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Published: September 12th 2017
Finally a proper break and a chance to escape Ningbo and explore a new place in China. I took a flight to Qingdao, which was only about an hour and a half. I got a nice view of Dongqian Lake as we took off, however that soon disappeared as we got into the pollution smog. The smog was even worse as we were descending in to Qingdao. I took the bus from the airport into the city. That took a little over an hour. I didn't realise that the stops were announced in English the audio was that bad. I had a quick walk to the place I was staying. The guesthouse was really nice. My friend was already there relaxing so we took some time to catch up since we hadn't seen each other for a few months. We found a place we wanted to eat at online, but it seemed really far away. Instead, we followed the recommendation of the guesthouse owner to eat at one of the restaurants nearby. Hopefully, we could visit the other place another day. I liked the neighbourhood we were staying in, it seemed more residential. We found the restaurant that the guesthouse owner
had recommended. I liked that all the restaurants had lots of outdoor seating. It definitely made me feel like I was on my holidays. We set about ordering some food. The menu was all in Chinese, so I was neither use nor ornament. Luckily, my friend can understand some of the characters, so we were able to decide what to have. We ordered a mushroom and bok choy dish, some fired squid and two lots of fried rice, one a shrimp one and the other a mixed seafood one. I think we were a little too ambitious ordering two different fried rices as when the bowls came they were huge. There was no way we would be able to eat all of it. The mushrooms and bok choy were delicious. The squid was the best dish. It was just sooo good. The batter was quite peppery, which made it taste even better. I was really happy with our food choices. Of course, being in Qingdao, the home of beer in China, it would be rude not to try some of the local brew. Tsingtao is available on draught here, so we ordered a jug of that to have with our
meal. It was so light and refreshing, better than the canned or bottled stuff.
After dinner, we decided to take a walk to explore the city a bit. We didn't really have any plan on where to go so just let our feet decide. We headed to the main street, Zhongshan Road and took a wander along that. The street was fairly busy, I wonder if it is because it is a holiday or if it is always like that. You can definitely see the German influence in the city. The architecture is just so different from other places. We had a look in a few of the shops, some of the snacks and cakes they sold looked delicious and I promised myself I would return to buy some (I didn't). When we got to the end of Zhongshan Road, we took the underpass. There was a small arcade in there with food stalls and some kind of simulator. We had fun watching the people on the simulator. When we came out the other side we were at the beach! The beach was heaving! There were loads of people on it. I was surprised that it was so popular
at night. We were also by Zhan Bridge pier, so we decide to take a walk along that. The pier is 440 metres long and we stopped quite a few times to take in the night view. The bright lights of Qingdao looked pretty. At the end of the pier, there is Huilan Ge, which is an octagonal pagoda. Since we were there pretty late in the evening, it wasn't open so we just took a walk around the outside. The pagoda looked gorgeous all lit up. Doing some googling later at home, I found out that the pagoda is the one that adorns cans and bottles of the famous local brew, Tsingtao. Luckily enough, I have a can of it in my kitchen and when I looked at it I could see the resemblance. After the pier, we just headed back to our hotel to chill.
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