The pulsing centre of China, Beijing has played host to everything from an iconic revolution to the country’s first-ever Olympic games. Home to countless monuments and an impressive array of cultural and historic sites including Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, Beijing is a must-visit city on any cruise around Asia.
With almost 32 kilometres of shoreline and covering 121 kilometres of land surface, the Port of Tianjin is the biggest man-made port in China and the main maritime gateway to Beijing. It has existed since the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) but has only been open to the wider world since 1860.
The Tianjin International Cruise Home Port is in the south of the Dongjiang Port zone, and opened in 2010 to accommodate the world’s largest ships. It has facilities including hotels, restaurants, a postal service and travel agents.
- second-floor leisure area with a range of dining and shopping outlets
- postal service and currency exchange
- on-site art gallery and museum
- manmade peninsula and beach
- duty-free shopping and quality hotels.
How to Get Around
Tianjin International Cruise Home Port is 180 kilometres from Beijing International Airport.
By car or coach, the drive from the port to Beijing takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on local traffic.
Taxi drivers do not speak English and only accept local currency for fares. Expect to pay ¥1,200 (A$205) for a one-way ride from the port to Beijing city centre, and ¥1,500 (A$260) from the port to Beijing International Airport.
Private car transfers from the port to Beijing start at around ¥1,100 (A$190) per car. Coach transfers start at around ¥290 (A$50) per person.
The closest train station to the port is Tanggu Station, which is around 30 minutes’ drive away. A taxi will cost around ¥80 (A$14). Bullet trains connect Tanguu Station to South Beijing and take approximately 1 hour. One-way fares start from ¥66 (A$12). Advance bookings are recommended.
- Currency - the currency of Beijing is officially the Chinese renminbi, but it is more commonly referred to as the yuan. Denominations are as follows: ¥100, ¥50, ¥20, ¥10, ¥5 and ¥1 notes, and 5 and 1 jiao coins and notes (1 yuan is equal to 10 jiao).
- Time Zone - Beijing uses China Standard Time (CST), which is 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). There is no Daylight Saving Time.
- Weather - average temperatures in Beijing range from -4° Celsius in January to 26° Celsius in July. July is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 185mm. October through to April are the driest months.
- Tiananmen Square - set in the heart of downtown Beijing, Tiananmen Square is the largest square in the world. This hub of culture and history has paid witness to many momentous occurrences, including the May 4 Movement of 1919, the founding ceremony of the People’s Republic of China and the rallies of the Cultural Revolution in 1966.
- Panjiayuan Market - also known as the Dirt Market or the Sunday Market, Panjiayuan Market is the best place to shop for gongyi (crafts) and guwan (antiques). Here you’ll find everything from calligraphy and Cultural Revolution memorabilia to ceramics, Tibetan carpets and more. The markets draw 50,000 visitors every weekend – early Sunday morning is the best time to beat the crowds.
- Imperial Buildings - Beijing’s imperial buildings offer an insight into the country’s historic and cultural heritage. At the Forbidden City, explore the grand main courtyards and halls along with the network of side chambers for an intimate view of courtly life. Entry is ¥60 (A$10). At the Temple of Heaven, wander through the covered corridors where you’ll find impromptu Chinese opera performances, games of Chinese chess, fan dances and more. Entry is ¥35 (A$6).