Thursday, October 10, 2013

Trip to Tianjin

Beijing South rail station during National Day holiday

Margot and I took a trip to Tianjin over the October 1 National Day holiday. You may have heard about the traffic jams and overcrowding at all the tourist attractions during the holiday. I guess it should be expected when a nation of 1.3 billion goes on holiday all at once.

We got a little taste of it on the train trip to Tianjin.

This is the Beijing South train station. As you can see it was very busy. Despite 4 or 5 trains leaving for Tianjin every hour we had to wait 2 1/2 hours to get a STANDING room only ticket. Fortunately the train ride is only 33 minutes (at 180 mph).

Check out these links for other pictures of the congestion at scenic sites.
National Day Crowds 1
National Day Crowds 2 (Check out the traffic jam at the bottom of this one.)

More on the real reason for our trip to Tianjin in the next post, but the following day we hit a couple of the main tourist area.

This guy is making some sort of snack. No idea what it is. He steams the rice (I think that's what it is) in the holders on the right then adds various toppings.

This young woman was taking a picture of herself with her serving so I took one too.

This guy is making candy figures from molten sugar. That is a slab of marble he is working on.

He melts the sugar in the pan and the pours it out into the desired  figure.

Here is is making some pieces that will be put together to make the final piece.

Here are two of  the final products.

Click to enlarge.

There were a couple of these sort of carnival games.

This is a functioning Catholic church. We observed a nun walking around the grounds. It is sort of jammed in there with the new construction.

Tianjin was one of the treaty ports that China was forced to open to western countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries after the 2nd Opium War. There were 8 or so foreign concessions in Tianjin so there is a lot of western architecture there. I don't know the history of this church. Actually, it looks like it was built after this period.
Tianjin Ancient Culture Street entrance

This is one of the entrances to what is known as Ancient Culture Street. There is a a temple along the street but it is mostly a shopping area for tourists.
Crowds at Tianjin Ancient Culture Street during National Day holiday

The crowds were quite heavy here, also.

This guy was trying to auction or otherwise sell these paintings. He didn't seem to be having much luck.

This is a jelly fish for sale as a pet. Same concept as a goldfish in bowl.

Speaking of pets, I have no idea how these snails end up this color. I don't think it can be natural. Does anybody know?
Neon colored snails for sale in Tianjin

Here is a close-up.

I didn't quite understand the tank. I guess it was some sort of war memorial but it didn't really seem like it was in an official park. It is sort of stuck in there between the church and the Ancient Culture Street. Anyway, it was a popular place for the kids to play.

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