Qingdao Part 2, China

This is a continuation and part 2 of the Qingdao series.

We stayed primarily in the old town area called Badaguan Scenic Area where there’s a mix of German and Japanese architecture, well preserved and utilized in coffee shops, restaurants and bars. We barely scraped the surface of what this great coastal city has to offer, but we got a great taste of the diversity of experiences available. For a short trip, I’d highly recommend going to the top of Signal Hill to take in the glorious views and architecture from up high. I’d also recommend spending a day or two wandering around the Badadguan Scenic Area, which is quite large and spread out. 

Governor's mansion in Qingdao
German Governor’s residence from Signal Hill; GFX100S 41.8mm ISO-200 1/350sec f/8
View of German architecture from Signal Hill in Qingdao
Qingdao from Signal Hill; GFX100S 200mm ISO-200 1/320sec f/8
Red flowers at sunset in Qingdao on Signal Hill
Red flowers on the way up to Signal Hill; GFX100S 100mm ISO-400 1/80sec f/11
People taking pictures from the observatory at Signal Hill Qingdao
While tempting, we decided to avoid the interior viewpoint! GFX100S 100mm ISO-200 1/240sec f/5.6
View of Qingdao from Signal Hill
Qingdao from Signal Hill; GFX100S 100mm ISO-100 1/150sec f/11
View of Qingdao from Signal Hill
Beautiful sea views from Signal Hill; GFX100S 161.6mm ISO-125 1/120sec f/11
View of Christ Church in Qingdao from Signal Hill
Christ Church; GFX100S 142.7mm ISO-200 1/180sec f/11
View of Christ Church in Qingdao from Signal Hill
Central Business District; GFX100S 58.6mm ISO-200 1/1000sec f/8

You should also bring your running or walking gear and go for a run along the coast, soaking in the beautiful views, and on some days, the crystal clear water. You must also have as much seafood as possible, preferably from a restaurant that has live seafood available to choose from. You’ll find these restaurants all around Qingdao and especially near the beaches. The process is the same in that you get seated, and then are taken to the life seafood area; you pick what you want to eat, and then select how you want it cooked. I recommend keeping it simple and going for steamed so that you can enjoy the fresh seafood. You can then dip the seafood in vinegar or soya sauce, or eat it without any sauces. 

Tsingdao beer in a bag
This bag of beer was surprisingly expensive at US$20; GFX100S 80mm ISO-250 1/58sec f/1.7
Street corner made famous from Douyin (Tiktok)
A street corner made famous by Xiaoghongshu, or Internet Red; GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/110sec f/8

One restaurant I really recommend, but one that requires a bit of work as a foreigner, is to visit a claypot seafood place. You choose your fresh seafood, which they bring to your table and throw into a huge iron pot. They then cover the pot, and sadly you can hear the little guys bouncing around as they meet their maker. Once things settle down and the little guys are cooked, they lift the wooden cover off and you’re left with an incredible meal. At the end, they take the juices from the seafood and turn it into a soup for you. The whole experience is unique and very local. Language will be an issue, but like with all of China, the locals will do everything possible to help out and somehow a solution will be found to getting you the food you want. Be sure to order copious amounts of Tsingdao Beer to go with the seafood!  

People waiting outside a famous seafood restaurant in Qingdao
Amazing seafood restaurant; GFX100S 32mm ISO-500 1/25sec f/8
Seafood in Qingdao
Seafood made fresh in front of you; GFX100S 32mm ISO-1600 1/17sec f/5.6

For the remainder of this post, I’ll let the images do the talking. Qingdao is a beautiful city and is perfect to enjoy on foot. There are so many little roads that lead to beautiful architecture and wonderful experiences. There is an abundance of German influence remaining, some Japanese influence, and of course, the incredible influence and modernization of the current China.

Qingdao Christian Church
GFX100S 80mm ISO-200 1/210sec f/11
Beer Bus in Qingdao
GFX100S 80mm ISO-200 1/500sec f/4
Street performer in Qingdao near church
GFX100S 80mm ISO-100 1/1700sec f/1.7
Wedding portrait at beach in Qingdao
GFX100S 64mm ISO-100 1/340sec f/8
Qingdao skyline and beach
GFX100S 32mm ISO-200 1/180sec f/11
Horse prop for wedding picture in Qingdao
GFX100S 64mm ISO-100 1/80sec f/13
Lonely dandelion in a field of concrete in Qingdao
In a city of 11 million people and with everything mankind does to replace nature, this little force of nature survived; GFX100S 80mm ISO-100 1/480sec f/1.7
Qingdao Railway Station
Qingdao High-Speed Rail Station; GFX100S 32mm ISO-320 1/25sec f/5.6

Leave a comment