Spring in Beijing lasted about four days this year, between the heat going off and first bare midriff being spotted in public. As summer may have arrived without regard for the calendar, it’s time to think about the warm weather delights of a beer on the beach, and in China, no city does that better than Qingdao.

WHY
Qingdao was formerly a German colony, the only such German holding in China. The Tsingtao Brewery serves as a reminder of that period. Qingdao is a beautiful slice of China’s coastline, gifted with beaches that are some of the most popular in the country.

WHAT TO DO
The dates vary each year, but the annual Tsingtao Beer Festival is the city’s main attraction. Expect entertainment and giant tents for beer and food. Beyond that, make use of Qingdao’s numerous public beaches.

WHERE TO STAY
If it’s been a good year, then The Westin Qingdao (RMB 1,520 per night, including breakfast, excluding tax) is excellent. Tripadvisor.com has the Holiday Inn Qingdao Parkview (RMB 560 per night, including breakfast) as its number one hotel in the city.

WHERE TO EAT
The China Gongshe communal building offers dining and entertainment with a menu that’s heavy on the bounty of the sea. For a view, it’s hard to beat the Sunset Lounge. The site was originally developed for its view – of far away galaxies as it was formerly the location of China’s first modern astronomical observatory.

WHERE TO DRINK AND HANG
The Corner Pub on Minjiang Lu was a jazz club but it’s the hot corner in the Shinan East neighborhood. Lennon Bar on Zhuhai Lu is one of the city’s best live music venues.

GETTING THERE
Fast trains from Beijing South Station cost about RMB 550 one-way for second-class and take between four and a half to five hours. By plane, Qingdao is about an hour and 15 minutes from Beijing. Airfares can run as low as RMB 300 one-way but are usually closer to RMB 750-1,000. There are about 12-15 flights per day in total.

Photo: Baishiyan (Flickr)


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