Monday, February 1, 2016

10 Cool Facts About Tianjin, China

Although I’m not a city person, I’m thankful to have lived in the metropolis of Tianjin for nearly 13 years. A lot of people knock Tianjin for being crowded and polluted, but there are a lot of cool things about this city. Below are ten cool facts about the city I where I reside.

1. Did you know that worldatlas.com ranks Tianjin as the 30th largest city in the world (when including the immediate suburbs)? Tianjin’s nine million people make it bigger than London, Bangkok, Toronto, Rome, and even my giant muscles. When I moved to Tianjin in 2003, it was ranked as the 20th largest city in the world.
2. The Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium cost 230 million dollars to build and has a seating capacity of nearly 55,000 people. We rode our bikes to the stadium to watch some 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup matches and 2008 Olympic soccer preliminaries. We ride in style.

3. The Tianjin World Financial Center is over 1100 feet high (335+ meters) and has 79 floors. It’s taller than the Chrysler Building in New York which used to be the tallest building in the world (currently the third tallest in NY). That be one tall building.
4. Tianjin is constructing a building called the Goldin Finance 117. The building is expected to be nearly 2000 feet (610 meters) and 117 stories. When it’s completed, it will be the fifth tallest building in the world. That be one crazy tall building!
5. The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway is a high-speed rail between China’s capital and Tianjin. The 70+ mile rail (117 kilometers) has bullet trains going over 200 mph (330 km/h) and makes the Beijing-Tianjin trip only 30 minutes. That's faster than even me.
6. The Tianjin Radio and Television Tower cost 45 million dollars to build and is the eighth tallest tower in the world. It used to be the third tallest tower in the world and is ten meters higher than Beijing’s tower. Go Tianjin!
7.  The Tianjin Eye is the sixth tallest Ferris wheel in the world and holds the distinction to be the only Ferris Wheel constructed over a bridge. When it was completed in 2008, only three Ferris wheels were taller than it. This ain’t no 4-H Ferris wheel.
8. The St. Joseph Cathedral in the former French concession of Tianjin was built over one hundred years ago and holds mass every morning. There is even an English service every Sunday, and a Starbucks is right next to the historical relic. I like Starbucks, but why are they taking over the world?
9. Puyi, the last emperor of China, used to make downtown Tianjin his home. Several years ago I visited Puyi’s pad, the Garden of Serenity, where he lived in the late 1920s to early 1930s. It’s a beautiful home combining Spanish and Chinese architecture.
10. Olympic champion Eric Liddell was also a resident of Tianjin. His gold medal performance in the 400 meters at Paris can be seen in the Oscar-winning film, Chariots of Fire. Check out one of his homes at 38 Chongqing Dao.