The name Tianjin, meaning “a port for the emperor” came into existence during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In 1860, it was opened as a trading port and in the 1930s it became the largest commercial and industrial financial center in northern China. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Tianjin became one of the four municipalities under central government rule and one of China’s first coastal cities to open to the world.
Despite its proximity to Beijing, Tianjin still holds onto its distinctive charm, and was chosen as one of several cities outside Beijing to co-host the 2008 Olympic Games. The city is also home to the world’s fastest intercity rail line, which links Tianjin to Beijing and runs at a staggering 350 km per hour. After visiting this modern marvel, you can take in the natural beauty of this coastal city as they sample famous sweet “yali” apple pears and savory pork buns Tianjin is famous for.
Central Tianjin lies 75 miles (120 km) southeast of central Beijing and 35 miles inland from the Bohai Sea (Gulf of Chihli). Its urban area is the third largest in China, after Beijing and Shanghai. This coastal city also enjoys a rich supply of natural resources, such as oil, gas, salt, mineral, metal, and nonmetal resources. Efforts are being made to build Tianjin into an international harbor city and an ecological city.