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Qingdao – My first love…

by Karipanova Assem   - Jul 29, 2015

Qingdao (in Chinese 青岛; formerly Tsingtao) is a city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China and looking out to the Yellow Sea. Qingdao is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center.Qingdao attracts many tourists due to its seaside setting and temperate weather. Parks, beaches, sculpture and unique German and modern architecture line the shore. It is an amazingly beautiful and unique touristic city.  But for me, Qingdao not only a touristic city, it is also my first city in China, where I came as a new language student. It was the year of 2012, when I came to Qingdao. That time I just entered to Qingdao College of Qingdao Technological University (青岛理工大学琴岛学院) as a freshman. I still remember before coming to China, I had 3 options of different cities where I could study, they were Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao. It was a hard choice since all these cities are very nice and in the same time taking a big part in Chinese economy.  But when I saw pictures of Qingdao, this nature, this sea ( in that time I have never seen in my life a sea ) and that German – Chinese style city,  I said: I want to live in this city,  I want to go there.... So my dreams came true… I started a new life in this lovely city.
Qingdao on the map

My first impression about the city was its mix European-Asian style constructions. After I knew that sometimes ago the city was occupied by German. The urban development of Tsingtao originated from the port area in the southern since the occupation by Germany in 1891. The large scale urban construction began in 1898 with the relocation of Chinese dwellers along the coast. With the completion of such series of projects as wharves, Tsingtao-Jinan Railway Line, Tsingtao Railway Station and locomotive works, a city was starting to take shape. So talking generally, Tsingtao was occupied by German during (1891–1914), till Sun Yat-sen visited the Tsingtau area and stated in 1912, “... I am impressed. The city is a true model for China’s future.”
There are some photos of German-Chinese style construction, which you can easily see and visit, when you are walking around the city:

Qingdao Railway Station (青岛火车站).The station is an example of German architectural traits incorporated into a Chinese-designed building, which is consistent with many structures in Qingdao.
Address: city –Qingdao, district- Shinan, street-Tai'an Lu

Day by day I started to love this city more and more… it has everything what you need: a nice atmosphere to study, especially for Chinese language beginners, shops, malls, markets where you can buy goods for a reasonable price, a lot of ancient places, parks, international shops, and Qingdao water world, restaurants with Chinese and international food, coffee shops, beaches and of course with colorful night life over there. Now I will stop to most favorable places to me in Qingdao.

• The world's longest sea bridge, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (胶州湾大桥)
is a 26.7 km (16.6 mi) long roadway bridge in eastern China's Shandong Province, which is part of the 41.58 km (25.84 mi) Jiaozhou Bay Connection Project. As of December 2012, Guinness World Records lists the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge as the world's longest bridge over water (aggregate length) at 41.58 km (25.84 mi).
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (or Qingdao Haiwan Bridge)

• Qingdao Underwater World (青岛海底世界)
The distinctive Qingdao Underwater World offers a breath-taking view of a marine world. Lying to the northeast of famous Luxun Park (鲁迅公园) and to the west of Number One Bathing Beach (青岛第一海水浴场), it is situated on Huiquan Bay (汇泉湾) in Qingdao, Shandong Province. By means of modern techniques and advantageous geological location, it combines the advantage of the Qingdao Aquarium (青岛水族馆), Specimen Hall (标本馆) and Freshwater Fish Center (淡水鱼馆), becoming a hot spot for marine ecotourism.
The underwater world consists of several interesting landscapes, including the inter-tidal zones, underwater tunnel, performance hall and exhibition areas.

Performance schedules:

Mermaid Performance

09:30, 14:00 and 16:30 on weekdays.

9:30, 10:15, 14:00, 14:45 and 16:30 on Saturdays and Sundays

Dancing with the Sharks

11:00, 12:00 and 15:30

Admission Fees:

Underwater World: 
Apr.1 ~ Oct. 31: CNY130
Nov.1 ~ next Mar.31: CNY110

Apr.1 ~ Oct. 31: CNY 40
Nov.1 ~ next Mar.31: CNY 20

Opening Hours:

08:30 to 17:30


take sight-seeing bus line 1, tunnel line 2 and line 6, bus no. 6, 26, 202, 214, 223, 228, 231, 304, 311, 312, 316, 321, 501 and 504 to get off at Luxun Park Station, and then walk along Laiyang Road to its entrance. 

• My most peaceful and lovely place in this city is May Fourth Square (五四广场) is a large public square in Qingdao's central business district. It is located between the new municipal government building and Fushan Bay (浮山湾) and is composed of Shizhengting Square the central square and the coastal park. Named after the nationwide protest May Fourth Movement (五四运动) that started in Qingdao. The square is a popular tourist destination, and is bordered by the city government to the north, the sea to the south, and residential and commercial buildings on either side. On pleasant days May Fourth Square fills with young couples on the ground and kites in the air.

One of my night walks at the May Fourth Square –love it…

• As I mention before, if you walk more deep to along the sea side you can find one of the biggest and international malls in Qingdao: MARINA CITY (百丽广场). Qingdao International Marina Shopping Plaza (Marina City), located adjacent to the Qingdao International Marina & Olympic Sailing Center (OSC).The latest addition to Qingdao's high end shopping malls is sure to be a shopper’s paradise. Popular businesses include: Dairy Queen (DQ), Starbucks Coffee, HeLv Rotary Sushi, Watsons, Coodoo Apple Store, Tong Ren Tang Medical Pharmacy, McDonald's, BHG Market Place, SIYO Ice Rink, Broadway CinemaCity, H&M, ZARA, Nike, Converse, Adidas, Harley-Davidson, Lenux, and Replay. It is a fantastic place with world class brands and nice location, if you want to spend whole afternoon enjoy shopping and the sea, it can't be better - sitting in Starbucks reading book would be a terrific choice!
Qingdao Marina City (百丽广场)
Address: 88 Aomen (Macao) Road (青岛市市南区澳门路88号)


• One of the places you will have to see is Zhan Qiao (栈桥) pier at the southern shore of Qingdao off Zhongshan Road. This now 440 meters (1,443.6 ft) long strip stretches into the sea and was the first wharf at Qingdao.
A nice place with perfect view to the city.


Also want to say for beer lovers, Qingdao city is very famous with its BEER. I still remember once I and my friends went to the street of beer… it was late evening, while I do not drink, but I really enjoyed the night life over there. Till early morning you can hear loud music, drinking beer and people chatting everywhere with each other. So lively atmosphere…
When I think or talk about this incredible city, I can do it without stopping during the hours. Everything is perfect about it: the weather, especially summer when you go to swim and enjoy the view on the sea, local people there are very kind and always ready to help you, a lot of foreigners now living, studying, working and of course traveling in Qingdao. Frankly speaking, Qingdao is a paradise.


About Writer   

8.jpgKaripanova Assem, a citizen of Kazakhstan, but blood mix of Russian (dad is) and Kazakh. Was living and studying Chinese language in Qingdao during 2012-2013. Right now doing her bachelor’s degree of International Business in Nanjing. Now she is in Monaco (Europe), currently working as a manager of International Sport (Olympic Games, Expos and World Championships) at UIPM Federation. She loves traveling around the world, speaks several languages, such as English, Russian, Kazakh, Chinese and Arabic.   



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