Travel: Qingdao serves up beer, seafood and historical flavor

My first visit to Qingdao was in August 2016 with my parents for the famous Qingdao International Beer Festival and beautiful cultural locations.

The Qingdao International Beer Festival. (Image courtesy of Ruobing Su.) 

Qingdao (Tsingdao), originally Jiaozhou Bay, is the largest city in Shandong Province, located on north of China’s coastline. In 1897, the Germans seized and occupied Jiaozhou Bay until 1922, when the Republic of China gained power. Under German influence, there are many German style buildings in the old city area of Qingdao, with Badaguan being one of the most famous sites. “Badaguan,” which literally means “the eight great passes” in Chinese, is a historical mansion area the Germans built for residential use. “Huashi lou,” which combines Greek and Gothic styles, is the most famous building of the all — it was constructed with marble and stones, facing the No. 2 beach. Founder of the Chinese republic Chiang Kai-Shek lived in the home when he was in Qingdao, which adds to its historical value .

We were traveling during the famous Qingdao International Beer Festival. Budweiser, Heineken, Vitalsberg — you name it, the brewery had venues and performances on Golden Sands Beach in Huangdao District. Both foreigners and Chinese locals enjoyed icy cold beers, as well as the beautiful night scenery in Qingdao.

As a city famous for beer, we paid a visit to the beer museum. It lies on the old site of the Tsingtao Brewery Company, which is a world-famous manufacturing enterprise specialized in beer brewing. It was established in 1903 as a Chinese branch of a German brewery. The tour guide detailed the history of Tsingtao Beer from the ear that used European beer brewery technology, to a world-class beer brewery now-a-days. We saw how workers and machines packaged beer into cans and glass bottles, which was fascinating. At last, we used two vouchers for draft beer and fruit puree beer right from the brewery. Puree beer can be slightly bitter, while draft beer has a strong and refreshing taste.

Qingdao is renowned for seafood: fish, crab, shrimp, seastars, clams, sea urechis and so on. We found vendors selling street food we had never seen before, such as spiders, walkingsticks, scorpions and multiple unidentifiable bugs. The mackerel and cuttlefish dumplings were different from regular dumplings made with pork and vegetables.

If you want to enjoy the history of China, Qingdao makes an excellent place to visit. The international city has a perfect view of the sea, a long history with invasions, as well as tasty food and beer.

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