Take a trip to see Laoshan...
Take a trip to see Laoshan mountain. The scenery is beautiful and although it's gotten a little gaudy like many of the Chinese tourist sites, it's 100% worth the trip. You'll pass along the way little fishing villages and meet really interesting people. If you're lucky the tour will stop at a Taoist temple on the ocean - absolutely breathtaking. I loved being the only western tourists in the city. Plus since my friend and I were (and still are) female and were traveling alone everyone went out of their way to make sure everything was ok and to help us out. They even helped us cross the streets, thinking we were completely helpless.
well-known to the West by its Postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a sub-provincial city in eastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula while looking out to the Yellow Sea, Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. The character in Chinese that spell Qingdao, means "green" or "lush," while the other character means "island."
The area of which Qingdao is located today was called Jiao'ao when it was administered by the Qing Dynasty. In 1891, the Qing Government decided to make the area a primary defence base against naval attacks, and planned the construction of a city. Little was done, however, until 1897 when the city was ceded to Germany. The Germans soon turned Tsingtao into a strategically important port that was administered by the Department of the Navy (Reichsmarineamt) rather than the Colonial Office (Reichskolonialamt). They based here their Far East Squadron, allowing the fleet to conduct operations throughout the Pacific. Since 1898 the marines of III. Seebatallion were based at Tsingtao. The German Imperial government planned and built the first streets and institutions of the city we see today, including the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province, including the establishment of rival breweries.
Soon after the outbreak of World War I, the German forces, under Admiral Graf von Spee, left Tsingtao rather than waiting to be trapped in the harbour by Allied fleets. After a subsequent 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. The failure of the Allied powers to restore Chinese rule to Shandong after the war triggered the May Fourth Movement.
The city reverted to Chinese rule in 1922, under control of the Republic of China. The city became a direct-controlled municipality of the ROC Government in 1929. Japan re-occupied Qingdao in 1938 with its plans of territorial expansion onto China's coast. After World War II the KMT allowed Qingdao to serve as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the US Navy. On 2nd June, 1949, the CCP-led Red Army entered Qingdao and the city and province have been under PRC control since that time.
Since the 1984 inauguration of China's open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, Qingdao has developed quickly as a modern port city. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese navy's northern fleet.
Qingdao is now a manufacturing center, and home to Haier Corporation a major electronics firm. The city has recently experienced a rapid growing period, with a new central business district created to the east of the older business district. Outside of the center of the city there is a large industrial zone, which includes chemical processing, rubber and heavy manufacturing, in addition to a growing high tech area.
Through the unique combination of German and Chinese architecture in the city center, combined with modern high-rises and freeways, along a coastline of beaches, rocky headlands, and picturesque cypress trees, give Qingdao a distinct atmosphere not found anywhere else in the world. Qingdao is proud to be the host city for several events of the 2008 Olympics, including the sailing competitions which will take place along the complicated shoreline directly offshore from the city.
Unlike many large Chinese cities with a long history, Qingdao is a relative newcomer, being nothing but a fishing village in 1897. The majority of residents are immigrants having migrated from other locations to take advantage of the opportunities Qingdao offers. Nonetheless a distinctive local accent known as "Qingdao Hua" distinguishes the residents of the city from those of the surrounding province (who speak "Shandong Hua", both being dialects of Mandarin).
The distinctive cuisine is Lu Cai, the Shandong regional style.
The area's most famous festival is the Qingdao International Beer Festival, held annually since 1991.