by Hunter

FYI – Where Does Qingdao Rank

February 24, 2011 in Polls by Hunter

The QINGDAO(nese) FYI poll results are in.

When it comes to ranking Qingdao among other Chinese cities, Qingdao lands in the top spot. With a total of 56 voters, the top answer to this FYI poll was ‘The Best Place In China’, with 29% of the total, or 16 Votes. Full poll results are listed below. Please vote on the new poll and let us know how you get around Qingdao.

“Where does Qingdao rank among China’s cities?”

The Best Place In China

16 Votes / 29%

In The Top 5

15 Votes / 27%

It Ain’t Beijing/Shanghai

11 Votes / 20%

A Good Place For A Holiday

10 Votes / 18%

Beats Xiamen and Dalian

4 Votes / 6%

Photo Credit @ humuguo

by Hunter

Qingdao Double Star vs Bayi Rockets 2.23

February 23, 2011 in Events, Sports by Hunter

The Qingdao Double Star Eagles are hoping to improve on last year’s less than stellar performance when they play at home against Bayi Rockets on February 23. Come out and cheer the league highest scorer and player of the week Charles Gaines (USA) from the Eagles. The Rockets’ roster includes ex NBA player Wang Zhizhi. Tickets range from 60 to 200 yuan (RMB) and are available at the venue (enter via south gate on Hong Kong East Road).

When: February 23 (7:30 pm Tip Off)
Venue: Qingdao University Arena
More Info: 8268-4351

Relevant Links:
CBA 2010-11 Schedule and Info (English)
Official CBA website (Chinese)
Official Qingdao Double Star website (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Roster (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Schedule (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star on Sina (Chinese)
NiuBBall (CBA news and more)

by Steven

Clipper Crew Recruiting 2011

February 22, 2011 in About Qingdao, Sports by Steven

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is seeking crew for the 11-12 and 13-14 races. The Clipper Race features 10 yachts – one of the yachts is sponsored by and carries the name Qingdao. The Clipper Crew Recruitment Manager is in Qingdao from February 22-25.

Clipper Qingdao Yacht

More info from the Qingdao Expat:
The man charged with finding the intrepid souls who will take part in the challenge of a lifetime is Clipper’s Crew Recruitment Manager David Cusworth. “Qingdao has to be one of the friendliest and most hospitable cities I’ve visited with the Clipper Race.” David will travel to China to take part in the selection process to decide which crew members will represent Qingdao for Clipper 11-12.

“The Clipper Race is huge in China and we have had a large number of Chinese crew taking part. As sailing becomes more and more popular over there, the obvious progression is onto ocean racing and of course a circumnavigation. Clipper is the only race in the world that offer this amazing opportunity to people from all walks of life and the people of China are grabbing it with both hands.”

David’s trip also offers potential crew members the chance to gain more information about this unique event. If you are based in Qingdao and interested in taking part in Clipper 11-12, or Clipper 13-14.

More details at the Clipper official site.

Clipper Yacht Race Qingdao Crew

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Expat
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

by Steven

Zhao Mu Yang 3.04

February 21, 2011 in Events, Music by Steven

Zhao Mu Yang (赵牧阳) performs in Qingdao at the Owl Bar (aka sHooters) in the Olympic Sailing Center on March 4. The veteran Chinese musician has recorded with Xu Wei and was a founder of The Dreaming with Dou Wei.

Listen to Zhao Mu Yang on Douban.

When: March 4, 8.00 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: 50 yuan RMB / 票价: 现场50元
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Zhao Mu Yang Official Website
Zhao Mu Yang on Douban
Zhao Mu Yang on Rock in China Wiki

Qingdao Photos: Chloe Lee

February 20, 2011 in Photos by Chloe Lee

Chloe Lee is an exchange student at Shandong University in Weihai. Born in Seoul, she spent her childhood in Singapore, the US, and returned to Seoul to finish her degrees in Chinese and International Studies. She is more the occasional writer than she is a photographer. Check out the magazine she writes for based in Seoul, Korea.

Chloe Lee’s Qingdao:

I packed my very small black backpack and was set to leave for Qingdao, without the faintest idea about its geography or its tourist sites. I simply picked a youth hostel in Old Town and took the long-distance bus to Qingdao. As I always do, I walked more than the buses traveled. And this led me from the quietest hutongs to the busiest alleys. I clicked away, mostly in awe of the crumbling, dusty backstreets or empty parks rather than the loud clanglings and equally loud costumes of streets fairs.

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Pi Chai Yuan

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Taoist

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Peking Opera

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Peking Opera

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lost

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Murals

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Zhan Qiao

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Zhan Qiao Black and White

Qingdao Photos Chloe Lee Park Road

Qingdao Photos Chloe Liangchai

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Kaiyue Youth Hostel
Eloquence

by Steven

Qingdao Double Star vs. Jiangsu Dragons 2.20

February 20, 2011 in Events, Sports by Steven

The Qingdao Double Star Eagles, hoping to improve on last year’s less than stellar performance, are stuck in 12th place with a 9 and 14 record. They play at home against Jiangsu Dragons on February 20. Come out and cheer the league highest scorer and player of the week Charles Gaines (USA) from the Eagles. Tickets range from 60 to 200 yuan (RMB) and are available at the venue (enter via south gate on Hong Kong East Road).

When: February 20 (7:30 pm Tip Off)
Venue: Qingdao University Arena
More Info: 8268-4351

Relevant Links:
CBA 2010-11 Schedule and Info (English)
Official CBA website (Chinese)
Official Qingdao Double Star website (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Roster (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Schedule (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star on Sina (Chinese)
NiuBBall (CBA news and more)

by Gars

Chinatown: Boston

February 18, 2011 in Photos by Gars

Recently Gar of Huangdao sent in this report from his travels to Chinatown, Boston, USA.

It’s always nice to be home again in the U.S., but then again, it’s always nice to get a taste of China. When you are abroad, there is nowhere better to do that than Chinatown. Boston’s Chinatown is very small, taking up about three city blocks. Yet it is special. That small spot on the map has the power to you can transport you back to China.

Chinese people stroll around. Men group together playing Chinese chess. The signs are in Chinese. In the evening, loads of Chinese gather in the square. Your mind floats and “China” comes streaming through your senses. Everybody, it seems, is from South China. Cantonese is the main tongue. A laoban in a restaurant laughed to me, “Your Chinese is better than mine! We never speak Chinese. We always speak Cantonese here.” And so for me, as a Beifang laowai, a Qingdao laowai, it seems like I am traveling to a different part of China! “Lay ho!”

The joy here is in ordering Chinese dishes and drinking Chinese tea; in speaking Chinese while you stock up on Chinese cooking supplies and yuanxiao. When I am here in America, in the state of Massachusetts, I am sure to return often to Boston’s Chinatown.

Chinatown Boston

Chinatown Telephone Booth Boston

Chinatown Boston Gifts Shop

Chinatown Boston Chinese School

Chinatown Supermarket Boston

Chinatown Tsingtao Beer Sign

Relevant Links:
Chinatown on Boston.com
Boston Chinatown on Wikipedia

by Steven

Arnaud-Fleurent Didier 3.04

February 16, 2011 in Events, Music by Steven

Arnaud-Fleurent Didier, Cloé du Trèfle and Alex Nevsky perform at the Redstar in Creative 100 on March 4, 2011. The musicians are touring China, appearing in Qingdao courtesy of the Alliance Française du Shandong and Redstar.

When: March 4, 8 pm
Venue: Redstar, 100 Nanjing Lu, Rm 401 /红星南京路100号401
Tickets: 50 yuan (RMB)/ 门票: 50元
Info: 135.8320.6332

Watch video of the performers: Arnaud-Fleurent Didier, Cloe dutrefle, Alex Nevsky.

Relevant Links:
Arnaud-Fleurent Didier on Wikipedia (French)
Arnaud-Fleurent Didier on Myspace
Cloé du Trèfle Official Website
Cloé du Trèfle on Myspace

by Steven

Lantern Festival

February 8, 2011 in About Qingdao, Events by Steven

In addition to being a visually striking holiday of lights, the Chinese Lantern Festival (Yuan Xiao Jie/元宵节) is also a great festival for fans of food. The tang yuan (a kind of sticky rice with filling) eaten on this holiday are usually filled with sesame, red bean, or peanut paste. Variations on fillings are many – Jusco and/or Carrefour offer a great selection of pre-made and ready to make tang yuan though a local small traditional restaurant might supply more flavor on this night. Night-time is the best time to head over to Zhongshan Park for viewing the lanterns. The Lantern Festival falls on February 17 in the Year of the Rabbit (2011).

Lantern Festival Tang Yuan Rabbit 2011

Relevant Links:
Lantern Festival (Tang Yuan Recipe)
Lantern Festival Traditions

Photo Credit@ James Elaine

by Steven

Folk at SY 2.14

February 8, 2011 in Events, Music by Steven

Folk music by Zhong Li Feng, Ma Tiao, Chuan Zi and other performers with 13 Month Records in Qingdao at the SY Theater in Taidong on February 14. The Qingdao stop of their national 2011 Under The Banyan Tree, Folk Music on The Road Tour falls on Valentine’s Day and should be a thoroughly enjoyable night of song at the SY on Shunxing Lu. These veteran musicians have previously appeared either individually or collectively in Qingdao at Freeman Cafe, SY Theater, Sonospace Books, Owl Bar, and the Golden Beach Music Fest – seasoned professionals all, their music tells tales with evocative emotion, a good fit for a romantic evening or an entertaining night for fans of singers/songwriters/guitarists.

When: February 14, 7:30 pm
Venue: SY Theater / 青岛SY实验剧场
Location: 26 Shunxing Lu / 顺兴路26号
Tickets: 200 yuan (2 for 298) / 票价: 单人200 情侣套票298/2张
More Info: 8383.1883

Relevant Links:
13 Month Records
Zhong Li Feng on Douban
Ma Tiao on Myspace
Chuanzi on Douban
2010 Golden Beach Music Fest

by Cherie

Chinese New Year: Rabbit

January 31, 2011 in About Qingdao, Events by Cherie

The Chinese New Year is here again. On the evening of February 2, 2011, the air space over China will be populated by a sound and vision spectacular of fireworks while midnight will see the disappearance of billions of dumplings. February 3 is the first day of the year (Zheng Yue Chu Yi/正月初一) on the Chinese lunar calendar, and the official start of the Spring Festival in China.

Guo Nian/过年

In ancient China, it was said that there was a wild, violent animal called nian (年). It came into villages to eat people, especially children, on New Year’s Eve every year, and all the people were too scared to resist. After a long time of being terrorized by the monster, one man invented firecrackers to defeat the beast. That year, he set off firecrackers, and sure enough “nian” didn’t come to his village. This news quickly spread. Nian was finally famished, and the people lived in peace forever. In order to memorialize this special moment, the people named it guo nian (过年) which is now the term equated with the name Spring Festival celebrated every year. Guo (过) means passing by or threatening something away, thus guo nian (过年) means to drive all the bad things away from our life during the Chinese New Year. Read more about guo nian on China Today. Some view guo nian as just simply “pass a new year”.

Qingdao becomes a battleground of explosions and bombs of color flash and sonic booms, much like most of China on the night of New Year’s called Da Nian San Shi (literally, Big Year 30).

Door Couplets (dui lian/对联)

These Spring Couplets are seen on doors, usually with black characters on red paper. The short benedictions wish one and all entering the door prosperity, good fortune, health, wealth, and more. Many older people still gather a crowd at an informal dui lian market to write the traditional couplets. Check out more info on these poetic Spring Festival Distiches. Some common couplets seen in China: 四海财源通宝地,九洲鸿运进福门 (Wishing the world’s wealth and fortune to those passing through the door), 年年添富贵,日日报平安 (Year upon year surplus of fortune, day after day safe and peaceful), 人寿年丰好事多,山清水秀风光好 (Abundant luck and fortune for people, beautiful scenery beneficial).

Chinese New Year Rabbit 2011 Fu Fortune

Firecrackers And Other Artillery

Qingdao becomes a battleground of explosions and bombs of color flash and sonic booms, much like most of China on the night of New Year’s called Da Nian San Shi (literally, Big Year 30). The firecrackers are most intense around midnight, right when everyone is getting ready to have the jiaozi (dumplings) made for the special occasion. Eating jiaozi is a must on the eve of Da Nian 30 – as are the massive firework pyrotechnics that sometimes stretch to dawn. Special nights during the two week holiday period such as the 2nd and 5th nights are marked by huge fireworks set off by individuals all around the city. The streets are filled with the debris of red paper, burnt powder, and large cardboard boxes that dispensed ground to air pretty missiles – in Qingdao, they don’t stay long on the ground as the recyclers have a field day on the remains of the day.

Usually before people start to have the formal dinner on New Year’s Eve, they set off firecrackers for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Firecrackers are set off again at midnight followed by a dumpling dinner. This finally heralds the arrival of new year. In my home, we don’t eat the midnight dinner, but my father sets off firecrackers at midnight, and we (my mom, sister, and I) watch the Spring Festival gala on CCTV. After the gala, we go to bed and sleep for only about 4 hours. Then we get up to visit relatives and neighbors. When I was young , I used to get some lucky money in red envelopes and used it to buy my favorite things like books. After getting up and before breakfast (also dumplings), there are about 5 minutes of firecrackers. The first and last evenings of Spring Festival are the heaviest fireworks nights.

Chinese New Year Qingdao Dui Lian

Sticky Rice And Special New Year’s Foods

Break out the baijiu/白酒 (some award winning Maotai would be nice) and put on comfortable new year’s clothes for some serious eating and drinking. Spring Festival is a time to eat with everyone you meet, from the feast of New Year’s Eve to the meals shared over the first few days of the year as people visit family and friends in order of importance. The most important food of the festival is jiaozi. Usually people put a few coins into some of the dumplings to represent good luck and fortune. The people who eat the coin filled jiaozi are purported to be very lucky in the coming year. People who are already rich will become richer if he or she eats dumplings with coins. Ones who aren’t good at making money will eat more, but if unsuccessful in biting in to a money dumpling, then the coming year will be a time of spending more. The tail end of the Spring Festival brings Lantern Festival (Yuan Xiao Jie/元宵节), which is celebrated with tang yuan, a sticky rice ball in a sweet broth, with fillings of peanut, sesame, red bean, and more.

Many older people still gather a crowd at an informal dui lian market to write the traditional couplets.

Lantern Festival

There is a myth about why people hang red lanterns on Lantern Festival (Yuan Xiao Jie/元宵节). Long, long ago there were many horrible beasts in human society which did nothing but hurt people. People got together to kill these beasts but accidentally a holy bird got lost in human society and was killed by mistake. The emperor of heaven was very angry and ordered a big fire to be set to punish people. But his seventh daughter was too kind to see people suffering because of her father’s rage, so she came up with the idea of having people hang red lanterns everywhere to recreate the atmosphere of fire. Thereafter, people started to celebrate this day with the hanging of red lanterns. Eating tang yuan is the most important custom of Lantern Festival. The Chinese people want everything to have a happy ending, so eating sweet tang yuan on the night of the first full moon of the lunar year is symbolic of happiness and peace.

Relevant Links:
Spring Festival
Spring Festival Traditions
Lantern Festival (Tang Yuan Recipe)
Lantern Festival Traditions
Jiaozi Junkie

by Steven

Extreme Sailing 4.13-17

January 29, 2011 in About Qingdao, Events, Sports by Steven

Qingdao has been selected as the venue for yet another sailing event, further solidifying the former Olympic host’s claim to be China’s Sailing City. More on the news about the Extreme Sailing Series event that will be taking place in Qingdao:

From the Extreme Sailing Series official website:
At the official launch of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Estoril (Portugal) in December 2010, China was confirmed as one of nine the host countries – a new territory for this year’s circuit and a significant step into the burgeoning Asian market. Today (27th January, 2011) it can now be revealed that Qingdao, the fourth largest manufacturing port in the country and known as the City of Sailing, will be the official host Chinese venue to Act 2 to be staged between 13th to 17th April. The Extreme Sailing Series Race Village will be located in Fushan Bay, which was also the home of the Olympic Village in 2008, and will be open to the public between the 15th to 17th April when the 11-boat Extreme 40 fleet will race inside the bay right in front of the spectators (13th-14th April are ‘open water’ days when the fleet will be racing outside of Fushan Bay).

“The competitive and exciting Extreme Sailing Series event will provide the city of Qingdao another opportunity to play on the international stage and reinforce its image as the sailing capital of China.”

“The Extreme Sailing Series will be staged at nine iconic venues this year, a mix of international cities and coastal resorts,” said Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of the circuit organisers, OC ThirdPole. “The circuit has already established a footprint in Asia with our events in Hong Kong and Singapore, and to confirm Qingdao as the host venue to Act 2 cements our vision to be a truly ‘global’ circuit that strives to reach new international destinations and take the Extreme Sailing Series to new audiences that have a strong appeal to our stakeholders.”

An official ceremony in Qingdao today, attended by Vice Mayor of Qingdao, Mr Xiu-Lin Wang, along with the President of Qingdao Yacht Association, Mdm Zhi-Wei Lin, and Mark Turner, sealed the agreement with the city as a host venue to the Extreme Sailing Series in 2011. “I feel proud that Qingdao becomes the first city in China to host the ESS event,” stated Vice Mayor of Qingdao, Mr. Wang. “The competitive and exciting Extreme Sailing Series event will provide the city of Qingdao another opportunity to play on the international stage and reinforce its image as the sailing capital of China.”

“Qingdao will benefit from this event by learning from the experience of the organiser, OC ThirdPole, in race and event management which in the long run will help the sailing development in Qingdao.

The people of Qingdao will be able to enjoy another grand prix sailing event after the Olympic Sailing and Volvo Ocean Race. I am expecting to see the Olympic Sailing Center, the venue for the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao event, turn into a festive mood when the racing is on. The Qingdao people will enjoy both the racing and entertainment activities taking place in the race village.¨By hosting the Extreme Sailing Series event, we also hope to attract the younger generation to get interested in sailing. Children will have chance to meet the crew and I am confident that the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao event will be of a great success.”

In addition to securing a Chinese venue, the search is on to find a Chinese sailor to race during Act 2 on board ‘Team Extreme!’ as part of the crew, skippered by experienced Olympic multihull sailor Roland Gaebler from Germany. As Turner explains: “Team Extreme is being led by Roland with international sailing stars Bruno Dubois and Sebbe Godefroid as his regular crew. However, the objective for Team Extreme is to have a sailor from the country of each host venue to take the fourth crew spot to provide an opportunity for that country to showcase their best national or local sailing talent.”

Qingdao, China: Act 2, 15th – 17th April (13th-14th ‘open-water’ racing)

Now known as the City of Sailing, Qingdao’s became the host venue for sailing for Beijing’s 2008 Olympic Games boosting its profile to an international audience. Perfectly located on the Southeast peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is now China’s premier sailing destination with first class facilities at its International Sailing Center. Originally opened to tourism in 1984 the city now attracts 15 million visitors a year and is the fourth largest manufacturing port in the country. Framed by miles of golden sandy beaches, combined with steady winds that make it a perfect racing location.

Qingdao is a city steeped in China’s 20th century history. Now a tourism hotspot in China, the sprawling city has a population of 7.5 million and a vibrant economy. The Downtown skyline can rival that of any major city with an impressive array of cultures, cuisines, and lively nightlife. Tsingato, the most popular beer in China operates their headquarters and main brewery in Qingdao. The brewery is open to visitors who can take a tour around the oldest working brewery in China, whilst the brewery can be observed in action and guests can enjoy the beer tasting afterwards!

2011 Calendar & Host Venues:

Act 1: 22-24 February, Muscat, Oman (20-21 ‘open-water’ racing*)
Act 2: 15-17 April, Qingdao, China (13-14 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 3: 27-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey (25-26 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA (all days public event)
Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK (all days public event)
Act 6: 16-18 September, Trapani, Italy (14-15 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 7: 30 September – 2 October, Nice, France (28-29 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain (all days public event)
Act 9: 9-11 December, Singapore (7-8 ‘open-water’ racing)

Relevant Links:
Extreme Sailing Series Official Website
Qingdao to host ISAF Extreme Sailing Series