Qingdao known as Tsingtao, is a major city in eastern Shandong province, Eastern China, with a population of over 8.715 million (2010 census). Its built up area, made of 6 urban districts and 4 county-level cities, is home to about 4,896,000 inhabitants in 2010.
It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Qing in Chinese means "green" or "lush", while dao means "island". Qingdao is administered at the sub-provincial level.Lying across the Shandong Peninsula while looking out to the Yellow Sea, Qingdao is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial centre. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. The world's longest sea bridge, the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, links the main urban area of Qingdao with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas. In 2009 and 2011, Qingdao was named China's most livable city.
Features of Qingdao
Qingdao (TsingTao), located at the southeastern part of the Shandong Peninsula, was listed as one of 15 sub-provincial cities of China in 1994. It is not only an important economic and cultural hub in the eastern coast of China, but also an international coastal tourist resort, a famous Chinese historical and cultural city and the central city of Chinese marine scientific research and marine industry development. This makes its position as the national base of modern manufacturing and high-technology important. It is also an international shipping center in Northeast Asia, and one of 14 Chinese coastal cities open to the outside world.
Geographically, Qingdao occupies an area of 10,654 km2. Under its administrative jurisdiction, there are 7 districts and 5 cities such as the districts of Shinan, Shibei, Sifang, Licang, Chengyang, Laoshan and Huangdao, and the cities of Laixi, Jimo, Pingdu, Jiaozhou and Jiaonan.
The coastline of Qingdao stretches over 730.6 km, starting from Jinkou of Jimo City in the north to Songjia Ridge of Jiaonan City in the south. Along the coast, there are 49 bays, among which Kiaochow Bay is the largest, with an area of 436 km2and 32.5 km from south to north and 28 km from east to west.
Qingdao has abundant resources. There are four distinctive tourist areas including the western old town, which exhibits the features of modern western cities, the eastern new town which shows the features of international modern cities, the hinterland of the city which features Jiaodong folk cultures, and suburbs featuring cultural relics and historic sites for the viewing pleasure of younger generations.
Qingdao Harbour is a natural harborwhich also acts as the main trading point around Yellow River Drainage Area and the western coast of Pacific Ocean. With docks of container, ore, crude oil and coal; it has opened 97 international routes to more than 450 ports. Air transportation in Qingdao maintains rapid growth, with direct routes to international destinations such as Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Seoul, Pusan, Taegu, Frankfurt, Paris (passing by Shanghai), 7 countries in Europe (passing by Beijing), Singapore, etc. Domestic routes to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, etc. have also been opened. Locally, the highway in Qingdao has been developed as well.
Beaches in Qingdao
Qingdao has some wonderful beaches worthy of visiting. Your experience will vary depending on the tides and the time of year you visit. During summer weekends, Qingdao city beaches are very crowded (sometimes upwards of 100,000 people), and slightly less crowded on summer weekdays. Again, these can be packed full of people during the weekends. Bring sunscreen, while you can buy beach toys, food, drinks, and knick-knacks at any of Qingdao's beaches, surprisingly no one sells sunscreen at the beach itself. You can find bathing beaches all along the seaside from the Zhanqiao Pier to the Shilaoren Beach in the eastern suburbs.
Laoshan Beach: Close to the Qingdao Museum, about a 60 min drive from the train station. Bus 104, 230, 231, or 301 to Qingdao Museum Stop. Surrounded by mountains and visited far less often than its alternatives, Laoshan Beach is one of the best in town. Make sure to arrange transportation there and back, because taxis are harder to get there.
Old Stone Man Beach, Donghai E Rd and Haikou Rd (Bus 125 or 321). daily. One of the best beaches within easy striking distance of the city. It is cleanish, very long and broad, with the highest waves. Tables, chairs, tents, boats, shower, changing facilities etc. are available for rent. Free; Shower and changing 10 RMB at the cheapest.
Beach #1, Nanhai Rd (15-20 RMB in taxi from the center; numerous buses stop near bus stop Haishui Yuchang. Daily. Clean and full of amusement for children but often crowded. Very basic shower and changing facilities available. Surrounded by restaurants and hotels.
Beach #2, Shanhaiguan Rd (10-15 RMB in taxi from the center; numerous buses stop at Wusheng Guan a bit N of the beach).
Beach #3 : (City Beach) Has a "plastic island" so you can swim far away and have a rest before coming back (but it is sometimes exhausting to swim in the waves).