Qingdao's clean beaches, European architecture and great beer inspired from Lao Shan's crisp spring water make this city an idyllic getaway to spend a few relaxing days strolling along the boardwalk while watching the sunrise over the ocean.
Despite having no island, Qingdao is deceptively named "Green Island" in Chinese. This doesn't deter locals from referring to this laidback city as the "island city." In southern Shandong, this city was only a small scenic fishing village until the might of international politics thrust it upon the world stage. In 1897, two German missionaries in Shandong Province were killed, using this as a pretext, and in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II forced the Qing government to lease Qingdao to Germany for 99 years.
The Kaiser intended to keep Qingdao for those 99 years and built a typical German-Area Code 0532 styled city. The Germans expanded Qingdao's infrastructure, expanding its excellent harbor, building a rail connection to the provincial capital and piping in spring water from Lao Shan. Taking advantage of Lao Shan's spring water, a beer brewery was built in 1903 and today Qingdao is a center of Chinese beer production.
The city remained in German possession until the First World War when the Japanese, with British aid, took the city. As a member of the Allied Powers, the Chinese government demanded the return of Qingdao to Chinese sovereignty, but under the Treaty of Versailles, Qingdao and all German possessions in Asia were given to Japan. Bowing to widespread protests, the Chinese delegation refused to sign the treaty and in 1919, pent up resentment and anger unleashed itself as the May Fourth Movement. The movement was a decisive point in the creation of a national Chinese consciousness. In 1922, control of Qingdao was finally transferred back to Chinese.
Qingdao Memorable Experience
Strolling along the seaside boardwalk and watching the sun slowly creep above the horizon over the ocean.
Gorging on all the fresh seafood that's available throughout the city.
Taking languid walks through the old German residential areas then heading over to the many plazas that dot the city while letting the sea breeze choose where we go next.