Qingdao Travel Information
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Introduction || History || Best Time to Visit || Attractions || Cuisine || Qingdao and Olympics || Transportation || Map of Qingdao



Qingdao Qingdao Qingdao
Qingdao Qingdao

Qingdao best known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city in eastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula while looking out to the Yellow Sea, Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. The character 青 (qīng) in Chinese means "green" or "lush", while the character 岛 (dǎo) means "island". Qingdao is administratively at the sub-provincial level. It was recently named China's 9th-most livable city by the China Daily.

Perhaps better known as "Tsingtao," thanks to the use of the old spelling that appears on millions of bottles of China's most famous beer, this city on the Yellow Sea is a fabulous destination for its clean ocean air, beaches, mountainous landscape and German colonial-era architecture, not to mention the aforementioned brew and the Shandong seafood dishes that go so well with it.

The city also has its inevitable fast-paced modern side, and since it was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics sailing events, it is enjoying an across-the-board upgrading of facilities in anticipation of waves of new visitors. Qingdao isn't new to the tourist game, however, as it's long been favored as a summer-time escape from Beijing's hot and dusty dog days.

Qingdao's deep water harbor and proximity to Korea and Japan have long made it a strategic port (hence the interest of the Germans), and immigrants and visitors have given the city an additional international twist: Why not try a little kimchi on your bratwurst instead of saurkraut? It all goes down well with a cool Tsingtao beer, brewed with spring water from the holy Taoist mountain Lao Shan, which makes for a beautiful day of hiking and taking the spectacular views.

Qingdao is a city steeped in China's 20th century history. Qingdao was taken as part of the an Imperial German concession of Jiaozhou Bay. Despite ongoing discussions with Chinese authorities about giving the Germans territory, on the 7th of November 1897, they landed troops. Their pretext was the murder of two missionaries on the 1st of November of that year.

The concession treaty was signed on March 6, 1889, for a 99 year lease. However, Japan occupied it on August 27, 1914, as part of the First World War. The Germans acquired it as a relatively unimportant town of about 1000 inhabitants. Yet by 1902, it had grown to 668 Caucasians and 15000 Chinese. As of the most recent data available, the city has a population of 2.6 million.

During the colonial period, the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao's architecture that can still be seen today in its historic center and train station: although the latter has been mostly torn down for redevelopment, part of the original station has been preserved to be incorporated in the new design. Many German-period buildings have been preserved as heritage monuments. It is a kind of 'Bavaria-on-the-East-China-Sea', where they even sell Bratwurst on the street. In 1903, the world-famous Tsingtao brewery was established by homesick Germans.

The Japanese took the city since, during the First World War, they were allied with the British. After the war, the Japanese wanted the Allies give them the right to continue holding on to the city, but protests by students during the May 4th Movement of 1919, eventually forced them to return the city to Chinese soverignity. During the Second World War, the Japanese retook Qingdao as they captured most of the rest of northern China.

In 2008, Qingdao hosted the sailing events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. Qingdao's climate ranges from very hot and humid in the summer to snowstorms in winter. Qingdao is an ideal destination if you want to combine sea-side fun with your trip to China.

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As the birthplace of Taoism, Qingdao has a long history. Human settlement on this soil dates back 6,000 years. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 BC), the town of Jimo was established, which was then the second largest in the Shandong region. After unifying China in 221 BC, Ying Zheng, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, thrice climbed to the top of Mt. Langyatai in the present city of Jiaonan. Dispatched by Ying Zheng, Xu Fu, an official of the Qing Dynasty, began his voyage with his fleet at the foot of Mt. Langyatai and sailed eastbound to Korea and Japan. Liu Che, an emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD220) held sacrificial rites at the Jiaomen Palace in Mt. Buqi, which is in today’s Chengyang District of Qingdao. He also ordered 9 temples to be constructed in Mt. Nugu along the Jiaozhou Bay, to worship God and his ancestors. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, Qingdao had grown into a prosperous town known then as Jiao’ao.

The establishment of Qingdao began on June 14, 1891, when the Qing government sent in troops. In November 1897, Germany occupied Qingdao by force on the pretext of the Juye Litigation over religious disputes. When the First World War broke out in 1914, Japanese invaders took over Qingdao and continued the colonial rule. In protest against the then Chinese government yielding to Japanese pressure, the famous May 4th Movement was launched in 1919 and protestors demanded the resumption of sovereignty over Qingdao.

On December 10, 1922, the Northern Lords government regained control of Qingdao and established a government office for port commercial affairs. In July 1929, Qingdao was granted the status of special city and in 1930 was listed in the rank of cities. In January 1938, the Japanese invaded Qingdao again, but their occupation came to an end in September 1945 when the KMT government regained control of the city. On June 2, 1949, Qingdao was liberated, and in 1986 was designated to exercise special state plans and enjoyed vice-provincial-level economic management rights. In 1994, Qingdao was included in the country’s 15-vice-provincial-level-city list.

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Best Time to Visit


Neighboring the Yellow Sea (Huang Hai), Qingdao city has a temperate monsoon climate with distinct marine features.

All four seasons in Qingdao are mild without extreme cold or hot temperatures. Generally the golden travel period is from the end of March to early November. The last ten days of August are the best times for seaside traveling due to the mild seawater temperature. Qingdao air is temperate and humid with abundant rainfall, and the temperature differences during a day are slight. The hottest season is in August with the average temperature of 25.1 oC (77.2 oF) and the coldest in January with the average temperature of 0.9 oC below zero (30.4 oF). Autumn and winter in Qingdao are windy; in winter the temperature drops below zero centigrade, although the sea does not freeze. Winter swimming challenges the courageous.

Detailed information about the Average, Maximun and Minimum Temperatures and the rainfall in Qingdao.

Average Data Jan Feb Mar Apr May June
Rain (in) 0.4/0.5 0.4/0.5 0.8/0.9 1.3/1.4 1.8/1.9 3.1/3.2
Rain (mm) 10/15 10/15 20/25 30/35 45/50 80/85

Average Data July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rain (in) 6.3/6.4 5.9/6.0 3.3/3.4 1.6/1.7 1.0/1.1 0.5/0.6
Rain (mm) 160/165 150/155 80/85 40/45 25/30 10/15

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Qingdao is rich in seafood, including fish, prawns,shellfish and sea weed as well as local foods from other areas. Yunxiaolu is a major restaurant area. Qingdao explodes with regional and international deliciousness. By virtue of its seafront location, seafood rightfully dominates the menus, ranging in cooking styles from spicy Sichuan to sweet and heavy Shanghai. There are also plenty of foreign fare options including Italian, German, Japanese and Korean. Prices are flexible enough to accommodate all budgets.

Shandong Cuisine is known for its excellent seafood dishes and delicious soup and presents its food (usually deep-fried, braised, roasted or stewed) with a strong emphasis on soy sauce, shallots, and garlic. Qingdao, regarded as the "cradle of Shandong cuisine", puts a spin upon the usual Shandong dishes with its concentration on seafood (sea cucumber, scallop, conch, prawn, and red porgy). Well-known dishes include "sea cucumbers stewed with shallots", "stewed salted fish" and "celery with creamy soup". Made in simple style, these dishes are available in most restaurants.

Unique seafood recipes are naturally the best-known Qingdao culinary creations, and vegetarian restaurants offer fresh local agricultural produce, except in mid-winter. Your best choice is to head down to any of the many little seafood restaurants on the shore or around Laiyang Lu to enjoy Qingdao cuisine. For a better (and more pricey) atmosphere, the hotels are a good way to taste seafood with less of the language barrier problems. The Qingdao Seafood Restaurant, on Qingyu Road, is also a more expensive, but better quality, seafood provider.

Qingdao also has a fairly large Muslim population and a couple of Muslim places are scattered about, among which most noticeably are the Donglaishun restaurant (Donglaishun fandian) and the Qinghai Muslim Restaurant (Qinghai musilin fanzhuang, on Dexuan lu), as well as numerous meatstick (Chuanrou) sellers.

Authentic Cantonese dishes can be experienced at the Peacock Restaurant. The menu is ever changing but usually contains such noted Cantonese dishes as shark’s fin and Bird’s Nest. The Shangri-La Hotel’s Shang Palace also delights diners with five star service in a five star setting. Or try the Gloria Inn’s or Jiangnan Gourmet Court. Its regal interior of deep red tablecloths lends the room a stately setting that is not reflected in the price. Eel, crabs and mandarin fish are some of its more popular menu items.

The White Spray Seafood Restaurant offers everything from Sichuan seafood to Beijing duck. Its seaside views and close proximity to the Badaguan Scenic Area makes it very popular with tourists. Or for truly exceptional views ride an elevator to the Rolling Restaurant TV Tower. It sky scrapes at 230 meters inside Qingdao’s Sightseeing Tower. The varying menu offers everything from shrimp and scallops to mutton and beef.

Murano’s, inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel towers as Qingdao’s first and only authentic Italian restaurants. Pizza and pasta rule the menu. The Dongfang Hotel’s Forum Restaurant goes one "western" step further by not only serving Italian fare but also Texas-smiling prime cuts of beef. For pizza and barbecue ribs in a lively setting wander out to the Surf Plaza’s New Orleans’s Music Restaurant. Besides dining, it also offers live music and dancing.

The appropriately named Korean Restaurant offers an impressive menu full of impressive Korean dishes ranging from hot pots and cold noodles to kimchi and fish cakes. And the Shimbashi Restaurant wows the taste buds with impossibly delectable Japanese dishes highlighted by blowfish, the kitchen’s specialty.

McDonalds and KFC are both now resident in Qingdao, almost next door to each other near the train station.

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Qingdao and Olympics


Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center

Qingdao people have a strong liking for sports. As an athletic and soccer town, it won 263 gold medals, 227 silver medals, and 179 bronze medals in 2005. Two national records, 10 provincial records and 7 city records were broken last year.

As the host for the 29th Olympic sailing events, Qingdao has begun making overall plans in order to improve the ecological environment, highlight “Green Olympics”, “High-tech Olympics” and “Humanistic Olympics”, and build the city into a green Olympic metropolis with the best sailing facilities in Asia.

By June 2003, plans for an Olympic water sports center will be finalized, the relocation of the present Beihai Shipyard and construction preparations completed, and some infrastructure construction started. By June 2006, the Olympic water sports center and related supporting facilities will be basically completed, and the urban infrastructure facilities will commence construction. By June 2008, all the Olympic-related construction will be completed meeting the Olympic sailing requirements, and pre-Olympic sailing games will be held. During July - December 2008, the Olympic sailing events and those for the handicapped will be held.

Water Sports Center

The 2008 Olympic sailing events will be held in Fushan Bay near the city’s political, cultural and commercial center. The land facilities will cover approximately 45 hectares and will include a national sailing athlete training center, an Olympic village, an athlete center, a boat park, a news center, an international passenger liner wharf, an international conference center, a five-star international tourist hotel, an international yachting club, a seaside marina, parks and squares. The comprehensive sports center will integrate tourism, sports and entertainment.

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As an important harbor and industrial base in Shandong Province, Qingdao is well connected to other cities in China and destinations around the world.

Outer transportation:

By Air: From almost all the major cities in China, Qingdao is easily accessible by air. The city is also connected with some international destinations, mostly in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Hongkong and Macau. The Liuting Airport is located 32km north of the city proper and there are minibuses available from the airport, transferring visitors to the city within 30 minutes. Most large hotels have airline ticket offices, as well as transport to and from the airport.

Clue: There are only minibuses go to the city center from the airport, you should get on the bus as soon as possible to get a seat. On the other hand, if you decide to take a taxi, you'd better choose the taxi with a silver roof, because the taxi with a yellow roof is not allowed to enter the city center.

By Train: The railway station is at the Tai'an road near Zhanqiao. Everyday, trains go to more than 15 major cities of China including Beijing, Shanghai, Ji'nan, Taishan, Hezhe, Weihai, Wuchang, Nanchang, Xuzhou, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Taiyuan, Dandong, Tonghua.

By Bus: There are 7 expressways linking Qingdao and many major cities. They are Jiqing, Jiaozhouwan, Xiliu, Shuangliu, Weilai, Xilai and Qingyin. Minibuses go to Weihai(4hours RMB40), Yantai(3hours RMB30), and Yiweike(4hours RMB40) from the Qingdao railway station square. To Ji'nan, you can take a bus in the bus station of Qingdao(4.5hours RMB79). Qingdao bus station, Address: Wenzhou road. West bus station, Address: Guantao road. East bus station, Address: Ha'erbing road

By Ship: There are 2 international ship line in Qingdao. Ships go to Korea on every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and every Tuesday and Friday they will go to Japan. The transportation station is at the Xinjiang road

Inner transportation:

By Bus:Because of the special topography of Qingdao, you can not see any bicycle or motorbike in Qingdao City. Buses are most convenient Transport tool, RMB1 or RMB2 for the ticket price. The NO.26 NO.201 and NO.202 bus start from the railway station going along the seashore passing Zhanqiao Badaguan scenic spots. To visit Qingdao, the most convenient and comfortable way is to take the air-condition bus.

During the whole visiting process the professional guides will give you a detailed introduction of Qingdao. To Laoshan ( Taiqing sceneic area), you can first take the NO.304 bus to the railway station and then hop on a bus to Laoshan. Of course you can register the one-day trip of Laoshan, all hotels have this service. If you want to travel Beijiushui and Yankou scenic area, you can take the travel buses at 7:00-10:00 AM every morning at the Huaneng square.

By Taxi: The starting price is RMB7 for 4km and RMB1.2/km, from 22:00 -5:00 RMB1.5/km.

Clue: There are a lot of one-way roads in Qingdao. Usually we can see a four-land road in the left side of a road and only buses run in the righ side. This is in order to raise the bus running speed and to lessen the transportation pressure.If you know something about that, the unhappy things will less to happen.

By Ferry-boat: The ferry-boat line between Qingdao and Huangdao increasing the connection of the both banks of Jiaozhouwan. The whole journey only takes 20minutes or half an hour. No boats in misty day. Common boat: 6:30-21:00 RMB6, one boat for every half an hour. High-speed boat: 7:00-18:00 RMB8, one boat for every 20 minutes. Qingdao to Xuejia island (Anzi wharf). High-speed boat: 7:00-18:10, one boat for every half an hour.

Pleasure ship:

The travel wharf of Laiyang Road is located in the north of naval museum. Here the boats run through Little Qingdao Luxun Park and Taiping angle. The travel wharf of Zhongyuan is situated in the Xiling Road. You can take a boat not only to visit the whole littoral scenery of Qingdao but also two islands of Huanghai-- Zhucha Island and Dagong Island.

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Map of Qingdao


Qingdao Map

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