Just outside of Qingdao the satellite cities of Jimo, Laixi, and Pingdu are shaping up to be comfy suburbs of an increasingly urban metropolis. These three cities plus Jiaozhou and Jiaonan (west of the Huangdao Kaifaqu) are designated as county level cities of Qingdao. Are American style suburbs coming to Qingdao as the city fans out and more people buy cars? Here’s some more information on the outlying areas of Qingdao.
A lot of people from Qingdao are originally from Jimo. Called “Ji Mi” in Qingdaohua, Jimo is a well known name in Qingdao – one of the largest markets in the city takes its name from Jimo Lu in old town. Also called 901, Jimo Lu market is a place to buy souvenirs, clothes, pearls, watches and more. The actual city of Jimo is about 45 minutes drive from Qingdao. Jimo is famous for Jimo Lao Jiu, a kind of rice wine that is best served heated like Japanese sake. Jimo is home to the Red Collar clothes company headquarters, hot springs (and upscale real estate developments built around the springs such as Baden Village) and skiiing.
Laixi is about a 90 minute drive from Qingdao and is home to the production base for UHT milk and ice cream made by Nestle in Niuxibu village. China Daily says Laixi itself has a population of over 7 million, though that most like includes a lot of the countryside around the city. It might be an interesting place to take a trip as the people are said to be friendlier in Laixi than in Qingdao. Small town – big town dichotomy perhaps.
Pingdu is famous for agricultural output including fruits such as grapes from Da Ze Shan, as well as crafts such as straw products like bags and decorative items made in the Shandong countryside. Pingdu has been called the China Straw Town. The city was also the site of an important battle between the Communists and Nationalists in the Chinese civil war following the close of WW2. Pingdu is about an hour north on the highway from Jimo.
Map of Qingdao and outlying areas on Google Maps