Qingdao, an old port city situated on the Southern coast of Shandong, is a quaint and popular spot for travelers and sun seekers alike. At first sight the city seems almost a small town, a quick stroll around the railway area, close to the seafront, can be a deceptive image of the city proper, a deception that thankfully tends to stick with most of her visitors. With a total area of 10.645 square km and a total population of 6.95 million (2.27 million in the urban district), Qingdao is in fact one of China's most important economic cities and is the nation's fourth largest port.
Qingdao lies between mountain and sea, a coastal port with clear deep waters and a comfortable climate. The mountains provide a collection of interesting sights, centered around the mystical Laoshan, while the sea provides relaxation, gentle waves, bared rocks, and some golden beaches forming what is probably China's best northern beach resort. The historical culture, variety of religion, civil traditions, village customs, and holiday celebrations all add to Qingdao's rich culture.
Location and Climate
Qingdao is located in the south of Shandong Peninsula, with the Yellow Sea to the east and south, and the mainland to the west and north. Qingdao covers an area of 10,654 square km. Lying in the temperate semi-humid continental climate zone, it is a well-known summer resort. The average summer and winter temperatures are 25íŠand 1.3íŠ respectively.
The 7 districts of Shinan, Shibei, Sifang, Licang, Chengyang, Huangdao, and Laoshan,
and the 5 county-level cities of Jiaozhou, Jiaonan, Jimo, Pingdu, and Laixi, with a total population of 7.1049 million come under the jurisdiction of Qingdao.
The area has a total of 870 km of coastline and 375 square km of shallows. The main marine
products include salt, shrimp, sea cucumber, abalone, scallops and seaweed. Natural resources such as gold, graphite, marble, granite, diamonds, magnetite, mineral oil, coal, and iron are abundant. The distributing area of hot spring reaches more than 10 hectares.
Shilaoren National Holiday Resort, Mount Lao State-level Scenic Area, and Mashan State-level Natural Reserve are located here. The Seaside Scenic Area has beautiful scenery and a variety of well-preserved classical European style structures. The seaside Suplpture Garden and Sculpture Street in the eastern part of the city are now established tourist attractions. There are 2 golf courses and 39 hotels rated above three-stars, which accommodated 15.5144 million visitors in 2001.
Scientific and Technical Personnel
Qingdao is a famous marine science and technology city, boasting 590,000 scientific and technical personnel. There are 24 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering working here. The city has advantages in the IT industry, new material technology, biological technology, and agricultural science. There are 58 independent research institutions, 34 national key laboratories, 54 college or university-run research institutes, 80 municipal-level enterprise technological centers, 234 enterprise-run research institutes and 425 hi-tech enterprises located in this area.
Qingdao Port is one of China's major trading ports and one of the top fifteen hundred-million-ton ports in the world. The port consists of docks for containers, ore, petroleum and coal. The annual cargo handling capacity in 2000 exceeded 86 million tons and 2.1 million TEUs.
There are over 300 flights a week for 42 national and international air routes from Qingdao, including 9 international and regional routes involving 40 flights a week.
There are freight and passenger trains to many large cities in the North, East, South, Mid South, Northwest and Northeast of China.
Main highways include the Jinan-Qingdao Expressway, Qingdao-Yantai Expressway, Jiaozhouwan Expressway and the Qingdao-Yinchuan Expressway, which is now under construction. As a vice-provincial-level city, Qingdao ranks first in terms of expressway traffic mileage in China.
There are 76.48 telephones per hundred citizens in Qingdao. In addition there is a million gate analog and digital mobile telecom network, with a GSM through rate that ranks third in China.
The planned control targets for the overall discharge of the 12 main pollutants have been met and standardized discharge has been realized. All the annual average indices of main pollutants in the urban surface water areas and atmosphere meet the relevant standards.
There are 16 colleges and universities, including Qingdao Ocean University, a key university of the Ministry of Education and the only one of its kind in China. Children of foreign business people can study at Qingdao International School and Qingdao Nanyang School.