Qingdao (青岛; 青島; QīngDǎo; TsīngTǎo)

Qingdao Beer & GalaLocated in the southern part of China’s Shandong Province, the municipality is comprised of six districts (ShiNan, ShiBei, LiCang, LaoShan, ChengYang, HuangDao) and four county-level cities (Jimo, JiaoZhou, PingDu, LaiXi). China’s Sailing City (east longitude of 119°30’ – 121°00’ and north latitude 35°35’ – 37°09’) is surrounded by YanTai to the northeast, WeiFang to the west, and Rizhao to the southwest. There are altogether three mountains in the municipality: Mount Lao to the southeast, Mount Daze in the north, and JiaoNan to the south.

Qingdao has a total coastline (including its islands) of 862.64 km, of which 730.64 km are continental coastline with features similar to that of California’s north coast. The coastal region is sometimes referred to as Qindao (琴岛, Stringed Instrument Isle). The coastal beach area totals 375.35 square km including 69 islands totaling an area of 231.1 square kilometers. Qingdao lies in the North Temperate Monsoon Zone with average temperatures ranging from below 0°C in January to around 28°C in August.

The Shandong Peninsula has a long history which starts around 6,000 years ago with settlement in the New Stone Age. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC – 221 BC) the town of Jimo was established and at the time was the second largest city in the Shandong region. By the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644- 1911), Qingdao (called Jiao’ao at the time) had grown into a prosperous town. Historical Chinese New Year celebrations and culture still abound throughout the city during the first new moon of the lunar calendar.

After a short occupation by both Germany and Japan, Qingdao was finally liberated on June 2nd, 1949 by the CCP’s Red Army and has been under the control of the P.R.C. ever since. Historical buildings from previous occupations are some of Qingdao Old Town’s most impressive attractions.

The Central Business District (CBD) near the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre & International Marina along with Qingdao’s Economic and Technological Development Zone (QETDZ), located in Huangdao, combine to form Shandong’s premier coastal international business center or Blue Economic Zone. Qingdao is economically dynamic with major industries that include trade, agriculture/aquaculture, light industry, electronics & telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, ship building, oceanography research, and tourism. With fast growing financial and insurance industries, as well as international corporate law, Qingdao has become one of top 10 most livable cities in China.

China’s Sailing City, hosts several popular international events which include Asia’s largest Oktoberfest – Qingdao International Beer Festival (青岛国际啤酒节), Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, SINO Consumer Electronics Show, as well as the 2014 World Horticultural Exposition. Popular attractions include: Zhanshan TempleSt. Michael’s CathedralZhongshan ParkTsingtao Beer Museum, and Bathing Beaches.  May Fourth Square, a symbol of recommencement of sovereignty over the region, lies in the heart of Shinan’s Central Business District across from the city government looking out towards the Olympic marina. The first lines of the Qingdao Metro are scheduled to be completed late 2015.