Quick 30 minutes train ride
With the opening of this express train frequent service between Beijing and Tianjin Interciy Rail, it takes only 30 minutes comfortable ride to get from one place to another.
There is a first class and second class ticket with small fare difference. More space room for your legs in first class, better refreshment and betterw waiting area in the train stations.
If you have a tight budget, go second class. There is a small charge if you buy return at Beijing station. No small charge if you buy return directly from the automatic machine which has Chinese and English language choice option.
The maximum top speed reached is 350 km per hour. Ride is comfortable and you see the country side go by outside. Highly recommended if you like trains.
I was working at the outskirts of Tianjin.As usually I hired a Taxi driver(it may take some time to find a taxi driver which speak or understand a bit of English but sooner or later you find someone)Simply bargain a rate and change phone numbers.The Taxi driver I hired was with me more than 3months and I have been very satisfied.Most of my freetime I was walking/hiking through the city.Tianjin is easy to explore if your hotel,stay is located at the center of the town.But to take a taxi is pretty easy and rather cheap.If you like to go to Beijing I would advise the train(problem could be the language-to go from Tianjin to Beijing is easy,end of station,travel....back from Beijing to Tianjin you probably need help...)People have been very friendly and helped me out a lot.Be aware that most of the people do not speak a foreign language!!!!
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Tianjin Railway Station
Like its counterpart in Beijing, the Tianjin Railway station is new, modern and impressive.
There are plenty of seats, eating places and souvenir shops to last minute "Ma Hua" dessert. However, I observed items like "Beijing Opening Ceremony" DVD are priced much higher than at major bookstores in Beijing - cost of rental?
As there is allocated seating, there is no rush in queueing and boarding usually start at 15 minutes before departure. As there are many trains, just remember the train ride number, what time and which gate to board.
River boat cruise
There are many river bridges and landmark buildings along Haihe river.
So there is a flourishing boat cruise from basic touristy to meal included cruises up and down the river.
For anyone who enjoy a river trip, this is not to be missed. Go to the bridge near Guwen Da Jie - Ancient Culture Street and Wanghailou Church and you will several ticket booths along the river bank selling different types of boat trips.
Taking the Bus around the city
This is the best way to see the city. There are many buses running in all directions and going to various destinations in the city.
Unlike Beijing which is more organized, it is more challenging to get around and you need language skills or a Tianjin map to point to where you are going. to.
Bus fare is also more expensive than Beijing. 1.50 or 2 yuan comparet to Beijing standard 1 yuan for inner city trips.
Also buses come non-air con and air con. The double decker buses are a treat. At each bus top, the bus numbers are listed and where the buses will be stopping. Unfortunately, everything is in Chinese.
Plenty of Taxis
Downtown Tianjin is much smaller than Beijing and so it is shorter distance to get to your tourist destination if you take a taxi.
Also there are no ring roads and so there is a lot of traffic lights.
So get a map or your destination written in Chinese to show the driver.
Like in Beijing, taxi runs by meter fare.
This is a different mode of getting around in Tianjin.
It may be fun along the French Quarters and along the river where the traffic is lown and an open air view is great.
But recommended if you are stuck in the middle of traffic jam with fumes emanating from noisy cars and buses.
Make sure you negotiate and agree with the price if it is a package of taking you around to here and there and time limit and agreed drop off location.
Compared with Beijing, it is possible to use bicycle to get to most of your tourist destinations in Tianjin.
I saw a few Western tourists pedalling around. The road is fairly flat and so it a feasible option. But you got to get a good map. The map I bought there was all in Chinese and it was not easy to find a bookstore that sells one.
So better to get your English/Chinese bilingual city map of Tianjin at a major bookstore in Beijing and plan your bicycle route.
There are limited subway lines in Tainjin and so using the bus is better.
Many subway stations are constructed and lines are expanded.
Hopefully soon it will be like Beijing where you can get around to most places fast and cheaply by subway. Until then, not worth the trouble to get around by subway, my opinion.
Walkabout is great way to see Tianjin
Walking is the best way to see Tianjin especially for BinJiang and Heping area where there pedestrian shopping streets as well as the French Quarters and along the riverside.
Along the river, you can see local Tianjin fishing or exerciiing. Some are even swimming in the river, I don't recommend.
Have a good pair of walking shoes and wear a cap or carry an umbrella if it is hot. Don't keep walking, do stop, rest and smell the flowers and take your photos.
Express Highway from Beijing
Before the fast train started, most will travel the over 110 km distance between Beijing and Tianjin by the express highway.
Many standard tours from Malaysia to Beijing include Chengde and Tianjin. And so one spend some time almost an hour, more or less, on the road to get here.
So there is option of taking long distance bus from Beijing to get here and back.
To Tianjin from Beijing by Train
Tianjin is more accessible than ever before, thanks to these super-fast trains that were introduced by the Chinese government to speed up modernization outside the cities. Commonly known as CRH trains, these locomotives are designed and assembled in China and can reach speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour. The new service to the city was introduced for the Beijing Olympics, and slashed the traveling time between Tianjian and Beijing from 70 minutes to just 30. Trains depart from the brand new, UFO-shaped Beijing South Station.
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Get to Tianjin from Beijing
Train schedule from Beijing to Tianjin:
T531 8:35am, 9:54am
T533 9:20am, 10:39am
T535 10:20am, 11:39am
T539 13:00pm, 14:19pm
T541 13:50pm, 15:04pm
T543 14:50pm, 16:09pm (*)
T547 17:05pm, 18:19pm ($)
T549 17:50pm, 19:12pm (*)
T551 18:30pm, 19:44pm
Train schedule from Tianjin to Beijing:
T534 7:25am, 8:50am (*)
T540 10:30am, 11:50am
T542 11:11am, 12:36pm (*)
T544 13:00pm, 14:25pm (*)
T548 15:01pm, 16:26pm (*)
T550 15:58pm, 17:18pm
T552 16:40pm, 18:05pm (*)
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Tianjin Binhai International Airport
If you are getting to Tianjin either by a Domestic and a International flight, you will be arriving in Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Airasia flight into this Airport from Kuala Lumpur. It is a modern Airport with modern facilities.
Basically, you can buy long-distant bus ticket and train ticket in this Airport. Then, you can take the Airport Bus to either Tianjin Railway Station or Nanjing Road near the Ying Kou Dao metro station. (Y10)
If you are going to Beijing, people usually take the airport bus to Tianjin Railway Station. Then, take the speed rail to Beijing (I paid Y55 standing ticket, 45 minutes comfortable ride).
Alternately , you can take a direct bus to Ba Wang Fen Bus Station, Beijing.
Of course, you can take the Taxi to town in front of the Airport.
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Tianjin Railway Station
Tianjin has a modern railway station. The airport bus will stop near the railway station, and you need to walk about 10-minutes to get there. Once you enter the railway station on the ground floor, the ticket sales counters are on the left side on the building. If you want to change your ticket, you need to go ticket sales counter on the right side toward the end. After you get your ticket, you will go up on the 1st floor to wait for the trains. They have comfortable waiting halls with restaurants, cafes, and bookshops. Take note on your train platform, and wait nearby there.
Tianjin Railway is also an attraction. You can walk to the main hall entrance, you can see beautiful views of Tianjin from the Train Station, especially at night.
Speed rail to Beijing takes about 30-45 minutes.
In Chinese: 天津站 (Tian Jin Zhan)
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