Qingdao and Beyond

Q  ingdao is a beautiful city with many harbors set against a backdrop of rolling hills and mountains. It has a colorful history as a strategic naval headquarters for Germany, Japan, and the United States. A brewery was established in 1903 by the occupying Germans and ever since has produced the famous 'Tsing Tao' beer. The architecture and cobble-stone streets of the old town are of European design and could be any street in any older German village. Qingdao hosted the sailing and crew boat races during the 2008 Olympics. The harbors are clean and the local seafood is wonderful. The nearby spring waters of Lao Shan are some of the purest waters on Earth. A favorite local beverage is Lao-Shan Cola, a smooth not too sweet cola with a subtle ginger and clove aftertaste.

Qingdao 青岛

Olympic Harbor - Qingdao, China
'Winds of May' Freedom Sculpture
The Famous Walking Pier in Qingdao
Panorama of one of Qingdao's Many Beaches
Everything for an Outing at the Beach
Rental Pontoon Craft on the Beach
The Qingdao Boardwalk West End
Seafood Treats For Sale on the Boardwalk
Handmade Necklaces For Sale on the Boardwalk
Fresh Food Vendors Under the Boardwalk
Putting on the Finishing Touches of the Qingdao Aquarium's New Main Gate
The Beautiful Grounds of The Qingdao Aquarium
Jellyfish Room at The Qingdao Aquarium
The 'Blue Room' Inside The Qingdao Aquarium
A Connecting Path at The Qingdao Aquarium
The Undersea Tunnel at The Qingdao Aquarium
A Colorful Tank in The Blue Room at The Qingdao Aquarium
A Young Girl Shoots Bubbles Outside The Qingdao Aquarium
The View from a 22nd Floor Apartment
A Wall of Calligraphy Inside a Friend's Apartment
A Three Wheeled Taxi
Tai Dong Lu Major Walking Street - Outdoor Mall
Recycler & Son
Buying a Sweet Squidy Snack
Typical Afternoon Shopping on Tai Dong Lu
Fancy Spiral-Cut Fried Potatoes
Jewelry Shop Girl in Traditional Outfit
Buying a Roasted Duck
A Recycler Secures His Load
Getting a Haircut on the Street
A Shop Owner & His Dog
Saint Michael's Cathedral (built in 1934) in Oldtown Qingdao
Taking Time Out for Tea in Old Town
Freshly Cooked Tasty Hawthorn Sweet Treats
Fresh Eggs For Sale on the Street
Fresh Durian Fruit (榴莲) For Sale
Buying Continues Into The Night Along the City Streets
Rows of Fish For Sale (These are given as Wedding Gifts)
Inside the Wholesale Fish Market
Inside the Wholesale Meat Market
Buying Breakfast at an Upscale Market
The Igloo Rooms at the New Korean Spa in Qingdao
A Refreshing Popsicle
Typical Street Wiring

Beyond Qingdao and Into the Country

L ao Shan (崂山) is an hour drive out from Qingdao. The drive is reminiscent of driving along the Monterey coast. Pine trees grow down to the water's edge and sandy beaches punctuate the otherwise rocky coastline. Several small level farming areas with sandy soils produce tasty vegetables and the incomparable Lao Shan Green Tea and Lao Shan Red Tea. The Latin name for Tea is Camellia sinensis (sinensis is Latin for Chinese). The spring waters of Lao Shan also have become world famous since their discovery in 1905. They have been found to be one of the purest spring waters on earth. Also, Mount Lao and the surrounding area is known as "The Cradle of Daoism". I have twice visited the Daoist Temple there, known as the "Temple of Supreme Purity".

G oing in the other direction, a two and a half hour drive will transport you to the remote Wu Lian Mountains (五莲山) in the Ri Zhou Province. The road travels by hundreds of small wheat and tree farms before at last heading up into the mountains. Monkeys roam free within the mountain reserves.

A Common Coal Fired Stove-Radiator for Boiling the Day's Drinking Water
One of many Wheat Fields on the Way to the Wu Lian Mountains
A Small Town in the Wu Lian Mountains
A Lone Farmer Heads Down the Road in the Wu Lian Mountains
Monkeys Beside the Trail in the Wu Lian Mountains
Vista From a High Trail in the Wu Lian Mountains
'Split-Rock' - A Landmark in the Lao Shan Mountains
A Remote Tea Field High in the Lao Shan Mountains
A Remote Tea Field High in the Lao Shan Mountains
Lao Shan Tea Field Near the Coast
The Tea Flower of Camellia sinensis
Lao Shan Tea Field
Mountain Road in the Lao Shan Mountains
Drying Laundry and Fish Together Outside
Mariculture Ponds Along the Lao Shan Coast
In the Mountains of Lao Shan
Lao Shan Temple of Supreme Purity
Prayer Tablets at The Temple of Supreme Purity