"Qingdao - Bavaria on the Yellow Sea" Qingdao by Willettsworld

Qingdao Travel Guide: 203 reviews and 810 photos

Qingdao lies on the east coast of Shandong, looking out to the Yellow Sea. Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial centre. The city was little more than a small fishing village until 1891 when the Qing government decided to make the area a defence base against naval attack. This Chinese activity was observed and reported by German naval officials during a formal survey of Kiautschou Bay in May 1897. After the Kiautschou Bay region was ceded to Germany in 1898, the German authorities soon turned the impoverished fishing village of Tsingtao into a strategically important port administered by the Imperial Department of the Navy. The German imperial government planned and built the first streets and early infrastructure of the city (still visible today), introduced electrification throughout, a sewer system and a safe drinking water supply plus they built battery forts, one of which, still exists underground. After a minor British naval attack on the German colony in 1914, Japan occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao after Japan's declaration of war on Germany in accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The city reverted to Chinese rule in December 1922, under control of the Republic of China but was again captured by the Japanese in 1938. It was then liberated by the Chinese after World War II.

All of this has meant that the city has a mixed history and very European feel about it. There are many German styled buildings in the city plus they introduced beer (named after the old village, Tsingtao) to the Chinese. You can wander around the Tsingtao Brewery which was founded here in 1903, the beaches (of which there are many), the excellent Naval Museum and the famous Guest House. I liked the city a lot during my stay, despite the sea mist and cool temperatures. Qingdao was used for the sailing events during the Olympics in 2008 and its recent improvements ahead of the Games has meant that it was recently named China's 9th-most liveable city by the China Daily.

  • Last visit to Qingdao: May 2008
  • Intro Written Jul 19, 2009
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