There is a new, state of the art cruise port at Tianjin Port – the port of call for Beijing, called Tianjin International Cruise Terminal. It sits on a large area of reclaimed land and can accommodate up to 6 large cruise ships and 500,000 cruise passengers a year. Part of the port is still under construction, so there might not be many opened shops and restaurants. There aren’t any public transport possibilities at the vicinity. The port is 180km from Beijing and 70km from the city of Tianjin. Beijing Airport is 190km away. If you are planning to drive from Beijing or take a car transfer, bear in mind that traffic might be an issue, so allow plenty of time. The other option and potentially faster would be to board a bullet train from Beijing South Railway Station (first take Airport shuttle bus number 10 to take you from the Airport to the station), get off at the new Yujiapu Railway Station, and from there take a 40-minutes taxi ride, depending on traffic.
There is another cruise terminal, Xinggang, used previously but is now serving only domestic cruise ships.
The official currency is the renminbi, with its basic unit called yuan – CNY. Travellers often confirm that although there are ATMs on every corner, the best exchange rates are from local banks – do watch out for fees though. You must bring your passport when exchanging money at any bank. Changing yuans back to pounds is restricted, so make sure you exchange as much as you are going to spend.
Opening hours and bank holidays. Most shopping malls, markets and shops are open until late, even on Sunday they could be open until as late as 9pm. Most malls are open throughout the year, including at national holidays, however the small independent shops might be closed for up to a week around Chinese New Year. Do familiarise yourself with the local bank holidays, especially if you are looking to shop at markets.
Tipping is traditionally not expected in China. Tour guides and hotel staff are sometimes exceptions, so the best thing to do is rely on your instinct. Anywhere else your tip would be likely turned down.
The local time in Shanghai is GMT+8 hours and the internaitonal dialling code is + 86 21.
Things To Do
Very few people would choose to visit Tianjin rather than Beijing, but for those that do, here is a list of what the city has to offer: the most popular sights would be the Great Wall at Huangya Pass (a much less crowded section of the Great Wall than the one near Beijing), the Eye of Tianjin, Tianjin Haihe Cultural Square, the Five Great Avenues, The Italian Style Street, Tianjin Folklore Museum and the less popular ones: The Porcelain House, Haichang Palor Ocean World, Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme park.
For those, who haven’t been to Beijing and would like to see some world-famous Chinese heritage sights for the first time, below is a short list of what we would recommend.
The Great Wall of China is certainly on top of any traveller’s list, it’s a massive piece of Chinese history and the only man-made structure visible from space. Initially started as early as the 3rd century BC by Qui Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China as a barrier against the invasions of various nomadic tribes, now it’s an impressive structure, 13 miles long and one of The New seven Wonders of the modern World.
The Forbidden City is the other impressive architectural site of Beijing, comprising of 870 buildings altogether, having hosted as many as 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties, for as long as 540 years. It’s the largest royal residence in the world and probably the best preserved one.
Seen as the holiest of the temples in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven is where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven. It was built by Yongle Emperor, the same one that built the Forbidden City.
Tian’anmen Square is one of the largest city squares in the world (440,000 square metres) that can take up to one million people. It’s also famous for Mao Zedong’s announcement of the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and, sadly and more recently, with the massacre of protesting students in 1989.
Quirky and vibrant, 798 Art Zone (Dashanzi Art District for Beijingers) is a contemporary Chinese art hub of galleries, studios, workshops, bars and restaurants. Comprising of former military factory buildings, it is now a unique space, mostly pedestrianized, a home to an impressive bunch of progressive artists. This is also the main venue for the Beijing Queer Film Festival.
There are a lot more weird and wonderful things to see in Beijing, to name a few: the obscure Watermelon museum, the Ming Dynasty Tombs, Beijing Capital Museum, Dongyue Temple, Paleo zoological Museum of China, 100 Craftsmen Workshop, Beihai Park, Panjiayuan Antique Market, Confucius Temple.
Beijing Tourism Official Promotion Video 【#Everything in Beijing】
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