Apr 14 2018



This fabled hotel has a long history – since 1863. It’s built by an English missionary. There is a “museum” in the basement but I didn’t visit, the woman  huatily told me there is ¥50 admission, even for hotel guests.

After the afternoon tea at the O’Hara’s bar I wander in and out of the old wing freely – for this reason, not sure I want to spend a night or two there.


Apr 14 2018

The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin

167 Dagubei Road
Heping District
Tianjin, 300040

It is on the site of Gordon Hall, cross street from Astor. The main entrance is off the Jiefang Garden North 解放北园, a tiny green patch with a Chinese gazebo. There is rich history to this location, the hotel offers a short tour at 6 pm.

1976 Tangshan earthquake had damaged the building. They rebuilt and used as municipal government till 2010. Ritz began in 2013

The columns at their 2-level Chinese restaurant are slaveged from the American garrison, treated and preserved. Nice touch.

Aboundant paintings are hung throughout the public area. The stairs in the lobby somehow, remind me of Gone with the Wind, where Gable noticed his girl.


Feb 13 2017

Haihe 海河

Wiki says the Hai River, formerly known as the Peiho or Pei Ho, is a Chinese river connecting Beijing to Tianjin and the Bohai Sea. Oddly, neither zh wiki or Baidu mentioned this fact at all. Perhaps PeiHo was only used in English at the time? This would be my guess. Astor Hotel/House seems to be the photo to illustrate.

May 1 2016

Tianjin Changde Dao

By Cindy Zhang 

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Mar 21 2016

She’s got a ticket to ride

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You got a ticket to ride? … asked John Lennon of Beatles fame.

Due to a little reason, I needed to take the train home but I didn’t have my passport with me. So we waited on Window 1. The woman pointed to the window second to last to her right, for no ID card purchase. Window 2 said he doesn’t deal with no Chinese. Window 3 sent me to see his supervisor. Window 4 made a few phone calls then sent me to Window 5 to make the purchase, using my New York driver’s licence.


Good to know the security is tight. And good to know that my driver’s licence works.

It takes only 32 minutes to get back to Beijing.

New York-Philly-DC, New York-Boston need high speed train, for pete’s sake.

Mar 21 2016

Goubuli Buns 狗不理大酒楼 Go Believe

Hedong District, 11 Longitude Street (@ 8 Latitude St)

Goubuli means dog ignores, is a popular steamed meat buns from Tianjin. According to the legend, the founder was nicknamed doggie and he’s too busy making the buns to respond to his friends. They soon shorten the saying that Doggie didn’t have time for us to Dog ignores; or Go Believe.

I haven’t had this kind of buns for a long time. While living in Tianjin briefly when I was little, I didn’t get to eat it because most people were dirt poor under the reign of Chairman Mao who died in 1976. I’m pretty surprised to see the tall facade for an one dimensional fare. The hallway by the entrance is lined with boxes, and the staff is in white uniform, looking rather sharp.

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In 1992 they opened an outpost in Flushing, New York but didn’t last long. Perhaps without nostalgic, they couldn’t compete on service and varieties. Glad to see them moving forward this time, cashing on the name. They even implement some crowd pleasing bells and whistles, such as coming to your suite, and letting the diner to make the buns. I joked that we would get 20% off for DIY …

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The bottom two were made by me and the top one was by the chef in white toque. … Ok, no 20% off but an extra % added because I didn’t make them right -:).

Mar 21 2016

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Mar 21 2016

Jianfu Temple 荐福庵

China, Tianjin, Hedong, Dongxing Rd
天津市河东区小孙庄富贵里 26 (baike)

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This temple was built in 1923, beside the Zhou Ancestral Hall 周公祠, after the passing of Zhou Fu in 1921.

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Mar 21 2016

Wudadao 天津五大道

Tianjin government has designated Five Big Streets – a few streets in Heping (Peace) district – the former British concession as historic, zh wiki. On this trip I only went to Zhou Mingtai (周明泰 zh wiki) not Zhou Shutao (周叔弢 @ 睦南道129号; zh wiki).

Hebei Lu 277 河北路

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“Keep walking” a minder told us as we walked by the shooting spot where a tv or movie was being made.

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We took the carriage, circling the wudadao, the five big streets.

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Mar 21 2016

Random shots of Tianjin

We spend a day in Tianjin on this trip.