Originally, Tianjin was a quiet rural village on the seaside. Over the past couple of centuries, however, it became a military base on the eastern seaboard of China protecting Beijing, and in 1858, when China opened the Port of Tianjin to foreign countries, it became the largest trading port in Northern China. Functioning as a trade hub, Tianjin developed at breakneck speed as an industrial city, and thanks to plenty of Western countries establishing settlements one after another, the city is still home to some beautiful European-style architectures. Let’s head over to Tianjin, one of China’s four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the PRC and a metropolis that offers an intriguing mix of traditional China and exotic Western flourishes.
The Tianjin Radio and Television Tower, the landmark of Tianjin
The Tianjin Radio and Television Tower, built for the Tianjin TV broadcasting center, stands tall right in the middle of a man-made lake known as Tianta Lake. Thanks to its impressive height of 415.2m, the Tower is easy to spot no matter where you are in the city. Also, since Tianjin does not have any tall mountains surrounding the city, you can enjoy a great bird’s eye view of Tianjin at the observation pod inside the Tower. You can even enjoy a nice, leisurely meal at the restaurant inside the observation pod as you take in the view of Tianjin. Enjoying the nightscape with a relaxing meal at the restaurant inside the observation pod is also a great idea to get the most out of your visit to the Tower.
Xikai Church, the largest Roman Catholic church in Tianjin
If you get a chance to go by Tianjin’s shopping district on Xining Road, which features a variety of shopping malls, you will probably see a large church. That exotic-looking cathedral is the Xikai Church. Built in 1917, Xikai Church as red bricks and light green domes. On either side of the main chapel, the Church features two spires. If you go inside the Church, you will see white walls and pillars propping up the light green ceiling, which is a similar light green you see on the dome from the outside. The Church also has subtle gold flourishes lining its interior. The paintings on the walls and gleaming stained glass near the altar in the middle of the chapel create a tranquil and brilliant ambiance.
Italian Style Street, the perfect place to see European architectures
Italian Style Street has some perfectly preserved European-style buildings. The two main roads intersecting at the Marco Polo Square, which features a magnificent fountain, are lined with exotic-looking 2~3-story buildings. Most buildings have cafes or restaurants on the first floor, making them the perfect place to take in the exotic surroundings while enjoying a meal or a cup of coffee with loved ones. In the evening, you will see plenty of young people eating pizza or pasta with some refreshing draft beer.
Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street, travel back in time to the Qing Dynasty
If you get to visit China, you should enjoy the more traditional side of China as well. The Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street (Guwenhua Jie), which was home to salt merchants more than 100 years ago, has become a popular shopping district with shop fronts that look like shops built during the Qing Dynasty. Also, standing right in the middle of Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street is the Queen of Heaven Palace dedicated to Mazu, an ancient Chinese sea-goddess. Inside, the Palace features a main hall with the likeness of Mazu, and more than ten rooms. Overall, the Palace creates a tranquil environment, unlike the dynamic marketplace out on Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street.
Tianjin Water Park, the place where people go to relax in Tianjin
Parks are often the perfect place to see how the locals live and take breaks during their day. Located on the southern side of Tianjin, Tianjin Water Park is a massive garden complex (1,670,000㎢). Inside the park, you will see people doing variety of things - walking along the footpaths that follow the shoreline its enormous lake, chatting to one another, or playing a game of hacky sack. For a more panoramic view of the Water Park, you can climb up the 3-story pavilion or take a ride on the Ferris Wheel inside the Park. You will find yourself enjoying a nice break as you trace the outlines of the lake and forests blending together in great harmony.
Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao, in memory of a benevolent politician
The Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao located near the northern exit of Tianjin Water Park. Zhou Enlai worked extremely hard to preserve China’s cultural heritage assets during the Cultural Revolution. People still recognize Zhou’s contributions to modern China, which is why the Memorial hall is a popular attraction throughout the entire year.
When you enter the Memorial, the first thing that greets you is a statue of Zhou Enlai and his wife, Deng Yingchao, standing side by side. The first floor features various artifacts related to Zhou Enlai, and exhibits that help visitors understand his achievements. Meanwhile, the second floor showcases exhibits related to Deng Yingchao. Outside the hall, you will see the private plane Zhou Enlai used when he was serving as the Premiere of the People’s Republic of China. The Memorial to Zhou Enlai and Deng Yingchao has plenty of things that can help you learn about China’s modern history. So, make sure to take your time and check out every exhibit.
On the bullet train (Gaotie), Tianjin is roughly 30 minutes away from Beijing, the capital city of China. By car, it takes just over two hours. In terms of climate, Tianjin is similar to Beijing. It suffers from severe yellow dust in spring, and it is hot and humid during the summer. Thus, autumn is the perfect choice to travel to Tianjin.
Tianjin is spearheading the development of the new energy industry
Very much in line with the Chinese government’s policies focusing particularly on the new energy automotive industry, Tianjin was designated as a city for automobiles, Lithium-ion batteries and other new energy batteries, wind power generation, and photovoltaic power generation. In 2017, Tianjin was ranked as the no. 1 city in all of China in terms of the open market index for its new energy automobiles market. At a municipal level, Tianjin has laid a solid groundwork for future innovation with plans to support R&D for new energy technology, smart power plants, big data technology, information and communication technology, etc. Moreover, Tianjin is investing plenty of resources into eco-friendly sectors, which has led to speculation that eco-friendly technology will develop significantly moving forward in Tianjin. Recently, the city has started to limit the purchase of cars as part of its policy to prevent air pollution and create a greener environment. As such, companies with business activities in the area should keep a keen eye on changes made to local policies.
The quality of a car depends on the quality of cast-iron products and the maintenance of high quality. As such, it is advantageous for automotive parts manufacturers to have a cast-iron production line in China. That is because quality directly impacts the credibility of a company. Upon opening MTC (Mando Tianjin China) in 2004, Mando has been using MTC to manufacture and supply high-quality cast-iron products across China.
When Mando finished building MTC’s facilities in October 2005, MTC became the company’s fourth subsidiary in China. Meanwhile, mass production at MTC began in January 2006. At present, MTC supplies cast-iron products such as Carriers, Housings, Knuckles, B/Caps, etc. to Chinese companies in Beijing, Suzhou, Ningbo, etc. Mando has invested in and to other automotive parts companies in China.
Tianjin, as a bona fide city, has a short and modest history. But it’s future will be long and illustrious. Used to be known as the home of “Goubuli” (a 150-year old hot bun house that was beloved by the Empress Dowager Cixi during the final days of the Qing Dynasty), Tianjin today has become an innovative city that is leading China into the future. Mando, a company that strives to bolster its credibility as a company both in Korea and abroad with its ISO/TS 16949 certificate, Outstanding Environmental Protection Company Award in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA), is also charging ahead into the future with the city of Tianjin.