Qingdao travel guide
The favourite coastal city of Shandong, Qingdao has a unique flavour to it than that of other cities. A fresh of crisp, clean sea air, Qingdao has often been called the Switzerland of China due to its distinct German feel. Indeed, the mix of old colonial buildings together with modern Chinese architecture makes Qingdao’s atmosphere very unique.
A city guide to Qingdao is essential if you want to find your way around this magnificent coastal city. Wandering around foot is perhaps the best way to experience it all, and the cobbled streets makes for a charming stroll as you visit each of the many cultural attractions here.
The former German governor’s residence, Qingdao Ying Binguan, is the number one attraction in the city. The German residence was first constructed in 1903 and cost a staggering 2,450,000 taels of silver. It is said that Kaiser Wilhelm II sacked the governor on receipt of the bill. Later, Chairman Mao and his family stayed at the residence in 1957 whilst on holiday.
Tianhou Temple is a must-see for those who enjoy the beauty of Chinese temples. Although the temple may be small, it has a beauty and ambience that is much larger than life. Dedicated to the goddess Tianhou, the goddess of the sea and of sailors she is also known as Niangniang or Mazu. When you visit the principal hall, two fearsome statues of guardians protect the entrance as you gaze up upon a magnificent statue of the goddess. If you enter the Dragon Hall then you can pray at the shrine of the God of Wealth.
Huashi Lou is another fascinating place to go. The local Chinese population has nicknamed it the Chiang Kaishek Building due to the fact that the generalissimo dwelled here on the sly in 1947; however, it was initially the abode of a Russian noble and then became a popular haven for hunting and fishing.
Qingdao is an amazing coastal city and as such one of the popular things to do is pay a visit to one of the beaches. Qingdao has several beaches on offer but the swimming season is between June and September. The best beach to visit is in the east of town, known as Shiaoren. 2.5km of soft, clean sandy beach await you here and if you want to experience it all by yourself you better get here early. Other popular beaches include No 6 Bathing Beach, No 1 Bathing Beach, No 2 Bathing beach and Huang Dao, which is actually situated on Yellow Island, a 30 minute boat ride away.
There are plenty of restaurants in Qingdao, and you will find many situated on the waterfront. Restaurants cater to all types of cuisine, from local Shandong and regional Chinese meals, to international fare.
Hotels in Qingdao are much more reasonable than other cities in China such as Beijing or Shanghai. There is a good mixture of budget, mid-range and luxury hotels, ensuring that whatever need or comfort you are looking for, Qingdao has it.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful and cleanest cities in China, Qingdao certainly lives up to its reputation. Its crisp clean sea air, historical monuments and friendly atmosphere guarantees that once you visit here, you won’t want to leave.