| Basic Info
Qingdao, also known in the West as Tsingtao, is regarded as one of the most beautiful and clean cities in China. In 2010, Qingdao was named China's 2nd-most livable city.
Qingdao is situated in eastern Shandong province facing the Yellow Sea. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southeast.
Covering an area of 10,654 square kilometers, the city of Qingdao is made up of 7 districts (Shinan, Shibei, Sifang, Licang, Laoshan, Chengyang, Huangdao) and 5 county-level cities (Jiaozhou, Jiaonan, Jimo, Pingdu, Laixi). Geographically, Shinan is viewed as the old downtown, located in the south of Qingdao city proper, while Sifang and Shibei are located in the center of the city with Shibei designated as the new downtown, and Licang located further up the peninsula in the outskirts of the city.
Since the 1984 inauguration of China's open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, western Qingdao developed quickly as a port city. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese navy's northern fleet. An early example of the open-door policy occurred on November 5, 1984, when three United States Naval vessels visited Qingdao. This was the first US port call in more than 37 years to China.
Northern Qingdao, particularly Shibei and Chengyang districts, is now a manufacturing center. The city has recently experienced a strong growth period, with a new central business district created to the east of the older business district. Outside of the center of the city there is a large industrial zone, which includes chemical processing, rubber and heavy manufacturing, in addition to a growing high-tech area. Numerous local and national service companies, rather than manufacturers, are based in the city's southern district; this, as well as local wind patterns, allows Qingdao to enjoy clean, clear air year round.
With a population of around 3.5 million (8 million regional), Qingdao is the largest city in Shandong Province. The city is home to 38 Chinese ethnic minorities, which account for 0.14% of the city's total population. There is a large Korean community in Qingdao. By 2009, there are approximately 100,000 Koreans working, studying and living in Qingdao, which makes Qingdao the second in terms of Korean population in China, following Beijing which has about 200,000 Koreans.
Qingdao enjoys a temperate, semi-humid climate. The best time for travelers is from June to September, when the temperature stays between 20 and 28 °C.
In late August, in particular, the seawater is warm, the prime time for swimming and sunbathing on the coast (and participating in the Beer Festival, August 12-16).
Out of peak season, the city can get a little windy so bring a coat, although at such times the crowds will be much diminished and you get the chance to smile at the Y-fronted old men daring the brisk water!
◆ Public Services
Emergency calls Fire: 119 Police: 110
First Aid/Ambulance: 120 Traffic Accident: 122
Other useful numbers:
Bus Hotline: 82817777 Customer Complaint: 12315 (in Chinese)
International Phone Directory: 115 Local Phone Directory: 114 (in Chinese)
Weather Forecast: 121 (in Chinese)
Business Hours (average range):
Banks: daily 9am-5pm
Bars: daily 2pm-2am (some open until 6am)
Drugstores/pharmacies: daily 9am-5pm (some are 24 hours)
Hair salons: daily 9am-midnight
Hospitals: 7am-5pm, emergency 24 hours
Major sights: daily 8.30am-5pm (Apr 16-oct 15, last entry at 4 pm), 8.30am-4.30pm (Oct 16-Apr 15, last entry at 3.30 pm)
Markets: daily 9am-4pm or 6pm
Government offices: daily 9am-5pm (closed on weekends)
Post offices: daily 9am-5pm
Restaurants: daily 10am-11pm (some are 24 hours)
Shopping malls: daily 9am-9pm
Stores: daily 9am-9pm
Supermarkets: daily 9am-9pm
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