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Qingdaos Beautiful Boardwalk Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Upon awakening yesterday I knew it was time to depart beautiful Weihai. I felt totally relaxed and that’s a pretty good sign to move on if you ask me.

So after packing I said my sad good byes to the hotel staff and headed out to try my best to catch a bust to the bus or train station which can be found together at the other end of town. I knew Bus Number 10 would get me close but as I was walking the bus I have come to call the Phantom Bus stopped at my side and asked where I was going. Upon hearing my answer the guy said yes so I took the Phantom Bus Number 86 to the Bus/Train Station. Bus 86 is not on any of the bus boards (or not that I came across in my time in Weihai) but you see it wizzing around here and there and it always seems to stop and ask where you want to go. I never really knew where I wanted to go until this one time so I always gave a smile and waved them on their way.

The Weihai Bus and Train station are in the new part of town so unless you want to fork over a heap of money catching a cab maybe catch the Phantom Bus Number 86. I caught it just up from the corner of Shichang Lu and Qingdao Lu as I was walking along Qingdao Lu and it dropped me off right out front.

The ticket to Qingdao was 93 Yuan (for a big bus as it was the next to leave- there are small buses which would be cheaper) and the journey took around four and a half hours to five hours. My bus arrived at a bus station in the north east of the city so I grabbed a cab to the train station area which coast 10 Yuan. While I was trying to figure out where the hell I was in the city several cab drivers gave me a price of 100 Yuan to the train station but I knew that if that’s what they were asking then it had to be a tenth of that.

One I found a few road signs and figured out where I was then I headed to the next main road and flagged a random cab and as we drove past the other cab drivers with a smile I gave them the hand sign for 10 Yuan and waved good bye. My cab diver was such a wonderful guy he spoke little English but I knew enough to get us by and he knew exactly where to take me for the hotel price I was willing to pay.

Zhongshan Lu Mall is the main road that runs through the old part of Qingdao City.

And found just down from the large Mc Donalds sing and down the hilly Tianjin Lu (across Henan Lu) is what I named Sea Food and Beer Square. The square is actually a round-a-bout but all around it are budgetish hotels. I call them budgetish as I’m used to paying rural and inner city prices, but for the coastal area they are budget hotels with out question. Of course they wanted much more than I could pay but after I told them how long I’ve been in China and where I have been living and teaching the price came down to exactly what I was happy to pay on the coast.

I spent the rest of the evening slowly walking around my area and found the famous train station and also found it to be just as beautiful as I have read. This is not your normal Chinese monolith, it is of German architecture and if it was in another city it would stand out like a sore thumb but here it fits in fine. After an hour I headed up to Zhongshan Lu and found that each night from the block past Mc Donald’s it turns into a night market which continues around and onto Jiaohou Lu to where the KFC is,

For those who have heard of the city of Qingdao it will mainly be due to that it was this city that hosted the sailing part of the 2008 Chine Olympics and for those who are planning a trip to China Qingdao is a damn good place to start. Here is the run down the Lonely Planet gives it and I couldn’t agree more;

A breath of fresh air for anyone emerging from China’s polluted urban interior, Qingdao is hardly old school – parts of the town resemble Bavaria, but its effortless blend of German architecture and modern city planning puts Chinese white tiles towns to shame. Its German legacy more or less intact, Qingdao takes pride in its unique appearance. The Chinese call the town 'China’s Switzerland’. The dilapidated charms of the hilly old town are captivating, so wander at will around the cobbled, higgledy-piggledy alleys, poke around stone clad Teutonic vestiges, guaff the famous local brew (Tsingtao) and ditch the diet, Qingdao has some of the best seafood and kebabs in northern China.

Yes, the old town is exactly where you will want to be located.

Qingdao is surrounded by mountains and the sea and the city can be broken into two. The historic German old town in the west houses the cities unique charms and they are the what most people will be here for. The architectural streetscapes, the train station and a church or two. In the east you will find the modern side of Qingdao where the trendy bars, discos and restaurants are located and somewhere between you will find a bit of both along with some of the cities hilly parks and gardens. Both east and west its southern foreshore offers plentiful beaches in which to spent time dripping and dozing away your tensions and travelling frustrations.

For me, last night as always the first thing is to always get the hand washing out of the way.

So I did what felt like two decades of hand washing before sitting down with my Chinese Qingdao map and my Lonely Planet and transferring everything I needed for the next few days. It sounds like a hard task and sometimes it is but this time it wasn’t so hard as the Chinese Tourist map has pictures of everything the Lonely Planet lists so it was just a case of finding them on the map. I’m sure there will be an English map with it all done for me but I tried everywhere and no one had one. Also one thing I have always found is that the Chinese tourist map always has much more on it so things simply become about circles and a few transferred street names.

Always remember that the writer of the Lonely Planet or what ever guide book you are using usually spends only a few days in the location you are at and from what I’ve found sometimes it seems they have never been there at all. The internet is a wonderful thing but if you are only passing through for a day or two. A seasoned traveller can easily read that the writer gathered their information from a friend or a simple badly translated or placed English map…..but that’s not the case with the writer of the Qingdao LP writer.

The only thing I do wish to add to the LP is that things seem so distant on the map. But everything in the old town really is only a few minutes walk from each other. Both the train station and the beach are less than five minutes walk from where I am staying….Yeah!

<u>SO HERE IS MY SUGGESTION FOR YOUR FIRST DAYS ADVENTURE IN QINGDAO</u>

Do the foreshore walk first and walk from Beach Number Six (Qingdao Bay) to Fushan Bay. It is a beautiful walk and you can take in some of the main sites along the way.

<u>QINGDOA</u><u> BAY</u><u> AND BATHING BEACH NUMBER 6</u>

<u>The Coastal Boardwalk</u>

The seaside or foreshore boardwalk really is awesome. It stretches from Tuandao Bay in the west and runs all the way to Shilaoren Tourist Resort in the east, which is a huge forty kilometers and along the way it takes you through all the different parts of the city ie: the old section and of course the new section. I spent a wonderful day walking from the Local Ferry Station which is located in Jiaozhou Bay and then around Tuandao Bay to the Royal Club building (maybe supposed to resemble Sydneys Opera House but doesn’t &#8211; at the end of the night market area) and I slowly made my way around, Qingdao Bay, Huiquan Bay, Taiping Bay and all the way around Fushan Bay to just past the Music Square.

Here can be found the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center. It’s a long walk but it really is beautiful!

<u>QINGDAO</u><u> BAY</u><u> & BEACH NUMBER 6</u>

<u>The NightMarket </u>

Each night as light leaves Qindao Bay magical lights seem to appear along the western side of Qingdao Bay. Along Taiping Lu you will find the cities night market. But before you get there sit and watch as those who run the little footpath stalls play cat and mouse with the Police. They only have a blanket to put their wares on and once the Police arrive they simply make it into a sack, throw it on their back and run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. The Police then leave and everyone returns and unpacks again and stands ready for the next time. At the main night market you have stalls and lights and it is pretty cool and it sells all the normal stuff along with what you would expect from a sea side night market ie: seafood bbq, fake pearls, shells, dried fish and of course swords.

Everyone needs a sword, even those who live by the sea need a sword!

<u>Zhanqiao Pier (Huilan Pavilion)</u>

Zhanqiao Pier is supposedly one of the distinguished buildings of Qingdao. It has been thrown into Qingdao’s top ten due to its eight sided &#8216;Flying Pavillion’ (the Huilan Pavilion). It cost 15 Yuan to enter but I didn’t bother as I was having enough people problems just on the pier. If you don’t like crowds then past it by as it looks just as good from the shore.

<u>Tianhou (Mazu) Temple</u>

This small temple is dedicated to Tianhou (Heaven Queen), Goddess of the Sea and protector of sailors. She is also known as Mazu and Niangniang and if you want to more about Mazu then CLICK HERE as I added a bit on it when I wrote about my visit to the one in Yantai. Yantai’s temple is much more beautiful and has around one hundred thousand less people inside it each day. Here I also had people problems and felt that unless you were in a tour group then you were very much pushed to the back or simply just told to move to make way for the crowds with the flags. But after four and a half years I’m getting pretty god at telling people to stick it and push them back to where they were a moment ago to then smile at them and offer them my position once I have finished. The temple itself is very small yet beautiful. The main hall contains a colourful statue of Tianhou, flanked by two other figures and a pair of fearsome guardians. Other halls include the Dragon King Hall where in front of the Dragon King lies a splayed pig and a shrine to the God of Wealth.

<u>The Qingdao Navy Museum</u>

Not being an armed forces freak in ay way I never bothered visiting this museum but if you are a military fan and in the area of the lighthouse or between Beach Number 6 & 1 then I think for around 120Yuan you can spend an hour or two here. I believe you can also buy separate tickets for different things like the submarine or the war ships, which you can also see from the walk to the lighthouse.

<u>The Little Qingdao Lighthouse (next to Lu Xun Park)</u>

From the LP;

Poking out like a lollipop into Qingdao Bay south of Bathing Beach Number 6 and dominated by its German built lighthouse, the Little Qingdao peninsula is excellent for throwing off the crowds battling it out on the beaches. Despite the name &#8216;Little Green Island’ it is actually a peninsula, lashed to the shore by a slender sandbar (called Qinyu Lu). I grabbed a ticket for 15 Yuan and spent half an hour or so relaxing here. You can’t actually visit the light house but there are very few people here so it is a nice place to sit and watch the boats go by.

<u>HUIQUAN</u><u> BAY</u><u> & BEACH NUMBER 1</u>

<u>Lu Xun Park (next to the Lighthouse)</u>

Lu Xun park was established in 1929 and originally named Seaside Park as it follows the natural coastal terrain. Its designer was Ge Jingying who was a famous Chinese horticulturist. in 1950 the parks name was changed, but strangely no to its designer, it was changed to that of a Chinese writer.

<u>Marine</u><u> Life Museum</u><u>, Aquarim and Underwater World</u>

I didn’t visit any of the above on this day but I did return the following day and found Underwater World to be just as awesome as any other Underwater World around the world. They seem to be like McDonalds and no matter where they are they all offer the same things which include the huge whale skeleton in the first or second room. If you like jelly fish then the Aquarium is worth a visit. I love jelly fish so I was squirming with all the kids who were racing around me. As for the live show part of it, you don’t pay any extra but you do get to see a couple of seals and penguins swimming around.

Underwater World cost 90Yuan & the Aquarim costs 40 Yuan. If you want to see both you can get one ticket that costs 120 Yuan.

<u>Huiquan Square</u><u></u>

Huge square full of underground stores and eateries.

<u>TAIPING</u><u> BAY</u><u> & BEACH NUMBER 2</u>

<u>Huashi Lu House</u>

From the LP; formerly the residence of a Russian aristocrat, and later the German governors retreat for fishing and hunting. The Chinese call it the &#8216;Chiang Kaishek Building’ as the generalissimo secretly stayed here in 1947. It looks a treat from the beach but when I got to the ticket office (6 Yuan) there were several tour groups waiting to pile in so I headed back to the beach instead. <u> FUSHAN</u><u> BAY</u><u> AND BATHING BEACH NUMBER 3</u>

<u>Qingdao</u><u> Sculpture Park</u><u></u>

It has the theme of the Chinese Civilization and Oceanic Culture in mind and shows four different kinds of sculptures which are landmark sculptures, thematic sculptures, celebrity sculptures and miniature sculptures. Drop in as you are walking past anyhow. Plus its free!

<u>Qingdao Music Square</u><u></u>

The music square is situated at the west of May 4th Square and covers an area of 36,000 m2. It is divided into five parts; the greenbelt of trees, the soft sculptures, the elliptical square, the musical sea viewing platform and the underground amusement area.

<u>May Fourth Square</u>

The May Fourth Square gets its name from the May the Fourth Movement. It is a square with a contemporary style and in the center is a huge round shaped sculpture made of rings that have been unevenly placed on top of each other which is known as the &#8216;May Breeze’. Here you will find the skies filled with kites of all shapes and sizes along with parents relaxing while their kids race around dodging all the kite strings.

<u>THE QINGDAO OLYMPIC SAILING CENTER, YAN’ERDA ISLAND & BEACH NUMBER 3</u>

Built for the Olympics and now home of the expensive sailing club. If you are an Olympics person you can do a tour of the area but I have no idea what the cost is. By now I had had enough of the crowds and Xianggang Road where you can catch many different buses that will take you all the way back to Qingdao Bay and the train station area. I caught bus 321 and headed back to spend an hour or so in the night market and then headed to KFC for an elcheapo coffee and to begin this blog.

All in all it really was a beautiful day spent entirely along the foreshore and I think it would have to cover more than half of the entire 40 km boardwalk. I was so jealous of all the bike riders who were wizzing by me, most of whom where dodging the foreshore police who were also on bikes but it seems only the elderly listened to them. I would have loved to have completed the rest of the journey as I believe the rest of it would be clear of crowds. At the end is what is known as the &#8216;Old Stone Man’.

Who he is or what he is I guess I will never know. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: for a little bit of information on Qingdao continue to read below. PSS: ALL PHOTOS CAN BE FOUND BELOW ALL THE TEXT

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The soundtrack to this entry was by Faith No More The album was &#8216;This is it, The Best Of’ ____________________________________________________________

Qingdao (TsingTao) is a picturesque coastal city that lies on the southern tip of China's Shandong Peninsula, located in JiaoZhou Bay facing the Yellow Sea. Qingdao, with an annual average temperature of 12.2&deg;C, is also a well-known holiday resort in China. The city has seven urban districts and five county level cities under its jurisdiction with an area of 10,645 square kilometers and a population of more than 8.1 million. Before troops were garrisoned here by the imperial court of Qing in 1891, Qingdao had been a small fishing village. It became a German concession in 1897 and was occupied by invading Japanese soldiers when the First World War broke out in 1914. The famous May 4th Movement was launched in 1919 and protestors, against the then Chinese government yielding to Japanese pressure, demanded the recommencement of sovereignty over Qingdao.

The city reverted to Chinese rule in 1922, but was occupied by Japan again during the Second World War. After World War II Qingdao served as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the US Navy.

The USS Alaska, allowed by the KMT, occupied Tsingtao, China in October 1945. On June 2nd, 1949, the CCP's Red Army entered Qingdao City; Shandong and Qingdao's municipalities have been under PRC control since that time. As one of China's most important independent coastal cities with state planning and budgeting powers including provincial power in economic management, the city has recently experienced rapid growth. A new central business district (CBD) created near the Qingdao International Marina & Water Sports Center, east of May 4th Square and the city government building, is Shandong's costal business Mecca.

Its major industries include trade, light industry, tourism and oceanography research. Qingdao is well known for its european architecture and attractive coastal landscape. With its abundance of natural beauty and growing human resources, the year-round schedule of tourist attractions and events, coupled with numerous tourist facilities as well as an extensive public transportation network, make Qingdao an ideal tourist destination both at home and abroad.

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure


Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Qingdao Foreshore Boardwalk Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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