Beijing, the capital of China, was founded hundreds of years ago. Now it is a city of contrasts, ancient palaces and modern sky-rises, leafy old streets and modern shopping malls. For the Olympics the facilities and local transportation were modernized and it is now a world-class city with Chinese characteristics.
Tianjin, Beijing's old port city, is a great contrast. While less well-known than its older, bigger neighbour, many inhabitants claim that the pace of life and the friendliness of the people more than make up for its lack of fame. While not entirely untouched (Tianjin is took some of the over-spill from the Olympics), this is a good place to experience a more authentically Chinese way of life.
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