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, Qingdao (Qīngdǎo, 青岛) 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 after it was chosen to host the 2008 Olympics sailing events, it enjoyed an across-the-board upgrading of facilities to accommodate 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 sauerkraut? It all goes down well with a nice cool Tsingtao beer, brewed with spring water from the holy Taoist mountain Lao Shan, which makes for a beautiful day of hiking and taking in the spectacular views.
There are few places in the world where you'll find marine shows as tacky as Qingdao Underwater World (Hǎidǐ Shìjiè, 海底世界), and that fact alone is almost worth..
Catch an arctic breeze in Polar Ocean World (Jídì Hǎiyáng Shìjiè, 极地海洋世界), where penguins cavort in the water and white furred bears laze about..
Formerly ground zero for Qingdao's annual International Beer Festival (Guójì Píjiǔjié, 青岛市国际啤酒节), Qingdao International Beer City (Qīngdǎo..
Originally built in 1892 as a wharf, the Zhan Qiao Pier was expanded and repaired twice, once in 1931 and then again in 1985. Made of reinforced concrete and..