Old Germany in Qingdao
Once upon a time, the Germans ruled Qingdao, a port city in north-east China where the water is sapphire and the sunset tangerine.
Today, you can still find plenty of Germans, tourists who come to taste the city’s famous beer, first developed by their forefathers 90 years ago.
Besides teaching the locals the secret of making beer better than what had been distilled in Europe, the colonials also left behind brick-and-stone beauties that make Qingdao look like a miniature Alps town.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, Qingdao attracts visitors from the world over.
Sights like the Eight Passes Villas, Wusi Square, the Zhan Bridge, Mt Laoshan, No.1 Bathing Beach and Badaguan Scenic Area will help you remember Qingdao.
Climb two sacred mountains in Qingdao (Mt Heshan and Mt Laoshan) in any season. The yearly average temperature on the mountains is 12deg Centigrade, not too hot in summer nor too cold in winter.
The city sponsors the Qingdao International Beer Festival, Qingdao International Sea Festival, Beach Culture Festival, the Sea Affection Festival, and the Summer of Qingdao Festival.
8-day Cycling and Exploring
The best way to explore is on two wheels.
The online Travel China Guide suggests that on arrival in Qingdao, you first find a comfortable hostel in the South District, near the sea, to easily reach most of the highlight spots located along the coast line.
For renting a bicycle, the recommended shop is Qingdao Ziyouxing Bicycle Renting Shop, 12 Huiquan Road, South District, tel: 0532-85895928 or 13964888795).
Day 1 Start your bicycle tour from Zhanqiao, the symbol of Qingdao. Then continue cycling along the coast, passing through the Little Qingdao Island, Zhongshan Park, the Badaguan Scenic area, the Ocean Park and stopping at the Shilaoren National Tourist Area for Holidays, covering a total of about 20km.
Day 2 Cycle 37km to Jimo city which faces the Yellow Sea in the east and Mt Laoshan in the south. Take a bicycle trip to Mt Heshan, 4km south of Aoshanwei Town in Jimo city.
You can take the coach at Jimo coach station or mini-bus, to return to your hostel.
Day 3 Ride from Jimo to Rushan via Xingcun. The distance from Jimo to Xingcun is about 44km. Stop and relax in a hot spring on your way. Stay overnight in Xingcun when the third day's tour ends.
Day 4 will be tiring as you ride from Xingcun to Rushan (83km), a small port city of Weihai in the south-east of the Shandong peninsula.
Day 5 Relax at Silver Beach with over 20km continuous soft and gentle sand beach at the south-east coast of Rushan city. The Silver Beach Holiday Resort is fitting for visit all year round.
Day 6 Continue cycling 60km from Rushan to Wendeng along the No.207 provincial road. On arrival, visit Bible Mountain 20km from the city centre, located in the north-west of Gejia Town. Or spend the time touring the inner city. Stay overnight in the city centre.
Day 7 Cycle 50km from Wendeng to Rongcheng. There are a lot for you to visit in Rongcheng such as the Stone Island Holiday Resort in Stone Island district, the Holy Water Site in Yaxi Town and the Safari Park on Shendiao Mountain in Chengshan Town.
Day 8 Cycle to Chengshantou, the eastern part of the Shandong Peninsula to enjoy the coastline scenery.
Your 8-day bicycle trip ends there.