Qingdao, Shandong, China


Written by: Melanie Rinehart, Pro QC International Qingdao might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of China, but it should certainly not be the last. With a culture all its own, Qingdao is a bustling business center. A big city with a small town feel, Qingdao has many experiences to offer that set it apart from larger cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Qingdao is known for domestic appliance and electronics production, as well as natural resource production. It is also a major site for foreign direct investment and import/export because of its advantageous positioning close to Korea and Japan. Just before the turn of the 20th century, German troops seized Qingdao and occupied the city until 1914 in what was once known as the Imperial Province. German influence in the area can be felt throughout the architecture and culture. The occupation also left Qingdao boasting the country's most famous beer, 'Tsingtao,' which can be bought for US$0.50 anywhere in the city. From Zhan Qiao Pier to May 4th Square, there is always something to see in Qingdao. Many argue Qingdao hosts the nicest bathing beaches in China. The weather and scenery is beautiful enough that in the summer as many as thirty couples a day can be seen taking engagement and wedding pictures near the beach. Getting Around: Qingdao's weather is beautiful year round. However, biking is less recommended in Qingdao than other Chinese cities because of the hilly terrain. The bus system is great for getting around and only costs US$0.17 on most routes. Shopping: Shopping in Qingdao does not offer as many options as select cities like Shenzhen, a manufacturing capital in China, but the variety is a tradeoff because almost everything in Qingdao is a near a fourth to a third of the price in Shenzhen. At the end of the day, Beer Street is always a great place to relax and get a meal. Eating: Local cuisine is definitely an aspect of the city that deserves to be explored. Great foods can be found at all times of the year, and most can be purchased right on the street while walking to work. ?? ji?nbing is a great breakfast food and about as close to a pancake as can be in China; meat, eggs, sauce and veggies are wrapped inside similar to a Chinese taco. ??? l gl are spicy clams in a clear soup. It's delicious, though I would not recommend eating this delicacy from a street vendor. Finally, ????? su?n l t?du s?, thin potato strings fried with peppers, is definitely one of the best dishes in Qingdao. As for restaurant recommendations, the venues in Qingdao are ever changing, so the most important thing to remember is to keep an open mind and choose a place that looks clean. Accommodations: I would suggest the Home Inn (?????for anyone in Qingdao for business. There is free wifi, and there is always an Ethernet cord in case the Wi-Fi goes out. Accommodations are very clean, and the staff is really helpful. They also have a breakfast ticket every morning for guests. Home Inn http://www.homeinns.com/ Housing International Hotel is also a very popular hotel for foreign business travel and offers all the same advantages of Home Inn, and it is also situated very close to the business district of Qingdao. http://www.housinghotel.com/main An additional recommendation is: Shangri-La Hotel http://www.shangri-la.com/qingdao/shangrila Other: Since many in the Shandong province do not speak English fluently, it is a good idea to carry a piece of paper with any notifications you may need to give locals in Chinese. Be sure to include any medical information, allergy information, and hotel name and address is never a bad idea. Learn more about Melanie and living in China in a recent interview we posted to our blog. http://blog.proqc.com/intern-insight Contact her directly at melanie_rinehart@proqc.com. Contact your account manager for additional information or assistance with travel itineraries.

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