|Tianjin, or "Jin" in hip local speak, or "Diamond of the Bohai Gulf" in chamber of commerce terms, is China's fourth largest city, with a population of around 9 million. In recent years Tianjin has received more and more attention from both tourist at home and abroad due to its numerous travel resources and rich history, and new four and five star hotels are now decorating the downtown skyline.
Tianjin was first put on the map as Zhigu ("Straight Port") under the Sui Dynasti, when the Grand Canal was constructed. It was named Tianjin ("Heavenly Ford") in 1404. By this time the city officials had added city walls to protect it from pirates. It was established as a prefecture in 1725 during the Qing Dynasty, and as a county six years later. When in 1858 the treaty Of Tianjin was signed after the Opium Wars, the city was divided up and conceded to nine foreign powers, most of the European, but also including Japan and Russia. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, tianjin fell to the Japanese and was ruled by the puppet state of Manchukuo. It was later turned into an American base and finally returned to Chinese hands in 1947.
Tianjin is located on the eastern part of the North China Plain, by the Bohai Bay. It lies in a temperate zone and enjoys four seasons. The average annual temperature is 13C, with average summer maximums of 32C (90F) and January lows going down to -7C (19F). Spring and autumn are the recommended periods to travel.
Travelers quickly fall in love with Tianjin for its panoramic views, facinating buildings, laid-back lifestile and tasty seafood. Its streets are lined with European-style buildings, as well the Qing Dynasty-style structures. There are many tourist attractions in Taijin as well as the areas around the outskirts of the City. Fort Dagukou was once one of the strongest forts in the Bohai area, while the serene Mount Panshan is today playground for residents of Tianjin abd Beijing who wish to escape the city for the weekend. History and nature comes together in the form of the Great Wall at the Huangya Pass.