More about Qingdao – A Winter Day in this interesting city…

This is my second posting from Qingdao — I spent three days here and enjoyed a stay at the Grand Regency Hotel on Hong Kong Street (丽晶大酒店), which is a nice hotel for the price. The rooms are large and nicely furnished (although the overall furnishings are a bit tired). Here is a photo of the insides of the room I stayed in

So on Sunday I decided that it is time to explore the city — no matter how cold it was…After a hearty breakfast in a Chinese buffet – yes, this hotel is Chinese owned and run and with a different view of the breakfast buffet vs. the Grand Hyatt Taipei let’s say… No pineapple here 🙁 but still had my fried eggs and lots of dumplings…and coffee was OK.

Then after doing some work I braved the howling wind and headed out in the town – the objective was TianHou Temple and the downtown pier at the bay.

Today was a sunny day, but the wind made it still freezing… After a cab ride, I reached the temple and was pleasantly surprised – not crowded and relatively colorful. Bought some Year of the Tiger charms from the monks, and came across a small shop of a paper cuts artist – bought a paper cut of the year of the tiger and she gave me a sheet of her biography – very nice lady.

Then I walked for a mile to the bay with a pier that reaches pretty far out in the sea. On the pier there were all sort of people trying to sell stuff – mostly it appeared illegally (as they hurriedly collected their wares a couple of times while I was there on what appeared the approach of police). I saw a guy display on the boardwalk sea stars (I think that is what they were called — I took pictures)
pulled fresh out of the bay. They were beautiful – yellow undersides and blue-purple tops… I heard one of the mulling people asking or concluding “yes, they are good eating…” — oh, well too bad for the creatures…

Given the freezing wind, it was amazing how many people were on the pier –

my guess many of them visitors from the country side – the local Qingdao crowd was probably staying warm at home 😉 as the rest of us visitors were trying to catch a view of the ocean and city…and I don’t blame them – after about 10minutes on the pier I was ready to head to a warmer place…
That turned out to be the local Parkson Dept. Store…after a quick walk through it – I headed out again and continued my walk along Zhongshan Lu and the near by streets. A detour brought me to an imposing church built on a hill of Zhongshan Lu…a remnant of the times the German residents occupied a large chunk of downtown Qingdao…(The story goes as such – Qingdao was surrendered to Germany in the late 18 hundreds after two German monks were killed in the city and German troops marched here)
Took a lot of pictures – the architecture along side Zhongshan Lu is very interesting – you would think you are in a European town…

By 4:30pm I was finally too cold, so I hailed a cab and headed back to the hotel. The cab was a VW Passat – admitedly a bit nicer than the VW Santana cabs which are prolific – but I had an interesting surprise – “luxury” comes at a price – the meter of that cab was quickly running up the tab… When I asked the driver “what gives…?” – his response was “well new model cab – new price…”. He sounded almost apologetic. By the time I got back to the hotel the meter was at RMB26 !!! While at noon the same trip cost me RMB17!!! What is that – over 50% markup…
Another interesting observation – the paper cut of the Chinese Zodiak Year of the Tiger in a frame done by a local artist cost me RMB25 …hm…?!?! Peculiar…!?!?
The difference between the local and global economy…

14 thoughts on “More about Qingdao – A Winter Day in this interesting city…”

  1. Odd architecture, a sort of art deco European with a Moorish influence. Is three days long enough to take in Qingdao?

  2. Yes, I think so — three days should be enough, but if you are there in the summer and want to take advantage of the beaches then you can stay a bit longer

  3. Since taxi cabs seem to be expensive, what other ways or modes of transportation are advisable for tourists? Is it easy to get around, in terms of road signs, etc.?

  4. well, not many options in Qingdao…I suppose in the summer you could rent a bike through your hotel…

  5. Great post, certainly piqued my interest in the place.

    How cold does it get in winter in Qingdao?

  6. The winter in Qingdao can be cold — in my experience from a couple of visits, the temperatures can get down into the 20F and 10F…so well below 0C…but I guess it is all relative – i.e.what is your point of reference

  7. Hi Esther,

    This itinerary is very busy…You will see a lot but you will be very, very tired at the end… 🙂  

    Good luck and enjoy your trip

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