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China

Qingdao


Shandong province has a long, rich history (before the First Empire it was the state of Qi; it was also the birthplace of Confucius,) but Qingdao, with a population of 6.6 million, is almost a century old and surprisingly European. A picturesque city surrounded on three sides by the Yellow Sea, it was a German possession for 16 years after 1898, and still features startling examples of Bavarian style architecture, particularly the railway station, the twin-spired Catholic Church and the former German Governor's residence. Another colonial legacy is the famous brewery, which produces beer labelled with the city's former name, Tsingtao. Qingdao's visitor attractions include six sandy beaches and some excellent museums. The weather is generally mild with four distinct seasons, the most pleasant being spring and autumn.

Airport Information

Distance to city: 36 km
Transportation between airport and city
  • Taxi
    • fare: CNY 100-120

Visa

Home entry permit is required for HK Chinese.
Visa is required for foreigners
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Customs

Customs allowance
Tobacco: 400 cigarettes
Liquor: two 75cl bottles of alcoholic beverages
Customs rules require an accounting of all valuables including watches, jewellery, cameras and currency that you are taking in. A copy of this is surrendered on departure and anything missing may well be treated as imported and duty required accordingly. Therefore make sure you obtain a police report for any goods stolen during your stay.
Recorded video-tapes must be declared and may be viewed by the Authorities on arrival.
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Currency

Renminbi (RMB)
Approximately RMB1 = HK$0.9297 = US$0.1197(updated 25 Mar 1996)
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Tax

Airport Tax
- International: RMB 90
- Domestic: RMB 15

Embassies and Consulates

Please click here

Time Zone

GMT: + 8
Difference from Hong Kong: + 0

Accommodation

Please click here

Transportation

Taxi
  • fare: CNY 7-10

Tourist Attractions

Laoshan Mountains
Only about 30km east of the city, this spectacular range is well within day-trip distance. Many organized tours are available. climbing the 1,113-meter main peak requires some stamina, but the views of Qingdao and the surrounding countryside from the top are more than memorable.
Qingdao Brewery
Established at the turn of the century, the brewery is open to visitors and regular tours take place. Through several other beers are sold in China, Tsingtao takes up by far the largest portion of the market, and it is well-known and appreciated throughout the world for its crisp flavour.
Qingdao Beaches
Though Qingdao weather does not permit ocean swimmimg all year round, the warmer months are perfect for sunning and splashing at any of half a dozen excellent city beaches, located along the southeastern coast. All the beaches have golden sand, refreshment outlets and changing facilities.
Qingdao Art Museum
Originally built by wealthy Qingdao merchants as a welfare institution for the city's poor, this fine building now houses a superb and extensive collection of Yuan, Ming and Wing Dynasty paintings, and an archaeological exhibit illustrating Shandong's colourful history.
Huilan (Rebounding Wave) Pavilion
This centrally-sited showcase is a landmark on the city's harbourfront, located right at the end of prominent Zhangqiao Pier. Within, two floors of exhibition space display paintings, carvings and other examples of contemporary Shandong arts and crafts, much of it destined for export.
Lu Xun Park
One of the most popular gathering spots for Qingdao residents, this restful oasis in the city is named for on of the most famous authors of modern China. Lovely winding pathways lead through botanical gardens, and there's a marine products museum displaying rare and protected marine species.
Huadong Winery
This operation is at the leading edge of China's plam to become a wine-producing country. Established in 1986, it produces the only varietal vintage wine in the country, and the only wine to win medals in European competitions. Free tours, tastings (and transport, for groups)are available.
Xiao Qingdao
The Germans built a lighthouse on this tiny island in 1900, and it was a restricted military area until 1987. These days it's open to visitors, and tours include the lighthouse as well as botanical gardens that feature the rare Qingdao White Lily, which grows only in southern Shandong.

Tours and Activities

Tours from Hong Kong

Shopping Guide

Regional arts and crafts abound in Shandong, and all are for sale in Qingdao. Antiques are also offered, but pieces on sale must be approved by the government. Unique but inexpensive souvenirs include the distinctive six-sided hats of Shandong and ornate locally-crafted shellware. The best shopping area is the colourful and scenic old German quarter, along Zhongshan Lu, just off Qingdao Lu.
Qingdao Friendship Store - 12 Xinjing Lu
Qingdao Department Store - 51 Zhongshan Lu

Restaurant Guide

Though recognized as one of the most significant influences in classical Chinese cookery, Shandong cuisine is nonetheless still little known outside northeastern China. Elegant presentation is an integral part of the Qingdao food experience, and Shandong dishes are richly flavourful. Unique seafood recipes are naturally the best-known Qingdao culinary creations, and vegetarian restaurants offer fresh local agricultural produce, except in mid-winter.
New Orleans Music Restaurant (Jazz Music & Chinese Cuisine) - Sun Plaza
White Spray Live Seafood Restaurant (Seafood) - 8 Nanhai Lu

Language

Official Languages: Putunghua
Language of Business and Administration: Putunghua and English

Electricity

220 volts, 50 cycles

Emergency Number

S.O.S. Worldwide Alarm Centres: Please click here
Tourist Hotline: 5261179
Ambulance: 120 , 7213460
Emergencies: 110 (foreigner's section 552729)
Fire: 119
Tel No. Enquiry: 114
Police: 110
Foreign Affairs Office of Police: 7216795

Public Holidays

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Last modified 19 September 1997
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