Qingdao and Qingfu: culturally fascinating cities in China

Qingdao

Qingdao is a modern industrial city, port and forest of skyscrapers in the Eastern Developing Zone. Qingdao ranks among the most interesting millionaire cities on China’s coast, not least because of its distinctive style, which surprisingly carries old German traits, or at least German flavor.

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History

For a long time, the German Empire was looking for a stronghold on the Chinese coast. In 1897, the murder of two German missionaries in Shandong Province finally created a suitable pretext to seize the coveted Jiazhouwan Bay and force China to lease it to Germany for 99 years. With the founding of the city of Qingdao at the eastern exit of the bay in 1898, a rapidly growing model German settlement emerged, arguably the most modern city in the Far East at the time. The German word for Qingdao at the time was “Tsingtau”. But the “99 years” had already expired in 1914, when the city was occupied by the Japanese. Contrary to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, which reserved the city for Japan, a great patriotic movement rose in 1919 on May 4. In 1922, the entire region was returned to China. To this day, however, the city has retained the character of the Wilhelmine Empire, as reflected in the local architectural style. Note, for example, the many imitation half-timbered houses and mansard roofs.

Old Town

Quay pier.

The main feature of interest to all visitors juts out 440 m into the sea from the Old City promenade: the Qingdao Pier. At its end is a Chinese-style pavilion. The first pier was built in 1891 and reached its present size in 1931.

Sun Yat-sen Street

The main shopping street of the Old City until 1914 was called Friedrichstrasse (so called one of the main streets in Berlin) . Several old buildings can still be found here, including the Sailor’s House (1902) on the corner of Hubei Lu.

Station

If you take a detour west, you’ll end up at the train station. Although rebuilt in the 1990s, it still has the facade and tower of a German train station built in 1900-1901.

St. Michael’s Cathedral

If you walk north along Sun Yat-sen Street, you will soon see a neo-Romantic Catholic church with two 54-meter tall towers on your right. The architect was a German; he designed the cathedral to be built between 1931 and 1934.

Church of Christ

To the southeast of St. Michael’s Cathedral stands the Protestant Church of Christ, built in 1908-1910 in the typically German “Jugendstyle” (Art Nouveau style) . On the face of the tower clock it says “Bockenem am Harz”.

Embankment

The former Kaiser Wilhelm Quay extends from the quay pier eastward. Many old buildings remain, including a hotel and the former German Asian Bank building (corner of Qingdao Lu) . A block further east stands the newly restored Tianhou Temple.

Governor’s Residence

The most remarkable of the German buildings is located on the slope of the signal hill. It was erected in 1905-1907 in a nostalgic rustic style with some Jugendstyle elements. Architecturally, the building is segmented by bay windows, fireplaces, gables, loggias, and ornaments that look interesting from any perspective. But most beautiful is the interior decoration, which has been preserved almost entirely and in good condition. After the founding of the PRC in 1949, the residence was used as a state hotel. Mao Zedong, in particular, used to stay here. Longshan Lu 26. Opening hours: Daily. 8.30-17.00.

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Qingdao Beaches

From the Old Town to the east, you can access the beaches, which are separated from each other by strips of land protruding into the sea. The best beach is Beach No. 2. Here, the green cottage community of Badaguan stretches inland. From beach 3 you can also see the forest of skyscrapers in the new construction area – and the number of Chinese tourists taking a dip after dark is truly impressive.

Laoshan

The main target of out-of-town excursions of Qingdao residents grows up 40 km east of the city almost directly out of the sea. This region is known throughout the country for its mineral water (Laoshanshui); the Qingdao Brewery, founded by the Germans in 1903, also gets its water from here. On Laoshan Mountain there are Taoist monasteries for about 1000 years. They are another reason to come here.

Taqinggung Monastery.

A palace of supreme purity stands at the southeastern foot of Laoshan, with a beautiful view of the sea from here. The monastery was founded in the Song era, the present complex was built in the Wanli era (1573-1620) . The walls of the Hall of the Three Emperors (Sanhuaidian) bear inscriptions of Khubilai Khan and Genghis Khan.

Shangqinggung Monastery

The palace of great purity is located higher up the slope and is therefore also called the Upper Monastery. Having originated in the Yuan period between 1297 and 1307, it was expanded many times thereafter. In front of the monastery stands several centuries-old gingko trees. To the south of the temple, a waterfall falls from a height of 20 meters.

The summit area, hiking.

From the monasteries you can take a cable car up to the summit. It lies at an altitude of 1133 m, and there are many hiking paths leading to it. Those who want to stay here for a short time usually go up to the southern flank where they can look out to sea. However, worthwhile targets for other hikes are mostly to the north, including several caves, steep cliffs, and other monasteries. From Qingdao, there are bus #304 and private minibuses.

Arrival

To the north of the city is the international airport, which has flights to all major cities in China as well as Korea and Japan. Roads from Jinan (via Beijing) and Yantai terminate at the main station located in the center. There are also ferries to South Korea.

Qingdao is among the best places for lovers of fish and seafood, especially when served with Shandong-made white wine. All these delicacies, combined with views of the sea and outdoor seating, and low prices are offered by private cafes on a dead-end street leading along the edge of Lu Xin Park from Laiyang Lu to Xiaoqingdao Island. An alternative with air conditioning is the restaurants on Laiyang Lu itself. How much money you will spend depends, of course, on the food you choose and the seasonal prices.

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Qingdao

Qingdao is a major metropolis with European roots and resort town charm.

English name: Qingdao or Tsingtao , Chinese name: 青岛 (Qīng dǎo), historical name: 胶澳 jiāo ào. From Chinese, the name translates to “Green Island” and is named after the evergreen plants that grow here, which make the city look green all year round. Population Qingdao: 10 071 722, with an urban population of 635 250 000 (based on 2021 Municipal Bureau of Statistics data) Zip code: 266000 Airport: Qingdao Liuting International Airport Main events: Sailing Regatta – The 5th Sailing Regatta will be held from August to September 2022. (Exact dates to be confirmed) Beer Festival – which is celebrated annually, and in 2022 will be held from July 15 to August 7 at Gold sand Beach and the new west coast area.

Qingdao – A large seaside city of sub-provincial importance in eastern Shandong Province.

Qingdao City

It is a city that attracts tourists by its location on the Yellow Sea coast and its architecture – unique Germanic colonial period architecture is preserved here. In terms of gastronomy the city is also not behind – Qingdao is famous for its beer brewed by German technology and is the number one beer brand in China. Local cuisine is represented by an abundance of seafood dishes. This city is the seventh in the list of the most comfortable cities to live in China, and is considered a key city on the territory of China, in terms of tourism, industry, economy and military.

It is worth noting that before 1891 this city was a small village. From 1897 to 1914 the city was a German colony, and from 1914 to 1922, after the war Qingdao was under Japanese jurisdiction. After this, the city was intermittently occupied by both Chinese and Japanese and American troops, and only in 1949 came under the full leadership of the CPC. Since the 1980s there has been a policy aimed at attracting foreign investment in China, which has helped the region’s rapid development.

View of Qingdao at night

Today Qingdao is a thriving city that combines modern Chinese culture and the architecture of European countries in an amazing way, in addition, there are both industrial enterprises and the resort area. The local authorities are careful to keep the environment clean and safe.

Qingdao Weather

Qingdao has a moderate monsoon climate. Winters in this city are quite warm and dry, with temperatures rarely falling below 1 degree below freezing in January. However, due to the strong winds that characterize coastal cities, winter is not the most comfortable time of year here.

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Spring in Qingdao is sunny with a favorable climate, but some days can be windy and chilly, so tourists are better off bringing pants and a jacket for a relaxing walk around the city. The average temperature in May is +16 degrees. Bathing season usually begins in mid-May.

But in summer it is hot, sometimes stuffy weather, with frequent rains (this is the time of year when there is the highest level of precipitation). The average temperature in August is +25 degrees. Hot days without wind or rain in this city are a rarity. The highest tourist season begins in late March and ends only in November. If you want to catch the best days, go on a trip in the last days of August – during this time the temperature is comfortable and the rain is not so frequent. If you decide to visit Qingdao in early autumn, be sure to bring some warm clothing, as evenings can get chilly.

Qingdao is dominated by cloudy weather in autumn and spring

Autumn in October, the days in town are warm and can be quite chilly at times. In such weather, it’s best to wear pants and a windbreaker. The average temperature in September is +21 degrees.

How to get to Qingdao

All international flights land at Liuting Airport, located 24 kilometers from the city. Direct flights from Moscow will take about 8 hours and 20 minutes with Hainan airlines. The ticket price for this direction starts from 15 thousand rubles, the exact prices depend on the season, time of buying a ticket and your luck. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take an Aeroexpress bus to the central part of the city, or take a cab. An Aeroexpress train costs 20 RMB and a cab to the city center costs about 100 RMB.

Qingdao Beaches

Qingdao Beaches

Qingdao is a city famous for its local beer and its many beaches. The total coastline of this locality is more than 730 km.

Beach #1

The beach offers equipment rentals, entertainment services, the length of the beach is 800 meters, and there are a lot of people in tourist season. The beach is surrounded by restaurants and hotels and walking distance to Zhongshan Park. Name in Chinese: 青 第一海水浴场

Beach #2.

Qingdao City’s second beach, tucked away in the historic place of Badaguang and occupies a small cove along the coastline. This picturesque area was popular with political figures such as Chairman Mao Tse Tung and other top Chinese officials.

Beach No. 3

This beach is 400 meters long and is located in the eastern area of Taiping Cape. Visitors can use the restrooms, take showers, and buy refreshments and snacks at the kiosks. There are stores selling bathing suits, souvenirs, and swimming gear on site. Parallel to the beach is a street with many cafes and restaurants, which offer a beautiful view of the ocean.

Beach #6

Qingdao Beach

This beach is located within the city limits, next to the train station. Zhanqiao Pier is located in the eastern zone of a small sandy strait. Not far from the beach there is also the luxurious Tianfei Palace, which will be of interest to tourists.

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Shi Lao Zheng Beach

The name of this beach translates as “stone old man”. It is the most famous beach for tourists with a quaintly shaped rock that resembles an old fisherman waiting for his daughter to return from the abyss of waves. The place for bathing has enough sun loungers and umbrellas, small tents, rentals of ATVs and jet skis, there are also shower cabins. This is the best option for a comfortable pastime. Name in Chinese: 石老人 / Shilaoren.

Golden Sand Beach on Huangdao Island

The bathing place with golden sand, located on Huandao Island, has a playground designed for volleyball or soccer – great for those who prefer an active holiday. There are tents and sun loungers available for rent by the hour. There are also several dozens of stalls that sell various recreation items, drinks and souvenirs. The best way to the beach is to take a ferry. By the way, not far from this place is a wild beach for lovers of solitude, called Silver Beach. The name in Chinese is 青岛市黄岛区金沙滩路.

Qingdao sights

Zhangqiao Bridge.

Qingdao Zhangqiao Bridge

This is the most famous attraction that every traveler should visit. The length of the bridge is 440m. It was built by professionals from Germany and is now a kind of symbol of the city. On the pier there is an octagonal pagoda in the traditional style, from which tourists can admire the picturesque sea expanses. Not far from this place is the beautiful Zhangqiao Park, where you can stroll through alleys of cypress trees. The address in Chinese for the cab driver is 青岛栈桥

Qingdao TV Tower

Qingdao TV Tower

The height of this landmark is 232 meters. You can order a tour to the outdoor observation deck (tourists climb it on a high-speed elevator). In the TV Tower itself you can buy souvenirs, visit the cafeteria and look at photos of the Olympic Games that took place in 2008. The address in Chinese is 青岛电视塔.

Qingdao Brewery

Qingdao Beer Factory

This brewery brews the best local beers. The building is available for travelers to visit, here you can sign up for an exhibition that tells the history of brewing in this brewery, in addition, you can learn about the technology of brewing the foam drink. During the tour tourists are invited to taste several varieties of beer, some tours provide receipt of a free mug for the drink as a souvenir. By the way, in August Qingdao hosts the International Beer Festival – an analogue of Octoberfest, which is attended by both Chinese and foreign beer producers. The address in Chinese is 青岛啤酒厂 登州路 56-1 号.

Naval Museum.

Qingdao Naval Museum

This institution began its work in 1989, here you will learn about the history of the development of the Chinese Navy of the PRC. Tourists visit the exhibition hall, get acquainted with the military weapons of different times, and can also visit military vessels. In the exhibition hall you will be shown military and navy uniforms, various medals, documentation and gifts that were presented to the country by representatives of the armed forces from other countries. Near the building are guns and ammunition.

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Among the armaments can be seen weapons of the Navy, aircraft and naval aviation, missiles and artillery, radar units, weapons for underwater use, tanks and armored vehicles. The above-water part of the museum includes a destroyer, a frigate, landing boats and a submarine – a visit to which requires a separate ticket. The address in Chinese for the cab driver is 海军博物馆.

St. Michael’s Catholic Cathedral

Qingdao Catholic Church

After German rule, the Catholic cathedral remained in the city. This magnificent building is striking for its colossal size and architecture in an unusual neo-Gothic style. The cathedral was built in 1934 and is now open to the public six days a week, with services on Sundays. Inside the cathedral can accommodate about 1,000 visitors. Address and name in Chinese: 浙江路天主教堂

Oceanarium

Qingdao Oceanarium underwater world

“The Underwater World is the oldest oceanarium in China and can be visited every day. It resembles an underwater tunnel with a moving platform inside. The room has four sections where you can see ocean dwellers, fresh river water dwellers, underwater fauna, and you can also visit the theater with trained animals. The name in Chinese is 青岛海底世界.

Laoshan Mountains.

Qingdao Laoshan Mountain

These are the mountains that are popular among lovers of the movable holiday. It is home to a Taoist monastery, holy sites revered by Buddhists, and the estate of the Three Emperors. Here you will discover the amazing beauty of unspoiled nature, walk through lush forests that transition into mountain slopes, and see the magnificent waterfall. The mountains are about 25 kilometers from the city center, and can be reached by cab for 60-80 yuan. The name in Chinese is 崂山风景区.

May Fourth Square.

Qingdao May 4 Central Square

This is a weighty landmark of the city, which is located between the large shopping center and the new government house. There are two parts of the square, Guangchang and Shizhenting. The place got its name because of the protesters who call themselves the May 4 Movement. The main iconic detail of the square is a monument called “May Wind”, which is a spiral in a futuristic style. It is here that you can attend major events in the city. The address and name in Chinese is 五四广场.

Old City.

Qingdao old city

Qingdao has a German colonial history unique to a Chinese city. After German rule, the city inherited European infrastructure and architecture. The old town has completely preserved the spirit of those times: narrow stone-paved streets, Catholic cathedrals, mansions and administration buildings, hotels, observatory and much more. You can start your acquaintance with the old city from Zhejiang Road 浙江路.

Jiaozhou Bridge

Qingdao Longest Bridge

The world’s longest bridge over waterways – Connects Qingdao City and Huangdao Island. Name in Chinese: 青岛胶州湾大桥

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