Qingdao, a city in Shandong province, China, is famous for its imperial architecture, beautiful coastline and beer exported to 62 countries. A German colony from 1898-1914, Qingdao became a major port city, similar to Hong Kong and Shanghai. Today, it has been ranked as the most livable city in China and offers a refreshing contrast to the more conventional Chinese cities.
Joe, a CRCC intern from England, wrote a blog about his time visiting the city with The Dragon Trip.
It was an incredible experience to visit Qingdao this summer with my fellow interns working in China. On our travels we were met with extreme rainfall, but, having come from Beijing, it made a welcome difference to the pollution. There was also quite a drop in temperature, which for me, as a cold-blooded Brit, was a welcome respite!
Qingdao is architecturally enthralling. Influenced by Germany, which occupied Qingdao for several decades, the city hosts many buildings that have a Northern-European air. The European influence also applies to its food and coffee culture. Although Qindgao is not as well known as Hong Kong or Shanghai, you can still find a good coffee and even a tasty croissant. Many bars are often styled in a similar manner to Germany’s own beer cellars.
The people of Qingdao enjoy 3 pleasures: eating oysters, drinking beer and bathing in the sea. Underlying these activities is a desire for simplicity and satisfaction. My interactions with locals were very pleasant and everyone was very helpful, kind and friendly. I’ve found this to be the case all over China!
Travelling alone would have been more difficult than with a group. It was incredibly convenient to have a private bus that brought us to the separate sights, especially those that were further afield. The city is not fast, chaotic or overwhelming in particular. Our Adventure Leader was a fountain of knowledge who helped us understand everything from the local culture to the Chinese characters within the temple walls.
The two days that we did spend in Qingdao were full of interesting sights. One that stood out to me, and I expect also did for many others in my group, was the brewery. We were able to learn about beer from its beginnings in Mesopotamia when someone accidently left bread in water together and created an “inebriating pulp” which was then drunk and perfected. It was also fascinating to see how a business can grow internationally and become a global success. We were able to view the production line and bottling process. Now whenever I see a beer bottle I feel I have an insight into the process that brings it to the table!
Along with the brewery, we enjoyed visiting temples, playing football and swimming on a very busy beach. We toured inside a beautiful old German imperial house as well as an expansive incense-filled Buddhist temple. We even got to see the pagoda featured on the front of the Qingdao bottle! All the while we were fueled with the local food, coffee and beer. Anyone wishing to sample culture, food and architecture should look no further than the lovely Qingdao!
We are excited to partner with Shandong Tourism Board to provide Shandong Learning Adventure Tours. The tours will begin in September of 2017.
For more information on our Shandong tours, see our press release
Make sure to check out our social feed to see what students are up to on our Shandong Learning Adventures!