Qingdaonese.com: “a medium for everyone with an interest in Qingdao”. Since 2009, an online resource for photos and information on the city of Qingdao, China.
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Consistently called one of the best places to live in China, Qingdao is the hometown of the world famous Tsingtao Beer, which is still made at the original Tsingtao Brewery founded in 1903.
The international legacy in Qingdao stems from its German colonial past but also involves Japanese influence and the impact of being host to a large number of foreign nationals including American, Russian, and British who lived and vacationed in the Badaguan concession area, particularly around Taipingjiao.
Qingdao was a trendy resort for vacationing expats in China after the Germans exerted control of Jiaozhou in 1898. Foreigners escaping the heat of Beijing and Shanghai came to swim and enjoy the beaches. Many stayed at the Strand Hotel, which is still there, though as offices now.
Qingdao has an intriguing yet relatively recent history. Control of the area has passed back and forth from China to Germany to Japan to US to China again, with Qingdao being one of the last ports to be liberated in 1949. Check out this take on Qingdao modern history.
Qingdao is built on a peninsula hooking west from the Laoshan mountains to form Jiaozhou Bay. This geographical feature is referenced by Qingdao’s largest local newspaper known at The Peninsula, or “Ban Dao“.
The westernmost tip of the peninsula is where the older (colonial-era) part of the city looks out on Huangdao and Xuejiadao, which put together are called the Qingdao Economic Development Technology Zone, or Kai Fa Qu in Chinese.
The Qingdao Metro subway is currently under construction, with multiple lines expected to be operational by 2018. The Metro combined with the Huangdao-Qingdao Tunnel and Bridge will connect Qingdao city with surrounding areas from Jiaozhou to Jimo to Yangkou and more.
The influence of the sea is evident throughout Qingdao. The Port of Qingdao is one of the largest in China (and in the world), and the city’s economy is inextricably connected to shipping, shipbuilding, logistics,container yards, and warehouses.
Qingdao’s beaches continue to be a major draw for tourists from around the world, and each July through September is tourist season. Hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, and sites of interest are usually heavily patronised during the summer, though capacity has not been reached and construction on facilities continues.
Qingdao was the venue of the Sailing Regatta of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and is also called China’s Sailing City. Major sailing races intimately connected to Qingdao include the Clipper and Extreme Sailing. The first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the globe, Vicky Song Kun, came from Qingdao’s local sailing scene.
Major attractions, activities, and sights in the Qingdao area include:
May 4 Square
In the center of the new city, across from the City Hall, red monument “Winds of May” to mark WWI era reform movement.
Old Stone Man Beach
Long sandy beach in Qingdao’s tony eastern area, near SPR and Surf Plaza, a California style property development near the sea.
Little Fish Pagoda
Called Xiao Yu Shan in Chinese, overlooks the Number 1 Beach and Ocean University. Great views of the old city.
Zhan Shan Temple
Largest Buddhist temple in Qingdao, in the city near Zhongshan Park.
Qingdao Olympic Marina Sailing Center
On the site of the former Beihai Shipyards, now the home of a marina, shopping malls, hotels, public square.
Homegrown Qingdao brands include:
Large multinational with products and services from refrigerators to TVs to air conditioning to real estate. Long term sponsor of NBA. Top white goods manufacturer in China.
Map of Qingdao: