I have basically experienced everything Tianjin has to offer. My colleague was nice enough to take his family to this city located only a 35 minute trip away, and kindly dragged them by all the cultural sights, so I did not have to. One thing he did not write about was the Tianjin Eye. Now I lived for four years in London, and have never experienced the London Eye. This London ferris wheel is so expensive, I would not have enough pounds left to eat for the rest of the month. So when we went to Tianjin I took my well-earned money and grabbed a taxi to the Tianjin Eye with my family.
The line was already forming when we arrived well before 11am, so we were one of the first ones on the ferris wheel. I was very proud of my meticulous agenda for the holiday. My husband on the other hand was not impressed: we waited 30 minutes for the ferris wheel to open. The tickets for adults were RMB 75, the ticket for our four year old was RMB 20.
Security was as tight as the airport, and drinks are not allowed inside. We took a nice family picture in front of a green screen. The people working at the ferris wheel spoke English, and it was all very well organized. We had to share our gondola with another family, a old lady with her son and granddaughter. They were Chinese, and a bit perplexed to be stuck for half an hour with some laowai. When we visited Tianjin it was blistering summer, and there was a fan and a button for AC in the gondola. Which were situated at the grandmother’s side, who quickly turned off both. The ferris wheel started to move, and it was slow. very very slow, and the hot air was very very sticky and smelly. Me and my 4 year old were quickly very bored as there is basically nothing to see, and the ferris wheel moves so slow that we thought it stopped.
While sitting in the sweltering heat I contemplated Chinese building structure, and quickly pushed the button for the AC; if I was going to die in a faulty ferris wheel in China, I wanted to be cool, at least. Luckily I had some paper and coloring pens for our 4 year old. The rest of the trip was a battle between me and the Chinese grandmother: she would turn off the AC, and I would turn it back on.
On the way out we could pick out our picture for a grand total of RMB 35. A steal. If you have half a day to spare in Tianjin I would recommend going on the ferris wheel, but take something to do and sit on the right side of the gondola- it’s where the button is located for the AC.
Photo credits: Pauline van Hasselt