The journey from Beijing went smoothly and by early morning, I reached the center of Qingdao.
The city is quite modern with many interesting features to make it stand out from the rest.
Whilst the downtown is rather unimpressive, the seaside is what makes this little coastal town excel.
With a 40.6km path, the seaside should be fully traversed to fully enjoy the mix of architecture styles, natural beauties and bits of history still present in the area.
Qingdao’s peculiar history gives it a unique feel, with influences from the German and Japanese occupation mixed in with the local culture. This can be seen in the architecture, which blends and temporarily transports the visitor to different periods and parts of the world.
Even in December, the seaside is full of life and beauty. Thanks to the mild winter weather, activities can still go on, almost unhindered: during one of my excursions, I ended up playing football on the beach with a team of Chinese men, topped off with some relaxing tea and banter in the “locker room”.
Many tourists also come for fishing or catching some small sea creatures along the shore, so, here and there, people sell baits and light equipment for such tasks.
My time exploring Qingdao was not long, reduced further by several days of very thick smog (coming from other parts of China), which forced me indoors due to the severity.
After many days of admiring the sea, I was finally able to cross it. The next stops: Incheon and Seoul.