Samantha Soh is our tour leader. Strangely this holiday didn't excite me as much as previous holidays. Maybe I'm beginning to like being home bound since starting my gardening project in May this year. There are several nursery plants that I am anxious about in my absence but someone has been entrusted to look after them while we're away.
Qingdao will be the fourth, and possibly the last China holiday destination for us. We went to Beijing, Shanghai and Guilin before. Qingdao is special because of its European influence having come under the German occupation from 1898 to 1914. After that it came under the Japanese occupation for a period before the Chinese government retook the city which was reconquered by the Japanese in 1938. However in 1949 it was recaptured by the Chinese government under Chairman Mao Zedong.
The mention of Qingdao will invoke the name of Tsingtao Beer which was founded in 1903 by the German settlers. Today it is the second largest brewery in China but internationally it is very well known. The other event which made Qingdao well known is that it hosted the 2008 Olympic Sailing competitions in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The other landmark whuch makes Qingdao famous is that the world's longest sea bridge, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, links the main urban area of Qingdao with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas. Although Qingdao city is modern and clean it has kept a number of German styled buildings, including a cathedral and the former German governor's mansion preserved.
Of course the holiday is not only about Qingdao but what the province of Shadong has to offer. These will be described in greater details in the subsequent posts.
|Our tour group at Da Ming Lake in Jinan city, Shandong.|