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Qingdao

Travel Guide Asia China Shandong Qingdao

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Introduction

Qingdao Skyline

Qingdao Skyline

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Qingdao (青岛) is a port city in the northwestern province of Shandong in China. It is especially famous for its cobbled streets and partly Bavarian look, mixed with a new Chinese skyline due to it's German colonial history. Churches and European style houses dominate the city centre. Another important heritage from the Germans was beer. Qingdao is home to the famous Tsingtao (the old western name for this city) beer, where it is possible to tour the factory (and sample some beer). Anyone who has been in China long enough has drunk Tsingtao beer. The sailing events for the 2008 Beijing Olympics were held in this port city. Compared with other major Chinese cities it is comparibly cleaner and more beautiful.

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Sights and Activities

Qingdao Church

Qingdao Church

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Beaches

Qingdao's beaches are probably the most famous in China (after Sanya on Hainan Island). Along its coast there is a long stretch of public beaches favoured by locals for their morning dip (even in winter).Clean and sandy with an opportunity to take a dip, it is worth visiting. There is also a path connecting the beaches offering pleasant seafront walks. During summer the beaches are very crowded.

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Events and Festivals

  • Qingdao International Beer Festival held in late August.

Qingdao celebrates the same festivals that are common throughout the rest of China, including:

  • Chinese New Year or Spring Festival.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival.

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Weather

Qingdao lies on the border of the humid subtropical and humid continental climate. Qingdao's climate is monsoon-like, with cold and windy winters (December to February). Temperates can go as low as -3 °C on average during the night. Summer is generally hot and humid but cooled from the sea. It does not experience as high a summer as some parts of China, with temperatures mostly between 25 and 30 °C during the day from mid-June to mid-September. The hottest and best time to swim is in July and August, although cold weather does not stop the local population from taking a dip in very cold temperatures either. Precipitation averages around 700 mm a year, with half of that falling in July and August. October to May is fairly dry with occasional snow in winter.

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Getting There

By Plane

Flights from Liuting International Airport (TAO) go frequently to many Chinese cities, including Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are also international services to Seoul, Osaka, Nagoya, Taipei, Tokyo and Fukuoka. It takes 30 minutes by taxi to reach the airport. Cheaper but longer bus rides are available as well.

By Train

All trains from Qingdao go through Jinan, except the direct Qīngdao to Yantai and Weihai trains. There are two trains a day to Yantai (4 hours), several to Weihai (5 hours) and regular services to Jinan (5 hours). There are two express trains daily to Beijing (10 hours), and trains to Shanghai (15 hours), Tai’an (five hours) and Zhengzhou.

By Bus

There are buses departing for Weihai (every 20 minutes), Yantai (every 15 minutes) and Jinan (every 50 minutes), all of them from the early morning until late afternoon/early evening. There are also daily buses to Beijing (13 hours), Hangzhou (20 hours), Hefei, and Shanghai (18 hours, 2 departurers daily).

By Boat

Weidong travels between Incheon and Gunsun in South Korea and Qingdao, taking around 16 hours. There are also boats with Orient Ferry to Shimonoseki in Japan, taking around 36 hours. Boats to Dalian leave from Yantai or Weihai, which have frequent bus and train connections (see above).

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Getting Around

By Foot

The coast is a lovely place to walk and there are paths hugging the coast line.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Big Brother Guesthouse Jiangxi LuNo 31 Jiangxi Rd.Hostel73
Grand Regency HotelNo.110 Xiang Gang Zhong RdHotel-
Qingdao Beach Castle HotelChangzhou Road 23 A; 25 Shinan DistrictHotel-
Qingdao Kaiyue International HostelNo.31 Jining LuHostel84
Qingdao Old Observatory Youth Hostel (HiHostel)No. 21 Guangxiang Er RoadHostel81
Hailun Ya JuNo. 27 Guangxi Road Shi Nan DistrictHostel73
Qingdao Seasonsea HostelNo.91 Zhongshan RdHostel-
Nordic Osheania HostelNo.28 QuanTao Road QingdaoHOSTEL-
Man Cheng HostelNo.88 Dagu Road Shinan DistrictHOSTEL78
Good Times Hotel35F, A Building, Wanda Plaza ,No.37 Lian Yungang R Shibei DistrictHOTEL73
798 Youth HostelNo.121 NingXia RoadHOSTEL-
Wheat HostelPi Chai Yuan. 35th He Bei Road Shi Nan DistrictHOSTEL-
Qingdao Sunflower HostelNo.178 Shenzhen Road, Laoshan DistrictHOSTEL-
The Old Times HostelNo.111 Zhongshan RoadHOSTEL-

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Work

There are plenty of opportunities to teach English in schools and universities.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 36.1079328
  • Longitude: 120.4159606

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This is version 21. Last edited at 7:28 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 20 articles link to this page.

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