Touring along the Haihe River 2012-12-12 17:35

Tianjin enjoys the title of Water City of North China. The 72 km long Haihe River winds through the city to Bohai Sea, forming a unique water scenic route. Rowing on the river, you can fully enjoy the modern urban sights along the Haihe River. The touring elements along the banks, e.g., restaurants, hotels, transport, sightseeing, shopping and amusement, etc., give prominence to a charming Tianjin.

Recommended Routes:Visit Haihe River Scene by boat (enjoying various bridges of various styles on the Haihe River)——Visit Commercial and Trade Tourist Zone of the Ancient Culture Street, Mazu Temple and go to the Haihe River Balcony to enjoy scenes and various buildings of foreign styles on its two banks——Visit Tianjin Urban Plan Exhibition Hall, Italian Style Area(Macro Polo Plaza, Austro-Hungarian Consulate)——Visit Dabei Temple

Commercial and Trade Tourist Zone of the Ancient Culture Street: Located in the northeast of Nankai District, north from Tongbei Road, south to Shuige Street, west to Dongmalu Road, east adjacent to Zhangzizhong Road along the Haihe River, it’s a national 5A class touring sight. With 680 m in length, its principal street is divided into two parts, i.e., South Palace Street and North Palace Street, centered by the Mazu Temple. It can be traced back to AD 1404. The buildings imitate Ming and Qing Dynasties’ style. Shops on the streets mainly sell four stationery treasures of the Chinese study, i.e. writing brush, ink stick, ink slab and paper, as well as jade and ceramics, etc. Traditional temple fair and Mazu cultural touring fair are held here each year.

Italian Style Area: Located at the south end of Hebei District, north of Haihe River, it has a fl oor area of appro. 100,000 m2, the largest in scale and the most well preserved Italian style building complex in Asia today. It incorporates various styles of buildings of different periods of Italy, most of which being former residences of modern and contemporary historical celebrities, e.g., Former Residence of Yuan Shikai Clan and Former Residenceof Feng Guozhang, etc.; it also boasts the newly rebuilt Macro Polo Plaza, Macro Polo International Club and the Music Square, etc.

Former Residence of Yuan Shikai Clan: Located at Haihedong Road, it’s a three-storey foreign style building with unique form and a building area of about 2,200 m2. The whole design was magnificent Baroque style. Yuan Shikai selected its location and spent ten years for its construction and it was completed in 1918, with more than 20 large and small rooms. It incorporated Nordic building style, with square column and round column of vestibule integrated, which is very rare in Tianjin buildings. The main building is a three-storey brick and wood structure with its plane shaped L. Some of the rooms have a separate basement and a fourstorey tower stands at the entrance. It was listed as a cultural protection unit of Tianjin in 1997, and is a first class restaurant now.

Austro-Hungarian Consulate: Located at the intersection of Jianguo Road and Haihedong Road, Hebei District, it was the only overseas building of former Austro-Hungary. The whole building is elegant and excellent in form. In particular, the most amazing part is the stairs inside. Each stair is made of a whole stone hanging out, whose special design of structure can transfer exterior strength to ground surface evenly. Years’ wind and rain, especially the serious earthquake in July 1976, have seriously damaged the building’s wall and ground surface, while the stairs were kept intact, which is a miracle.

Former Residence of Feng Guozhang: Located at Minzhu Road, Hebei District, it’s an Austrian style building. Feng Guozhang, provincial general of Peiyang Warlords, once acting president of the Republic of China, bought this house in 1913 and expanded it into a courtyard garden in 1915, which was named by others Feng Family Garden or Feng Family Yard, with a building area of 4,661 m2, 110 rooms in multi-story building and 54 rooms in one-story building.

Jinwan Plaza: Located at Heping District, adjacent to the Jiefangbeilu Financial Street to the west, surrounded by the Haihe River to the east and north, it incorporates modern and European styles, gathers various businesses, i.e. theatre, high level restaurant, entertainment and fashionable shopping, etc. It’s a high level international CBD with elegant and fashionable taste.

Marco Polo International Club: Located at 47 Minzu Road, Hebei District, it’s one of the indicative buildings of Italian Style Area. With a building area of nearly 10,000 m2, its exterior brim reproduces the special style of Italian Jaialai Field, integrating with the newly built Macro Polo Plaza into one entity. It’s a recreational place combining entertainment, restaurant and accommodation.

Ferris Wheel at Yongle Bridge: Located at the headstream of the Haihe River—the Sancha Hekou, it’s adjacent to Gulou Commercial & Cultural Area and Dahutong Commercial Area. It has a diameter of up to 110 meters, with 48 cabinets accommodating 384 persons at the same time. Tourists may enjoy sights of surrounding areas within 40 km radius when the cabinet is rotated at the highest place, nearly the height of a 35-storey building, really matching the name of Eyes of Tianjin. It stands on the Yongle Bridge, being the only ferris wheel built on bridge in the world till today. Its wonderful and excelling design is worthy of the first in the world. Summer parties and many activities with special theme like Tianjin Guqu Opera, and Peking Opera, etc., are held here each summer, forming a unique Eyes of Tianjin cultural night market.

Astor Hotel: Located at the intersection of Jiefangbei Road and Tai’an Road in Heping District, it was the fi rst restaurant specially treating foreign visitors in China. It was built in 1863, with a title of the First Restaurant of China for Foreign Visitors. Numerous historical celebrities, e.g., Sun Yat-Sen, the fi rst president of the Republic of China, Zhou Enlai, the fi rst premier of the People’s Republic of China, Pu Yi, the last emperor of Qing Dynasty, Zhang Xueliang, the patriotic general, Hoover, the former president of America, and Mei Lanfang, the Peking Opera master, once stayed here. These hotel rooms were restored as Celebrities Suite, and Astor became the only fi ve-star hotel receiving overseas guests that has been designated as a key national cultural protection unit in China. It may even become one of the global historical heritage hotels.

Kiessling Restaurant: Located at Xiaobailou CBD, it was the earliest western restaurant in Tianjin, built in 1901 by the German Albert Kiessling (once reported as William Kiessling, the German royal palace chef). In 2008, RMB 10 million was invested in its reconstruction, supported by profound Wudadao culture, and the operation of each fl oor was also changed to match with the newly built Music Square, thus it became an indicative building of Xiaobailou CBD. In the newly restructured Kiessling, 1st fl oor is western cake house; 2nd fl oor is Russian buff et, mainly off ering Russian dishes and set meal for students; 3rd floor is dedicated to German dishes only, i.e., beer house and western food hall; the original high level of French Restaurant is kept at 4th fl oor, with the whole design being grand and magnifi cent and the French chef invited here can off er fi ne and luxuriant meal for guests.