Qingdao, home of the very famous Tsing Tao beer, or at least very famous within China, and also the site for which the sailing at the 2008 Olympics will be held. Also the architecture in here is very European here and therefore quite different from most places in China, as the Germans settled here back in the day. It was actually the Germans who started up the Tsing Tao brewery. This was the next stop for Mitch and myself, as I had also been told from an English speaking Chinese guy early on in our trip that Qingdao was also a very beautiful and green city.
It turns out that this city isnt in fact all that beautiful as a whole, however the area around its four beaches was quite nice. Each of the four beaches are all of much better quality than the one we went to in Beihai. The water was much cleaner and the place had much more of a beachy feel to it. However, as I have said before, nothing comes close to what we have in Australia. On one of the beaches, they had four beach volleyball courts set up, two of them being refereed and the other two were more for social games I think. There was a real holiday vibe to this area. Again, as Im sure you could all imagine, the number of people on the beaches was incredible. The thing that amazes me is, that for a country with a pretty low ratio of people who can swim, they seem to love going to the beach (define irony). But hey, I cant say that I blame them. Im definitely missing the beaches back home and will probably be spending a lot of time there when I get back.
(Some crazy dolphin sculpture on one of the beaches)
(The amazement of beach meeting the city)
(Some keen volleyballers and on-lookers)
(What a crowd)
There was a boardwalk (concrete version of course) that went along the whole stretch of the four beaches, connecting them all up and making it easy to get from to the other. However there was a cost involved for taking this walk, 5RMB is what we had to pay in order to stroll along the boardwalk. They really dont miss a beat over here when it comes to making a bit of cash. Between each of the swimming areas were rocky areas that quite nice and calming to walk along. They would have been really awesome if there hadnt of been so much garbage in the water in these areas, as you can see in the photo below. I dont understand how they can come to these areas, which they see as being really beautiful, and then destroy them by chucking their rubbish in the water when they leave.
(Some of the boardwalk)
(Rocky section with descent amount of rubbish in the water. Real shame!)
After walking to the end of the boardwalk, we came to an area where the last beach met the city. To my amazement, when I looked out to water I saw a building that kind of made me feel a little more at home. The building in the photo below is what I like to call Chinas attempt to copy the Sydney Opera House. Pretty funny really that you can be on the other side of the world and see something like this J
(China’s version of the Sydney Opera House)
The next day we went saw a massive cathedral in the city area. It was built back when the Germans occupied the city, and took something like two years to complete. The cathedral was built on top of a small hill and is quite massive, and can supposedly be seen from most places in the city. If you were to look at it from above, the cathedral was built in the shape of a cross. When you walked inside, you saw some very colourful artwork painted on the walls and ceilings. There were also six massive big chandeliers that hung from the ceiling around the cathedral. It was really quite cool to see it. And sorry Patsy, I didnt get the chance to go a Sunday service J
(Cathedral from outside)
(Some of the art work inside)
(Some more art work)
(Looking toward the altar, more art work)
That night we headed back toward the beach area in search of dinner, as there werent food places near where we were staying. While walking around looking for some grub, we met another westerner, doing pretty much the same thing. Funnily enough, this dude was from Germany, what a coincidence hey. He has been living in Beijing for the past year studying Chinese. He had arrived in Qingdao the day before we did, and remembered a place that many restaurants, but we had to catch a bus to get there. So the three of us jumped on a bus and headed out that way in search of a meal. We got there and finally found a place to grab something to eat. We ordered a beef hot pot, and then you also order side dishes to go in with it (like veges, noodles, other types of meat, etc.). For the rose family, it was kind of like the brass pot of boiling water that weve had at the Japanese restaurant up at Iwasaki. The pot is split into two sections, on one side it has like a watery broth with some herbs and things in it, and on the other side is one filled with chillies I mean filled! We also ordered three bottles of the famous Tsing Tao beer. The meal was awesome and by the end our bottle collection had accumulated to six. After this we decided to walk around and see if we couldnt find a bar or club to go to. While walking around we heard the sounds of live music, which is very rare over here. On inspection we found that it was a small pub that had a band playing up on stage. The bar was really cool, a little expensive, but really cool. The band was pretty good also, playing a lot of classics like the Eagles and others. To the amazement of Mitch and myself, we even heard them play We Come From A Land Down Under. This was definitely a highlight of the night. Our new German buddy called it night rather early, as the hostel that he was staying at shut their doors at 10:30pm. After he left Mitch and myself decided that we were going to stay until the band finished their set. Many beers and a bowl of popcorn later, the band finished their set and we called it a night.
(The olympic mascots we saw while walking around the beach area)
(Snapshot of the bar. Thats a lot of booze)
(Us with our new German mate)
The next couple of days were spent just doing some aimless wondering around Qingdao and watching a movie on our laptops in the room, as there really wasnt all that much sightseeing stuff to do in Qingdao. Still it was cool to go there for a quick visit and to check the things we saw. Also we managed to have a great night out and make yet another overseas mate. Also Qingdao managed to restore our faith in the Chinese people after it was somewhat tainted from Beijing. We got cabbies who actually knew where they were going, friendly staff at the hotel who made our stay there so much easier and enjoyable, and helpful-happy locals that made our short time there a good time. We even had a couple of young locals come up to us asking if we spoke English. You see, all or most uni students over here also learn English, so when they see westerners walking around they come up and begin a conversation with you so they can practice their English. So we managed to chat to a few locals and help them out with some English, as well as getting their email addresses for future conversations. May come in handy if I ever decide to return here later on down the track, and incase I wont to learn some more Chinese when I get home.Anyways, Im going to leave it at that for now. Im currently in Shanghai, as most of you already know, so the next travelblog will be covering that. So until then Ill catch you all later J
Posted from China:
Just spent some time reading your latest emails properly….wow, brought back some great memories hey. Its sad to think thats what they are now, just awesome memories.
See you soon
22 Oct 2006
heyhey! Sounds like you guys are having an awesome time, just as suspected! What did I try to tell you about those silk markets 🙂 Well, not to rub it in but its heaven to be home at last, how good is aus…. I’ve had good australian steak, wine and real milk! Keep having fun guys and keep safe. See yas soon 🙂
04 Oct 2006
hey second comment in like a minute, who rocks? i do.
nah just writing cause i didnt realise everyone would be able to see my commment, so sorry bout my bad taste with regards to the cliches. mum remember im a good boy. 🙂
02 Oct 2006
its ben, sorry its taken me so long to reply to anything of yours but i have honestly been as busy as a hooker on valentines day! anyhoo, ive just finished reading all your blogs, thats right in one sitting, sounds like your having an amazing time and im sure you have sparked the travelling bug in the rest of our somwhat unadventurous family. i know you have done so with me. the photos are pretty kick arse, its cool to see what somewhere like china is like from a ‘token tourist’ eyes. i think its better that way then some amazing photo, because i can watch Getaway whenever i want but i cant see the country from ground zero like i can from your shots. anyways ive just come back from a run and im sweating like a pedo at a wiggles concert. (scuse the overuse of cliches but i felt the need) so ill stop writing now and have a shower, but i hope all goes well and im looking forward to catching up with you when you get home.
02 Oct 2006
hey john, looks like everyones having a ball! Keep it up *thumbs up
12 Sep 2006
Thx for the updates – keep them coming. Sounds like you are having a ball. Looking forward to going in Dec. I hope you don’t mind – Beau wanted to read your blogs as well.
05 Sep 2006
Niced work on the travel blog. Your photo’s are awsome. I laughed so hard when I read about our adventure on the house of horror ride.
04 Sep 2006
It looks as though you are all having a great time. Love the photo’s. Stay safe and hurry up and write another installment.
04 Sep 2006
Hey mate! Sounds like you’re having a awesome time over there!! i can’t wait to go in Dec now!! Tell everyone else to put me on their emailing lists. Say a big gidday to everyone else over there…cheers mate..cya
25 Aug 2006
This look excellent. Can not wait for the next installment
21 Aug 2006
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog
posted Wednesday October 2006