Qingdao is a beautiful seaside city on the southern coast of the Shandong Province. Qingdao is 10,700 square kilometer in area and has a population of 6.8 million. It is a modern port, but parts of the city are exceptionally picturesque, surrounded by the Yellow Sea in 3 directions and mountains to the east.
Historically, Qingdao was once a sleepy fishing town but the 19th century brought dramatic changes; a naval station and garrisons were built by the rulers of the Qing dynasty and in 1897 Germany annexed Qingdao and the surrounding Jiazhou peninsula for a period of 17 years.
The most lasting evidence of German control is the 19th century German architecture that brings the feeling of a traditional Bavarian village to Qingdao and of course the famous Tsingtao Beer, created by German expatriates in 1903 and still brewed in Qingdao today.
Qingdao also has 6 beaches and this combination of a seaside location, attractive architecture, good weather and the great Tsingtao beer, make it a popular resort.
Qingdao is famous for its 6 beautiful beaches that line the coast of the city.
The largest beaches found on the southern coast are known as the No.1 Beach, No.2 Beach, No.3 Beach and No.6 Beach. Some of the beaches can be very crowded and over developed, however the No.2 Beach (dier haishui yuchang) remains peaceful and scenic. The white sand and clear blue waters are edged by lush hills. The hills are where the Badaguan Scenic Area is located and there are also more than 200 colonial style villas. At the end of the beach is the Huashi Villa which was once the mansion of a Russian aristocrat but is now open to the public. The tower in this magnificent structure offers great views of the sands and seas.
Lying 30 kilometer southeast of Qingdao and joining the Yellow Sea, Mt. Laoshan is worthy of a day excursion. The mountain is home to a famous Taoist Quanzhen Sect sanctuary in China. Taoist temples and beautiful scenery make it a nice getaway.
The most famous beer in China Tsingtao Beer is brewed in Qingdao using spring water from Laoshan.
Unlike Qingdao City, the Small Qingdao Island is a very small island, which together with Zhan Bridge, are the symbols of Qingdao City. It is located inside the Jiaozhou Gulf.
As its shape is like an old qin, a kind of music instrument, so it also has the name of "Qin Island". When Germans and Japanese occupied the area including this small island, it got 2 different names. The local residents called it "The Small Qingdao Island".
The Small Qingdao Island is very close to Zhan Bridge. From Zhan Bridge, you can tell that this is an isolated island, 720 meter from the coast. Standing on the Huilan Pavilion on the Zhan Bridge, you can see clearly the beautiful scenery in the Island.
The elevation of this lovely island is only about 17 meter with an area of only 120 square cm. This Island was originally a part of the mainland. Over the years the erosion by the sea gradually isolated the island from the mainland until it reached its present state.
The most noticeable building is a white octagonal light house constructed by German in 1900, standing high among beautiful rock and green trees. It was made of white marble. It has a height of about 15 meter and it was put into use in 1915. Inside of the house, on the top, there is a reflector with a range of 12 sea miles to give directions to all the ships passing here. After liberation, the tower was repaired and restored. When it becomes dark, "Light's reflection drifts around the Qin Island" is one of the 10 best scenes in Qingdao City formed by the light and shadows reflected on the surface of the sea.
Tsingtao Beer Brewery was founded by German expatriates in 1903 and today, the beer is one of the province's most famous exports. It is said that the secret behind this refreshing beer is the mineral water taken from nearby Laoshan. The Qingdao International Beer Festival was first held in 1991, and has since become an annual event, which takes place at the Qingdao Tourist Resort.
Xinhao Hill Park means signal hill because a beacon was once on its peak. A walk to the peak takes a good 20 minutes on steep winding paths but the impressive view of the town makes the hike worthwhile. Also on this hill is the Xinhao Hill Hotel. Built in 1905 the hotel was once the home of the German governor. The colonial buildings that make up the hotel are architecturally very interesting. The hotel no longer accepts overnight guests but is open to the public and visitors will experience the grandeur of a bygone age.
Originally built in 1891 as a naval pier, Zhan Bridge is 440 meter long and 10 meter wide with giant granite supports. Lotus-shaped lamps provide illumination and decoration. At the south end of the bridge is a Chinese style octagon pavilion standing in contrast to European buildings in the background. Qingdao Bay is crescent shaped; like an arrow, the bridge shoots into the broad sea.
No. 6 Beach west of the bridge and Zhan Bridge Park around the bridge invite visitors to enjoy the beauty of Qingdao Bay.
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