Remember Maggie? We used to teach together in Poland. Now she teaches in China, in a city I had never even heard heard of – Tianjin. Now I know a little more.
- Where do you live?
2. How long have you lived there?
Since July 2015
3. If you weren’t born there, why did you move?
I moved to Tianjin to take a job at an international school.
4. What is something your city is known for?
Remember that massive chemical explosion last August in Northern China? Yep, that was Tianjin, and that explosion was the night after my first day of school.
5. When you travel outside your city (to other cities or countries) what form of transportation do you often use?
The high-speed train is so convenient to get to and from Beijing and other nearby cities, but otherwise, you mostly fly. China is much bigger than I ever really realized!
6. Within your city, what is the best form of transportation for getting around? Why?
It depends on which district you live in. They’re currently working on improving the Metro and expanding it outward, but for the area where I live, we’re not connected yet. Personally, I take taxis most of the time, but I like to walk and ride my bike (although that’s a risk with every ride! People are crazy drivers here!)
7. Name and describe three things that in your opinion are “must sees” in your city.
- Tianjin isn’t much of a tourist city, honestly. I do think one of the must sees, however, is Gwenhua Jie, or Ancient Culture Street, a really cool street with traditional Chinese clothing, artwork, jewelry, furniture, jade souvenirs and food.
- It’s also really nice walking down along the river or taking a river cruise at night time.
- I’ve also heard that the Italian Concession is really cool to check out, but sad to say, I’ve never been
8. Name and describe three things that people should do in your city.
- If you’d like to have a real local experience, go to Da Hutong, which is this crazy indoor shopping area where all the local shops are. You can get everything there, and you need a ton of time to get through it!
- Another recommendation is going to the Tianjin Water Park, or Shuishang Water Park, early in the morning. You’ll catch all of the locals out exercising, playing badminton or tennis, line dancing, or doing Tai Chi or other martial arts, and doing rollerblade routines. I love it!
- Any food lovers should have a meal at YY Beer House, Pizza Bianca or the Blue Frog
9. What is one thing that you haven’t seen or done in your city, but would like to?
- I’d like to go to the Italian Concession!
- I’d also consider riding the Tianjin Eye ferris wheel – the only observation wheel in the world that’s on a bridge.
10. Describe a special event that happens in your city every year.
This isn’t unique to Tianjin, but I feel like everyone should go to experience Chinese New Year in China. It really is great fun (though because of it, I now find firecrackers completely intolerable! Haha!)
11. What do you think are the three most common jobs in your city?
I had to Google this because I had no idea. Major industries include petrochemical industries, textiles, car manufacturing and metal working.
12. Where’s the best place to shop?
There are lots of malls in Tianjin that are actually pretty excellent, like Joy City and Galaxy (lots of Western brands and designers, if that’s your thing!) but there always seems to be these cool pop-up stores that are around for a couple months and then close. Those are some of my favourites.
13. Where’s the best place to eat? Why?
The Chinese love to eat. In fact, “chi le ma?” is a common Mandarin greeting that means “have you eaten?” So I really can’t choose – I don’t know the names of the Chinese places I like, but the Western places I like, I mentioned above.
14. In your opinion, where’s the best bar in town and why?
Not a ton of great bars that I’ve found, but if you want a solid club night out, Sitong at the Olympic Towers is the place to go!
15. If you could give a piece of advice to someone visiting your city, what would it be?
Maybe go to Beijing instead … it’s only 30 minutes away! 😉
That’s it from Maggie in Tianjin. But why not pop over to her blog and have a look around?