The Great Wall at Huangyaguan (Huangyaguan changcheng) geographically belongs to Ji County at the very northern tip of the Tianjin Municipality and is some 28km north of Jixian County Town.
The pass, the only one of its kind in Ji County, contains the section of the the Great Wall that extends northward to Hebei Province.
During the sunset, the pass looks even more imposing with the steep slopes on both sides.
Even during the Qing Dynasty over two thousand ago, it was an important pass in northern China. In recent years, some new features have been added to the original construction, such as the Eight Diagrams Labyrinth (Bagua cheng), the Forest of Steles (Shike beilin), a museum (Bowuguan) and the Water Pass (Shui guan).
The wall here has also been renovated recently, although its edges still show signs of decaying age. The most redeeming factor of this section is that it is less plagued by tourists than its Beijing counterparts.
How to get there: It is located in Jixian county 140km north of Tianjin. There are tourist bus available every weekend at the northeast bus station of Tianjin and there are also buses available from the Tianjin Railway Station, but fewer.
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Located 12 kilometers northwest of Jixian, which is about 100 kilometers north of Tianjin, Mount Pan (Panshan) is covered with lavish plantations and has a rich historical heritage.
Recently, the mountain has become the great escape for the city dwellers of Beijing and
The natural scenery of the mountain is covered in rocks, streams, pine trees and vast greenness. More than 320 kinds of trees and shrubs have been found in the vicinity, these trees makes the mountain a natural botanical garden.
The mountain itself has many sheer and shudderingly attractive precipices and grotesquely shaped rocks and boulders. Its main peak, Moon hanging Peak (Guayue feng), although only 864-meters above sea level, rises sharply. It is claimed that the peak of the mountain commands a view of the Great Wall on the west and Mount Tai on the east.This highest peak also has, situated on its summit, the Dingguang Stupa that is alleged to contain a tooth of Buddha.
Just like other famous mountains in China, the quiet Panshan Mountain is also inhabited by monks. They have been through their fair share of historical troubles and strife: in World War II the Japanese came through this area successfully burning its 70 temples. Today 72 temples of all sizes and Buddhism schools can be found here, both restored and new. The temples still boast many rich cultural relics.
How to get there: There are two trains a day between Tianjin and Jixian, taking 3 hours. There are also regular buses from Tianjin's northeast bus station. Buses will take you on to Mount Pan.
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Notre Dame des Victoires (Shengmu desheng tang), is a tall cathedral, located on the northern bank of the river, in the northwest of the city. What makes it so special is that it was the first cathedral to be built (in 1869) after Catholicism was spread to Tianjin.
The construction was ruined and rebuilt repeatedly by both man (1870 Massacre and 1900 Boxer Rebellion) and nature. The last serious destruction took place in 1976 during the Tangshan earthquake and it was reconstructed in 1983.
In contrast to the Catholic church farther south, this simple looking complex is open to the public only on Sunday, when a morning service is held. The church has been under state protection as a major national relic since 1988.
Address: Shizilin dajie.
How to get there: Take bus number 5 to Shirenqiao or a taxi for about RMB10.
Opening hours: Although closed to general public on weekdays the cathedral holds services at 6am. On Sundays the place is open for service at 6am, 7am and 7pm.
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The Temple of Solitary Joy (Dule si) is located outside Jixian County to the north of Tianjin city, three hours away by bus.
The temple was first built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and renovated in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125 AD). Recent renovations have also been made.
The temple is a nice days diversion which can be combined with a trip to the Huangya Pass or Mount Pan for an overnight stay; Both of these are located close or in Jixian city.
Inside the grand (23 meters high) Guanyin Hall is a 16-meter-high statue of Guanyin, the largest existing terracotta figure in China. The statue stands in the center of the hall, towering upward through the second and third stories until almost reaching the octagonal ceiling. In order to represent Guanyin's mighty
powers, ten small Guanyin heads were added to the sculpture, so that this statue is also known as the Eleven-Faced Guanyin. The Guanyin and other clay sculptures in the temple were carved in the Liao dynasty, about 1000 years ago when Chinese Buddhism reached its peak.
Besides the clay sculptures, the three-storey Guanyin Hall is a wonder, it is the oldest existing wooden pavilion of its kind in China. The fresco in the temple which is 45m by 3m is also a wonderful piece of art. The temple also houses a Buddha from the Liao Dynasty and various murals from the Ming Dynasty.
How to get there: Buses leave from Tianjin's northeastern bus station, as do trains, for Jixian city.
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm