Go to Qingdao, China
Qingdao, located in the southeast part of Shandong Province, is a beautiful seaside city with clear air and enchanting sea view. This city, bordered by the Yellow Sea on two sides, has the largest bathing beach in Asia and produces the mellow Tsingtao Beer. To the east of the city, a short distance across the Yellow Sea, lie Korea and Japan, making the city an important port for international trade.
For thirty three years, up to 1949, the city was a colony of Germany and Japan. Thus, it has a great deal of European architecture. This foreign architecture -a remnant of the colonial past- now beautifies this seaside city.
The red roofs, green trees, blue sea, and azure sky form a bright and colorful picture here. The city is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the city attracts many visitors with its charming seascape. Sights like the Eight Passes Villas, Wusi Square, the Zhan Bridge, Mt. Laoshan, No.1 Bathing Beach, Badaguan Scenic Area will help you remember the city. Other major attractions like Xinhao (Signal) Hill Park, Catholic Church (St. Emil Church), Golden Sand Beach, Small Qingdao Island, Lu Xun Park, and Underwater World are also worth a visit. Just walking on the sand and listening to the surf breaking on the beach becomes enjoyable.
The food here is with distinctive flavors--especially seafood. So take this chance to enjoy the delicious seafood. Also, the city is the home of the famous Tsingtao Beer. Do not forget to try it when visiting the city. The local government recognizes the importance of the tourism industry and has further plans to develop the local tourism. To enhance the tourism industry, the city now sponsors the International Beer Festival, the International Sea Festival, Beach Culture Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival.
In cooperation with the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, the city held the Sailing Competition in the Olympic Games in 2008. This great event brings a great opportunity for this charming city to build its bright future.
Let’s have a look at the top attractions in Qingdao.
Shilaoren Beach is one of Qingdao’s largest beaches. It was named after a prominent rock shaped like an old man extending into the sea, measuring 17 meters in height. It is said to resemble an old fisherman waiting for his daughter to return from beneath the waves. Lying on the beach, enjoying the sunshine, having a few beers, swimming in the sea, driving a speed boat or taking a walk along the beach are all at your disposal. This is an ideal place to spend an afternoon or warm summer evening.
Qingdao Protestant Church and St. Emil Church
The Qingdao Protestant Church, built in 1910, is situated on a small hill, east of Xinhaoshan Park. Although recently renovated, this church still retains most of its original style and charm. Covering 1,000 square meters, it is a typical German castle structure composed of an 18-meter-high main hall and a 39.10-meter- tall bell tower. Visitors can have a birds-eye view of city’s sea scenery from the top of the tower.
St. Emil Church, also known as the Qingdao Catholic Church, is the largest Gothic-style building in the city. It was designed by a German architect, based on the characteristics of Gothic and Roman architecture. The church is composed of an 18-meter-high nave which can hold nearly 1,000 people, and two 56-meter-high towering clock towers with elegant red spires topped by two gigantic Latin crosses. Built between 1932 and 1934, the church is considered an outstanding masterpiece of 20th century Christian architecture.
May 4th Square
As a symbol of Qingdao, the May 4th Square got its name in memory of China’s historical May 4th Movement. Located between the municipal government building and Fushan Bay, it covers an area of 10 hectares. The most remarkable structure, located in the center of the square, is the spiral sculpture entitled “Wind of May.” All sorts of fountains are scattered across the square, providing it with some magnificent decoration. The nighttime views here are excellent. With the moist air and soft sea breeze, it is a wonderful place to go for a walk after dinner.
Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center
The Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center, or the Qingdao International Sailing Center, is a sailing marina located on the former site of the Beihai Shipyard by Qingdao's Fushan Bay in Shandong Province. The center was constructed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and has hosted multiple Olympic and Paralympic Sailing competitions. Wind conditions here vary greatly, from very light winds to +15knots. At night, a laser light show from the main breakwater lighthouse is on display from early evening to midnight.
Qingdao Polar Ocean World
Qingdao Polar Ocean World is a compound park where you can go see some precious animal species at the Polar Ocean Animals Museum, learn about oceanic life at the Ocean Technology Museum, take a stroll around the souvenir shops, have a drink or a meal along the Bars and Catering Street and stay there over-night to take in some extra views the next day. The Polar Ocean World looks like a sail stretching up to a height of 31 meters. It has a large ocean theater which can accommodate 2,800 spectators. Whales, dolphins, sea lions and walruses give their best performances there every day. A lot of animals are participating in their so-called animal "Olympic Games."
In addition to the May 4th Square, Zhanqiao Pier is yet another historic symbol of Qingdao. It was built in 1893 and used as a port when Qingdao was still a small village. Since it is very close to the Qingdao railway station, it is the most visited spot in Qingdao. It is 400 meters long with a pavilion called the Huilange Pavilion at its tail-end. The Huilange Pavilion sometimes hosts exhibitions, but most of time it simply sells various kinds of sea products and ornaments. There’s a beach called “the sixth bathing beach” just underneath Zhanqiao Pier where you can enjoy the sunshine and go for a swim.