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Published: November 2nd 2017
Our last full day in Qingdao. We had decided to visit the Qingdao Brewery and Beer Museum as it would be rude not to, as beer is one of Qingdao's most famous exports. But first breakfast, we headed along Zhongshan Road and headed into Burger King. My friend was sick of dumpling for breakfast, quite funny that the Asian person was sick of Asian food and wanted something Western, whereas I could have happily had dumplings again for breakfast. We just got the breakfast menu with seconds to spare. It wasn't that appetising and would have preferred dumplings. We decided to walk to the brewery as it wasn't too far from our hostel, about 40 minutes walking. I enjoyed the walk although, I think my friend was a bit tired out. It was cool as the brewery came into view and we could see the giant beer cans on the roof. We were in quite a residential area, the locals must be totally used to the view and not find it odd, but I did. The street the brewery is located on is filled with bars and restaurants, since it was still early, before lunchtime, most places were closed or empty.
We stopped at a little open fronted store selling snacks and bought some to sample. They were okay, nothing amazing. A little bit further along the street we reached the brewery and beer museum.
We went in and paid the entrance fee. It was 60 yuan per person and this included a glass of raw beer, a bag of peanuts an a glass of normal Tsingtao draft. After paying the entrance fee we went out into the main courtyard. It was nicely decorated with some sculptures and garden arrangements. We got to see the beers cans on the roof that we had seen from afar up close. The signs directed us into the museum first. That was interesting as it had all the history of how the Tsingtao brewery came into being and the Japanese and German influences. I loved the old beer posters that were on the walls. Some of the beer bottles that they have produced in the past were really pretty, too. After touring the museum, it was over to the factory, where there were mock-ups showing the process of how the beer is made. After seeing all the machinery used to make the beer, it
was time for our first beer. I think that this was the raw one. We showed our tickets at the counter and were given a beer and a bag of peanuts. The beer was really nice, very refreshing and the nuts were good, too. This place was pretty small, but we managed to grab a table, although I don't think that there were any seats. The final part of the brewery is the production line, where we got to see thousands of cans and bottles of Tsingtao getting packaged up ready to leave for destinations allover the globe.
The tour ended in the pub area, and we had a token for another free beer there. I presume that this is the normal beer. We handed over our tokens and got our beers. I have to say that the brewery are on to a good thing as there was an extremely attractive male serving the drinks, me and my friend were content to watch him work for a bit. The bar at the end of the tour is nice and big with lots of tables, so we were able to find a space without feeling like you were sitting on
top of anyone. They also serve food and whilst we didn't want to have a full on meal there, we opted for a couple of the different German sausages that they sold. They were a tasty snack to have with our beers. It made me remember Germany and also the Oktoberfest I had been to in Korea a couple of times. I must get back to Germany one day.
There was a shopping street that my friend had read about in her guidebook, that she wanted to visit so we took a taxi over there, as it was quite far away. However, it turned out to be a compete disappointment. There weren't too many shops there and lots of places were closed. There was pretty much no one walking around there, too. We did find a small mall, which seemed to be filled with small, independent shops, but the stuff was pretty expensive. We ended up wandering some streets nearby, I think, and found a massage place. It was part of the same chain that we had been to the other day, so to make up for the crap shopping we decided to get both get foot massages. It
was nice to relax and I think I managed to nod off for a bit. I wish this chain was allover as they are really cheap.
We were starving by this point and since we knew that there was a good restaurant nearby we headed there. We had wanted to go to this place on our first night in Qingdao, but it was too far away from our hostel and we were feeling lazy that night. We got to the restaurant, ChuanGe YuShui Jiao, and since it was outside of conventional Chinese eating times, it was pretty quiet and we were shown to a table straight away. The staff then told us to go and look at all the stuff on offer and pick something to eat. There was a massive table filled with all the different options. There were also some pictures on the wall. It would have been nice if there had been an English menu to consult, but I managed to make some sense of the Korean one. We ordered a plate of mixed dumplings and one of the seafood hotpots that was displayed on the table. The mixed dumplings arrived first. They were three different
colours, normal white-beige, yellow, and black. I think that the different colour dumpling skins was more of a gimmick as I didn't detect any difference in flavour in them, I suppose it is an easy way to distinguish that they have different fillings inside. I really enjoyed the dumplings, especially the seafood ones. Once again, I could have happily tucked into another couple of plates of them. The hotpot arrived as we were finishing up on the dumpling. It looked so impressive a giant bowl filled with a good assortment of sea creatures. The broth was typical spicy hotpot broth, which I loved. We devoured the hotpot, it was so good.
After our meal, my friend wanted to do some shopping, so we headed to a place that the massage guys had recommended. It wasn't too far away by taxi. We spent a few hours going around the shops and street stalls. My friend seemed to really like it, which is good. I wasn't fussed as shopping doesn't really interest me too much. I did like the architecture of one of the shopping streets. The shops were all on the ground floor and one of the buildings looked like
a hospital, but all the upper floors appeared to be empty. We took another taxi back to our hostel, where we were going to have a quick rest for going for a bite to eat. However, I was out stone cold. I napped hard for couple of hours and it was well after ten by the time I woke up. Since my friend wasn't hungry, we skipped going out for dinner and I munched on some of the Japanese snacks she had brought me.
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