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Tianjin's Dragon Boat races thrill city at Mid-Autumn Festival

By Bruce Connolly | | Updated: 2019-09-17 13:48
Training sessions on the day before the races. 2019. [Photo by Bruce Connolly/]

Before the coming of the railways and more recently, expressways and aviation, the Haihe was a busy channel crowded with barges or small ships transferring cargoes and people between the canal and larger ocean-going vessels. However, by the later 20th century, river traffic was in steep decline with many small industries and warehouses that once stretched along its embankments lying abandoned. Even in 2004 I could feel a sense of neglect. Today, all that is changed. Any visitor coming to Tianjin would surely be impressed by the restoration work, clearing away any abandonment while creating beautifully landscaped banks, a series of excellent bridges complimenting the beautifully restored and still operating historic Jiefang Bridge that remains today a city icon. Modern buildings, including top-range international hotels and apartments, now look over the river alongside classical architectural reminders from the days when Tianjin was home to several European concession zones.

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