Some say that Tianjin is the “not quite Beijing” city, because it’s only about an hour’s train ride from Beijing. Tianjin is by the sea, but of course this “by the sea” is nothing like in the south, where you go scuba diving and snorkeling. This sea serves a purpose for the city, because much of Tianjin is a trading port for businesses. My very first Chinese teacher is from Tianjin, so I have a slightly more optimistic view of it, but to be honest, Tianjin probably is not high on a traveler’s list.

Great! All the more reason for us to explore, right?