There are many things to do in Qingdao. One important thing to do is visit the Tsingtao Beer factory and drink a lot of beer, of course! 🙂
Qingdao is China’s 2nd (next to Dalian) most livable cities and will be a generous host to 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (Sailing category).
Ask every Chinese citizen who has never and have been to this city—and he has only one word to say, beautiful.
Here are some things to do in Qingdao.
Walk around the old streets.
On our way to find Christ, we walked down century-old cobblestones and walls nearby. As a tourist in many cities in China before, these old streets are not the ones we can call hutongs (old village). The architectural design of these old buildings are not Chinese but so German who had a strong occupation in the city eons ago.
As we moved along potholed streets, we saw a lot of art students doing their stuff. Most of them really captured the quiet scene and it was amazing on how they give life to an old, dead street in a busy city like Qingdao.
Go inside the St. Michael Cathedral.
The church was designed by a German architect in a Gothic and Roman style. With a fee of 5RMB, a tourist can go inside and roam the altar. Despite the NO PHOTOGRAPHY sign everywhere, tourists ignored this. They took a lot of photos of the statues of Mary, Joseph and Saints. And what bothered me was that, nobody (not even the Church attendants) told off the “patrons” to shut their shutters off.
My students imitated Christ hanging on the cross. I refused to take the photo for them. I went to the pew and kneeled down to pray. I closed my eyes only to be disturbed by the click sounds of the camera. The bastards took a photo of me in my moment of dialogue with the Lord!
And they actually found it so funny that they kept laughing until the end of our trip! LOL…
Wander inside the Lutheran Church.
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful, stone-walled construction of this church by generalizing that’s it’s magnificent inside. The architecture resembles that of castles in German fairytales. My dear brother and sisters, inside is just plain white walls, wooden pews, electric fans standing & hanging anywhere and a bare, medium-sized crucifix.
Churches in Qingdao are not holy places for worship but tourist areas where they can collect “donation.” And maybe, laugh at the bloody Christ in the crucifix!
Visit (or NOT) Tianho Temple
I warn you: DO NOT COME TO THIS TEMPLE. Instead of a quiet, serene, peaceful environment which you expect in every temple, megaphone speakers are everywhere and there’s not much religiosity happening in here.
There’s way tooooooo much business in here. Inside the temple itself are arts and craft shops selling different Buddhist stuff and non-religious items like the miniature of Olympic mascots, trumpets, wooden bolos, knives, nail cutters, jades, pearls etc…..
I’m so disappointed. Fugly disappointed.
Join a sea tour.
For 20 RMB, a tourist will be whisked off to a ferry that will travel three kilometers from Qingdao Bay. Of course, one can see the Qingdao’s vast pier area but not the city’s coastline. I think, the tour organizers just wanted to let the tourist feel the air, take photos and well, spend their wad of cash.
The sea is not even blue nor there’s a touch of blue. And most of all, passengers are sans the orange life jackets. In a small, rusty ferry, everyone can stand and go anywhere they want to pose for photos.
Just like exactly what we did!
And ya know what, it’s Max’s first time, too, to see the sea in his 21 years of existence. His happiness is undescribable. Tomorrow, he will touch the sea water, he said excitedly.
Climb the Xinhaoshan Mountain
It’s here where you can see the panorama of the city in all the directions. Tourists are going to climb the big, red revolving dome and they can see the city’s bird’s eye view. It’s not just breathtaking but also visually stunning.
The old red roofs shining in contrast with the steel and glass-covered modern buildings at a far distance are marvelous sights to see. The green trees meet the cloudy sky and the calm sea. The afternoon breeze unpredictably, teasingly caresses one’s fragile body—so bring a sweater.
Walk barefoot at the beach.
The bus tour guide told us that when one is in Qingdao, there are three things that she/he must do:
1.) go swimming;
2.) drink Tsingtao beer;
3.) climb Mt. Laoshan.
We did activities 1 & 2 but not 3 which will take one whole day. So much has been said about mountains in China. If not historical or holy, they’ll say, it’s beautiful.
Beach #6 is not really a beach in your mind—with people swimming or in bathing suits. The golden sand stretches two kilometers and people are really seriously taking
a bath pictures everywhere, especially when the waves hit the shore.
Qingdao is a hilly city. Bikes are nowhere in sight and traffic is at its worst on various times of the day. The good thing is: the city has a lot trees and shades.