Tianjin - Heavenly Ford transformed into City of Lights

By Bruce Connolly | chinadaily.com.cn | 2017-09-02 16:46

Tianjin - Heavenly Ford transformed into City of Lights

Tianjin's contemporary skyline, 2017. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/chinadaily.com.cn]

On my most recent visit, a 20th floor hotel room provided not only panoramic views of the city's increasingly futuristic skyline but also looked down on the Haihe at its junction with the Grand Canal - an intersection making Tianjin historically into one of the country's premier ports. Water has always been at the core - maps show how much of the urban and surrounding area remains crisscrossed by a maze of waterways; of how lakes provide beauty to the urban zones and how the river connects with the Bohai Sea. 'Tianjin' literally translates as 'Heavenly Ford' - until 1404 known as Zhiqu ('Straight Port') but renamed by Emperor Yongle after he legendary forded its waters.

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