare birds. The lake abounds in carps, soft-shelled turtles, mandarin fish and crucian carps. A 50.87-kilometer-long highroad has been completed around the lake, The climate is pleasant in summer, so it has become a summer resort for recreational tourism. Some sanatoriums have been built on the lakesides.

Famous Museums

Palace of Heavenly Empress

The Palace of Heavenly Empress, popularly called Empress Palace, stands on the west bank of the Sancha River in Tianjin. It was first built in 1326, the 3rd year during the Taiding reign of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). With an area of 5,360 square meters, the palace faces the east and consists of a theater, a flagpole, the front gate, archways, front hall, main hall, the Phoenix-Tail Tower, the Sutra-Col- lecting Pavilion, the Hall for the God of Wealth, the hall of Guan Yu, the Saint-Enlightening Hall, the Drum and Bell Tower, the Pavilion of Visiting Immortals and four side halls. It is known as the oldest architectural complex in Tianjin, as well as the largest temple for Matsu, the goddess of sea, in North China and one of the earliest Matsu temples around China. It is also one of the world’s Most Famous Temples for Matsu, and the other two are respectively in Fujian Province’s Meizhou and Taiwan’s Beigang.

The palace was originally where sailors worshipped the goddess of sea for safety and held ritual ceremonies and galas. The 23rd day of the third lunar month marks the birthday of the goddess. On the day temple fair, dragon lantern performance, operas and land boat dance crowd lanes and streets. At present, it serves as the Tianjin Folklore Museum to introduce river transportation, marriage customs, commerce and trade of the city.

Tianjin Folklore Museum

Lying inside the Palace of Heavenly Empress, the Tianjin Folklore Museum is one of only a few museums specializing in the display and research of local folk customs in China.

Exhibited in the museum are historical relics and folk customs of Tianjin, which are divided into three sections: The first section introduces the evolution of the city; the second section focuses on the history of river transportation and beliefs of Matsu (Heavenly Empress) in the city; and the third section showcases local customs, including temple fairs, costumes, festivals, marriage customs and articles for living use. The museum houses more than 360 historical relics, such as a model of the boat of the Song Dynasty unearthed in the city’s Jinghai County, gilded brass seal from the Palace of Heavenly Empress and records for architecture reconstruction.

Tianjin Museum

Located east to Youyi Road in Hexi District, the museum covers 31,400 square meters. Housed here are some 200,000 collected articles, including historical relics and folk craftworks. It is known as a museum integrating the collection, protection and research of historical relics, as well as education, recreational tourism.

Viewed from outside, the museum appears like a swan stretching its wings. There are three stories, namely the Hall of History, Hall of Rare Relics and Hall of Jade Ware. The Hall of History displays how historical events happening from the 1860 Second Opium War through 1949 impacted the development of the city. The Hall of Rare Relics holds a collection of precious articles that are listed as National Treasures, including archeological findings and historical relics donated by celebrities. There are also rare relics that Pu Yi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, brought to Tianjin.

Cultural relics, historical records and photos, as well as audio-visual models and hi-tech ; duplication, imbue the museum with an atmosphere combining tradition and modernity.