Winter in Qingdao Aug 19, 2008
I have always heard about Tsingtao beer and had a sip of it when I was in Guangdong, China. The people from Northern China are very proud of their local beer. Good enough, I had the chance to go to Qingdao and had a glimpse of the Tsingtao Brewery when I passed by the road.
Besides the Tsingtao Beer, Qingdao is known for its seaport, beaches, German and Chinese architecture, and tea. Qingdao as literally translated means green island.
When I got off the plane and bought my bus ticket going to SiFang Railway Station, it was very cold. My thick clothing was not enough for the winter in the north. Good thing was that the hotel booked for me was just across the railway station. I was glad to know that the hotel is accessible to shopping areas and restaurants. Also, there were lots of cabs and buses..so transportation was not a problem.
I availed of a very reasonable day-tour package. There were only four of us who were in the tour. Given the small size of the group, one of them became my friend and my photographer.
We went to Zhan Qiao, XiaoQingdao Isle (took a cruise), May 4 Square, LaoShan (mountain with temples), and TV Tower.
On the road, I was so amazed with the beautiful architecture of houses. People there must be rich and artistic! How I wanted to take pictures of so many big dream houses.
On a separate night, I went back to Zhan Qiao for a walk to see the city lights. It was very relaxing but quite cold to be out near the waters. There were few old men and women selling nice shell accessories and other crafts for souvenirs.
LaoShan is such a wonderful scenic mountain with temples. Going up there was such an exercise. I cannot remember how many steps I took but the climb was worthwhile.
On another day, I went to Qingdao Underwater World. It was quite expensive going there by cab. Nevertheless, I enjoyed watching the "mermaid" shows and beautiful underwater creatures.
After exploring the ocean world, I went to shopping malls. There are many big malls and window shopping would not be a problem. Sales people would just approach you and try to assist...not to scold nor swear. I saw nice pairs of boots and I was so tempted to buy. On a second thought, I will not be able to maximize wearing them.
At night, people would love to eat outdoors. Big restaurants and small eateries have tables and chairs outdoors. Barbeques, seafoods, salads with century eggs, mashed potato with fish eggs, spicy dried fish and crablets, and flavored beer are really good!
I had tried the LaoShan tea and it was so refreshing! I was able to see how tea is prepared. I did not know earlier that it has so many rituals. On the first pour of tea, it is meant for cleaning the cups and wooden tools; not for drinking.
What a learning experience...
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