October 24, 2018 – Tianjin (Beijing), China

Tianjin is a huge metropolis of a city with a population of more than 15 million residents, but it is only the fourth largest in China. Tianjin is the gateway port to the city of Beijing which is about 75 miles to the northwest. Tianjin has major industries like petrochemical industries, car manufacturing, metal working and an assembly plant for the airbus A320 aircraft.

The weather was mild with a high of 70 degrees although the skies were brownish with pollution from China’s manufacturing and use of coal.

We had a very quiet day as we did not schedule any tours into Beijing as we had been in China on a land tour some years ago. Instead we took the free shuttle from the ship to a local huge shopping mall (Aeon Mall) about thirty minutes away. The mall was a very modern two-story structure with several food courts, a market, clothing shops, housewares and furniture and more. We bought nothing!

The roads from the ship to the mall were extremely wide with six to eight lanes each with very little traffic on them. Along the roads there are many high-rise apartment-looking buildings although they appear to be vacant (we don’t know why). The driveways into them are blocked with construction partitions. Also, of note is the fact that we saw no local businesses for local residents like a market or gas station near these apartment buildings. Not sure why they may have built all of these buildings if they did not intend for them to be occupied.

Back onboard the ship we had lunch, Mark worked on the community puzzle and Kent enjoyed an afternoon movie, the 2010 version of Karate Kid.

After dinner we enjoyed a local Chinese Acrobatic troupe that came onboard to perform for us. They juggled, contorted, created human pyramids and even had a clown that performed.