Tourism Allure of Blue Seas and Azure Skies
China Daily, November 8, 2012
First-time visitors are frequently stunned by the beauty of Qingdao
. Its distinctive red tiled buildings, greenery, blue seas and azure sky set it apart from other Chinese cities.
Nestled between mountains and the sea, with year-round agreeable weather, the city receives hundreds of millions of visitors every year.
According to the local tourism bureau, it had more than 3 million visitors during the eight-day national day holiday alone, an increase of 26.8 percent over the same period last year. They spent 3.8 billion yuan, an increase of 37.2 percent
Most of Qingdao's tourist attractions are along its east coast, including the Badaguan area, the Guesthouse, Zhanqiao Pier, May 4th Square, No 1 Beach, Laoshan Mountain and its famed beer festival.
Badaguan - or Eight Passes - is a must-see in Qingdao named for eight roads that crisscross the area flanked by gardens, courtyards, luxuriant trees and evergreen flora. Two more roads have now been added.
Architectural styles from more than 20 countries including the US, Japan and a range of European nations can be found in Badaguan.
Many films and TV series are shot in the area due to its beautiful natural environment.
Young couples from within and outside Qingdao choose it as the backdrop for their wedding photos.
The 4,000-sq-m Guesthouse is a castle-like German structure built in royal style. Completed in 1908, it was the governor-general's residence during Germany's colonization of the area.
Resembling a rainbow, Zhanqiao Pier is a source of pride among locals.
Extending 40 meters out to sea, Huilan Pavilion at its end seems to be floating on the waters.
The landmark from this century is May Fourth Square near the municipal government offices. Facing to Fushan Bay, it covers 10 hectares commemorate the May 4th Movement.
The Wind in May, a 30-meter tall sculpture on the square, conjures up not only the wind, but also patriotism and rising national power.
Qingdao's No 1 Beach, 580 meters long and 40 meters wide, was once the biggest in Asia. It is surrounded by lush trees and mountains on three sides.
Among all the scenic spots, Laoshan Mountain is the most sacred for its history and culture. At 1,133 meters above sea level, it is the highest point along China's coastline.
The Laoshan Mountain area has an 87-kilometer-long coast and about 20 islands, both big and small. At its peak, visitors are presented with a sweeping view of the majestic sea and rolling mountains.
Laoshan is also famous for its springs and waterfalls. Tradition says that its spring water, rich in minerals, can cure illnesses.
The mountain has strong connection with Taoism, adding more luster to its fame.
Laoshan district holds an international beer festival every year, which greatly boosts its tourism as Asia's largest festival of its kind.
The Qingdao International Beer Festival has opened on the second weekend of every August since 1991.
The 16-day-long gala integrates beer drinking with tourism, culture, sports, trade and business.
Last year, Qingdao was included in the Blue Economic Zone, a national strategy to develop the marine economy.
The opening of its undersea tunnel and cross-sea bridge has brought benefits to the city's tourist industry and Jiaonan on the west bank of Jiaozhou Bay.
With over 20 new operations, high-end tourism is gaining momentum on the west bank of the bay.
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