Qingdao: sailing city.

Qingdao is made for sailing. The coastal city boasts a long and attractive shoreline fringed by numerous islands which await exploration under sail. Summer temperatures soar into the 30s and invite days by the sea and refreshing swims in the ocean.

The city hugs the shoreline roughly halfway between Beijing and Shanghai, and successfully avoids the congestion and heavy air that besets so many other large Chinese cities.

Anyone who has visited China, and anyone who loves to sample imported beer, will know of Qingdao. They will of course know it by the name Tsingtao, which graces the labels of the most popular alcoholic beverage in China. The drink is made in Qingdao, and has been since 1903 when German migrants established breweries throughout the city. German influence is still evident in the architecture of various sections of the cities central districts

Tsingtao and Qingdao are different names for the same city. Simplified Chinese has used two different systems since it was first written using letters instead of Chinese characters. Tsingtao is the Wade-Giles system and Qingdao is the Pinyin system.

A city known for its beer has to have a beer festival, and it does. The multi-day festival focusses on beer, and the consumption of said beverage, but also includes amusement park rides for the kids and a number of other attractions to keep visitors entertained all night…so they stay and drink more beer.

An undeniable connection to beer explains the city’s unofficial motto: ‘He pijiu, chi gala’ – which roughly translates as:

Drink beer, eat shellfish.

Gold medals were contested in Qingdao in 2008 when the city hosted the sailing events for the Beijing Olympics. In recent years, the port city has hosted numerous rounds of the Extreme Sailing Series which showcases elite sailors on some of the fastest sailboats in the world. The marina of Qingdao offered an ideal setting for days of fast and exciting racing close to spectators and cameras.

Qingdao: a city for sailing.