Chicago TV personality Nancy Loo recently visited Qingdao as part of a production team filming around the city all that the “geographical gem” has to offer. Nancy writes “Sharing the incredible story of Qingdao is the reason I’m here.” She returned to Chicago very impressed and shared her impressions of Qingdao on her blog Big Tiny World at ChicagoNow.com. Here are some of the good things this newly converted fan of Qingdao has to say about the little fishing village that grew up to be China’s Sailing City.
From How Now Qingdao
The city of Qingdao was just a fishing village when German troops stormed in and took over in the winter of 1897. It was in retaliation for the killings of two German missionaries elsewhere in China. The German occupation and eventual lease deal with China came to an abrupt end when Japanese troops surrounded this geographical gem in 1914, forcing the Germans to surrender. China didn’t regain full control of Qingdao until after WWII.
Today, Qingdao is a major resort city with a population of over 8.5 million. It’s bigger than Chicago and yet it’s considered a medium-sized city in China. Tourists from other parts of Asia vacation here regularly along with many Germans because it’s like an Asian Riviera. It’s busier than ever since Qingdao hosted the sailing events during the 2008 Olympic Games. But there are very few American visitors. And most Americans have never heard about Qingdao’s fascinating history. The German influence is everywhere here. Many neighborhoods feel quite European. The Germans also established a major brewery which continues to produce Tsingtao Beer. Sharing the incredible story of Qingdao is the reason I’m here.
What an ideal day for our production shoot up in the mountains. Laoshan is a beautiful and peaceful place for reflection. The geologic formations are stunning and the spring waters are clean and clear. On the way back, we stopped at China’s first European-style winery. I had no idea such a place existed. Probably because none of the wines from Huadong Winery are exported. The vineyards and grounds actually reminded me of Napa Valley in Northern California.
From Xie Xie Qingdao
It’s been an incredible ten days in Qingdao. I admit, I came to work on a television production and would never have considered coming here on my own. But there has not been a single day that I haven’t been impressed by everything this city has to offer. And I’m convinced this stunningly beautiful region of Shandong Province, with a fascinating history, will soon be discovered by more American visitors.
Big Tiny World: A Blog By Nancy Loo
Photo Credits @ Nancy Loo/Big Tiny World