Wednesday, October 06, 2010

ANCIENT CULTURE STREET

I have to follow a tight schedule and was only able to sneak out 3 times during my 8 days in Tianjin. The first was an attempt to find a church to pair with my first noodle shots. I did find one at the banks of the Haihe River. And right in front of it is what I thought to be a monument to the Chinese socialist revolution which seemed to remind those who pass by with that Marxist idiom: “Religion is the opium of the people”.


Across the church is a pedestrians’ bridge that leads to the Ancient Culture Street where remnants of Tianjin's ancient past is showcased for curious tourists. This 600 meter long pedestrian street bursts with Tianjin's cultural traditions and feature buildings from the Qing dynasty. It used to be the site of the earliest boat docks of Tianjin which was then one of the most important cities of China in terms of trade and commerce. The street was rebuilt and transformed as a tourist spot in the 1980s.


And right in the center of the street is the ancient Tianhou Palace that was first built in 1326 and one of only 3 Mazu Temples in the world. Mazu according to Wikipedia literally means Goddess of the Sea who is protects the fishermen and sailors.


I rushed back to the UNFCCC intersessional at the Meijiang Convention Center and was just in time for the day’s first session after which I treated myself to a traditional Tianjin lunch of Goubuli Baozi (steamed stuffed bun/dumpling/siopao), a bowl of what may be dan dan noodles with a piece of something like a century egg, and fried dough.

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