Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beijing Nov09 part4: Tianjin

Tianjin ( 80KM south ) is linked to Beijing by a High Speed Train which cruised at a maximum speed of 333 KM/hr during our ride.
Time taken was about 25 minutes, departing every 15-20 minutes.
However, we were shocked to find the station packed with travellers, despite being on a Thursday morning.

We arrived at 8:15am, planning to board the 8:45am train, but all seats were sold out, even first class.
The earliest available seat then was 9:55am ;(












Upon arrival, Ms YangLing Li was there, welcoming us with a 5-Series BMW :) Dominick immediately volunteered to be the chauffeur, and impressed us with his Beijing driving skill.

We first took a cruise on the Haihe, 海河, and passed through many well designed bridges. This is probably the maximum number of bridges I passed through within such a short distance.

This bridge won a prize for the best bride design.













Over this steel bridge, we could see the Millennium clock.








I was so happy to catch this photo of a "Hundred Happiness", or " 百福", which is essentially my name :)





Then we visited the ever popular 文化街, and bought 3 Chinese paintings from this shop. Again Dominick used his bargaining technique to twist the arms of our shop owner :)






Lunch was an experience! Now we understand why Dominick, the gourmet, insisted that we must eat Sea food in Tianjin. This Sea food restaurant is huge, with ton's of fresh and swimming seafood. The cooking was good, and flower crabs were especially delicious!

However, we passed ordering those ' Sea Intestines' 海腸子. They are fat earth worm like swimming creatures.



Took a little drive to witness the Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium, which took 4 years to construct. This was a venue for Olympic 2008 football matches.













Caught this UFO shaped stadium which housed the 43rd International Table Tennis Championship in 1995.





We then took a time machine, 馬車, back to the olden days where the rich and famous stayed.






The tourist guide explaining as we rode by the 5 famous historic lanes.





An evening tea was planned in this little Italian town, and the atmosphere was fantastic.










Very nice boutique hotels and Italian style restaurants flourish this well kept small lane.
If you stare long enough, you will see 'Chiang Kai Shek' sitting right at the Center of this photo.
He waits for tips from tourists who wants to take a photo shot with him;)



This was where we sat down to have our afternoon tea, 意式風情街.

Many wedding couples came to take photos here. We saw 3 pairs within a short while.




This is Ling, MeiLing's staff in Tianjin, with her RMB30000 camera.
I admire her posture while shooting a bride nearby.











A short detour to a food street to try something like our 'putu piring', but coated with jam, instead of brown sugar & coconut.









Also we waited for this 'Hum Chin Phen' to be ready. They are called 耳朵眼 in China ;) Filling inside is also red bean paste.









Meanwhile, we wanted this drink, only to find out that the worker had clocked out.

Oh, this is a government operated 囯營 restaurant, no wonder ;(

On the dot, the workers stopped working!






Finally, the 'Hum Chin Phen' arrived, and you can see how simple was the restaurant.











As we were in Tianjin, we must take the world famous dumpling, 狗不理包子. This is our 3rd trial, still not impressed, except by its price.














However, by all fairness, the 包子 were very nicely wrapped.....














After dinner, we adjourned to Tianjing Train station, which is just beside the Haihe explanade.


The extent of the lighting here were far beyond our expectation. Tianjin has really changed so much, since we last visited 5 years ago.

Here we saw the well lit Millennium Clock!





























Time had come for us to bid farewell to Tianjin.

Bye ......and Julie looked sad while posting in front of the High Speed Train.

Good night....







































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