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( ), best known in the West by its postal map spelling Tsingtao, is a major city in eastern Shandongmarker province, People's Republic of Chinamarker. It borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifangmarker to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Lying across the Shandong Peninsulamarker while looking out to the Yellow Seamarker, Qingdao today is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial center. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery. The character (qīng) in Chinese means "green" or "lush", while the character (dǎo) means "island". Qingdao is administratively at the sub-provincial level. In 2008, Qingdao was named China's 7th-most livable city.

Additional names

  • Jiāo'ào ( ): former name during Qing Dynastymarker.
  • Qindao ( 岛, lit. "Stringed Instrument Isle"): additional modern name for the area, refers according to locals to the shape of the coastline.
  • Tsingtau: German name during concession period, written in German romanization of Chinese, known as Lessing-Othmer
  • Tsingtao: western postal name.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Qingdao has direct jurisdiction over 7 districts (区 qu) and 5 county-level cities (市 shi) :

Subdivision Population Land area Post Code Admin. Area Code*
as of 2007 km²
Qingdao City Proper
Shinan-qu 市南区 / 市南區 430,000 30.01 266000 370202
Shibei-qu 市北区 / 市北區 470,000 28.63 266000 370203
Sifang-qu 四方区 / 四方區 360,000 34.55 266000 370205
Licang-qu 李沧区 / 李滄區 280,000 95.52 266000 370213
Qingdao Suburban and Rural
Laoshan-qu 崂山区 / 嶗山區 190,000 389.34 266100 370212
Chengyang-qu 城阳区 / 城陽區 430,000 553.2 266000 370214
Huangdao-qu 黄岛区 / 黃島區 260,000 274.1 266000 370211
Jiaozhou-shi 胶州市 / 膠州市 750,000 1210 266300 370281
Jiaonan-shimarker 胶南市 / 膠南市 840,000 1927 266400 370284
Jimo-shi 即墨市 / 即墨市 1,070,000 1727 266200 370282
Pingdu-shimarker 平度市 / 平度市 1,330,000 3166 266700 370283
Laixi-shimarker 莱西市 / 萊西市 720,000 1522 266600 370285

*These codes are also being used by ID cards.

Geography and climate

Qingdao is located on the south facing coast of the Shandong Peninsulamarker. It borders three prefecture-level cities, namely Yantai to the northeast, Weifangmarker to the west, and Rizhao to the southwest. The city's total jurisdiction area occupies 10,654 km². The populated sections of the city are relatively flat while mountains spur up within city limits and nearby. The highest elevation in the city is 1133 m above sea level. 15.5% of the total area is highland, while the foothill, plain and lowland areas constitute 25.1%, 37.8% and 21.7%. The city has a 730.64-kilometre coastline. Five significant rivers that flow for more than 50 km can be found in the region.

Qingdao's climate is monsoon-influenced and falls on the borderline between humid subtropical (Koppen Cwa) and humid continental (Koppen Dwa). Winter is cool to cold, sometimes snowy, and windy, with temperatures hovering around freezing. Summer is generally hot and humid, but very hot days are rare. Due to its proximity to the coast and being on a peninsula, it experiences a one-month delayed spring compared to most of central China. Conversely, autumn is much milder than inland areas. The water temperature peaks at about 25C (77F) in late August, with swimming possible two months on either side.


Ancient times

Human settlement in the area dates back 6,000 years. The Dongyi nationality, one of the important origins of the Chinese nation, lived here and created the Dawenkou, Longshan and Dongyeshi cultures. In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC~256BC), the town of Jimomarker was established, which was then the second largest one in the Shandong region. The area in which Qingdao is located today was named Jiao'ao (胶澳) when it was administered by the Qing Dynasty on 14 June 1891.

German colonial period and Japanese occupation

Sketch map of Tsingtao, circa 1906
Main gate of Chinese munitions depot, taken over by imperial navy, 1898
Administration/commercial building, harbor area, 1912
In 1891 the Qing government decided to make the area a defense base against naval attack and eventually began to improve Tsingtao’s existing fortifications. This Chinese activity was observed and reported by German naval officials during a formal survey of Kiautschou Bay in May 1897. After the Kiautschou Bay region was ceded to Germanymarker in 1898, the German authorities soon turned the impoverished fishing village of Tsingtao into a strategically important port administered by the Imperial Department of the Navy (Reichsmarineamt) rather than the Imperial Colonial Office (Reichskolonialamt). The navy based their Far East Squadron here, allowing the ships to conduct operations throughout the Pacific. From January 1898 the marines of III. Seebatallion were based at Tsingtao. The German imperial government planned and built the first streets and early infrastructure of the city (still visible today), introduced electrification throughout, a sewer system and a safe drinking water supply. Commercial interests established the world-famous Tsingtao Brewery. German influence extended to other areas of Shandong Province, including the establishment of diverse commercial enterprises.

Before the outbreak of World War I the ships of the German naval forces under Admiral Count von Spee were located at central Pacific colonies on routine missions. The fleet then rendezvoused in the Marianas to plan a transit to Germany rather than be trapped in the Pacific by Allied fleets.

After a minor British naval attack on the German colony in 1914, Japanmarker occupied the city and the surrounding province during the Siege of Tsingtao after Japan's declaration of war on Germanymarker in accordance with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The failure of the Allied powers to restore Chinese rule to Shandong after the war triggered the May Fourth Movement.

(For details on the colonial period, see Jiaozhou Bay concession)

Map of Qingdao in 1912
The city reverted to Chinese rule in December, 1922, under control of the Republic of Chinamarker. The city became a direct-controlled municipality of the ROC Government in 1929. Japan re-occupied Qingdao in 1938 with its plans of territorial expansion onto China's coast.

Post-World War II

After World War II the KMT allowed Qingdao to serve as the headquarters of the Western Pacific Fleet of the US Navy in 1945. On 2 June 1949 the CCP-led Red Army entered Qingdao and the city and province have been under PRCmarker control since that time.

Since the 1984 inauguration of China's open-door policy to foreign trade and investment, Qingdao has developed quickly as a modern 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. USS Rentz , USS Reeves and USS Oldendorf and their crews were officially hosted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Qingdao is now a manufacturing centre. 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.


By the end of 2006, Qingdao was estimated to be the home of about 8 million inhabitants, of which around 3 million reside in the Qingdao urban area. Another estimated 5 million live in other cities under Qingdao's jurisdiction. The annual birth rate is calculated around 76,507, with a birth rate of 10.15 per year per thousand, and a death rate of 6.32, both calculated on an annual basis. Living standards are among highest of leading Chinese cities due to the strong export economy and relatively high family wages.

Qingdao is home to 38 Chinese ethnic minorities,which account for 0.14% of the city's total population.

There is a large South Koreans community in Qingdao. By 2009, there are approximately 100,000 South Korean immigrants working, studying and living in Qingdao.


GDP per capita comprised RMB¥52,895 (US$7,616) in 2008. The GDP has grown steadily at an average pace of 16% annually. Internationally, Qingdao is perhaps best known for its Tsingtao Brewery, which German settlers founded in 1903, and which produces Tsingtao beer, now the most famous Chinese beer. It is also home to Haier, a large white goods manufacturer, and Hisense, a major electronics company. In 2002 guitar manufacturer Epiphone opened a factory at Qingdao.

In 1984 the Chinese government named a district of Qingdao a Special Economic and Technology Development Zone (SETDZ). Along with this district, the entire city had gone through amazing development of secondary and tertiary industries. As an important trading port in the province, Qingdao flourishes with foreign investment and international trade. South Koreamarker and Japanmarker in particular made extensive investment in the city. Approximately 80,000 South Korean citizens reside there. Construction proceeds at a relatively fast pace in Qingdao.

In terms of primary industry, Qingdao has an estimated 50,000 acres (200 km²) of arable land. Qingdao has a zigzagging pattern coastline, and thus possesses an invaluable stock of fish, shrimp, and other sea resources.

Qingdao is also home to a variety of mineral resources. Up to thirty different kinds have been mined. Qingdao's wind power electricity generation performs at among the best levels in the region. The city has also a number of paper mills. One plant is called Qingdao Bei Fa paper mill. Mill's machine is Karlstads Mekaniska Werkstad (KMW)-made (width 3048 mm) and it was acquired from Kajaani paper mill in Finlandmarker in the middle of the 1980s.

Industrial zones

  • Qingdao Economic & Technological Development Area
  • Qingdao Free Trade Zone
  • Qingdao High-tech Industrial Zone



The lengths of highways on operation are 14,326 km, including 700 km Expressways. At the present, the traffic mileage is more than 6.02 billion km per year. There are a total of 1,145 km of roads in the Qingdao area, with nearly 500 km of expressways. Expressways connect Qingdao with Jinanmarker. The specially designed high-altitude railcars required for the Qingzang railway ( ), the highest railway in the world, are also built in Qingdao.


The Orient Ferry connects Qingdao with Shimonoseki, Japanmarker. There are two ferry lines connecting Qingdao with South Koreamarker. The New Golden Bridge II operates between Qingdao and Incheonmarker, and the Blue Sea Ferry operates between Qingdao and Gunsanmarker.

Qingdao hosts one of China's largest seaports. Cooperative relations have been established with 450 ports in 130 countries worldwide. The 1999 annual cargo handling capacity was 72 million tons. Exported commodities amounted to more than 35 million tons and of cargo.


The Qingdao Liuting International Airportmarker, 36 kilometres away from city centre, is served by 13 domestic and international airlines, operating 94 routes, 12 of which are international and regional. It is estimated that in 2007 that 7.868 million people, including 1,082,000 international travelers, were transported through the airport.

Intercity Rail

Qingdao's railway development was picked up during the late 1990s. It is at the beginning of the Jiaoji Railway. Qingdao's city proper has some major railway stations, Qingdao Stationmarker, Sifang Station, Cangkou Station, Great-Seaport Station, etc. At the present, domestic rail lines connect Qingdao with Beijing, Lanzhoumarker, Chengdumarker, Xi'anmarker, Zhengzhoumarker, Jinanmarker, Jining and so on.

Public transport

Qingdao's public traffic owns about 4,500 large and medium-sized diesel buses, CNG buses and trolleybuses, operating more than 200 routes. All of these buses and trolleybuses can be accessed using the Qingdao Public Traffic IC Card (Ri-Xin Card ), which uses radio frequencies so the card does not have to physically touch the scanner. The volume of road passenger transport approaches 0.8 billion per year. The Public Transport Brand of 'Ri-Xin Bus ( )' is also known in China.

There are a number of taxi companies in Qingdao including Yiqing Company, Zhongqing Company, Jiaoyun Company and, Huaqing Company.


Qingdao is ready to spend more than 29 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) before 2016 on its subway construction, the government announced on August 18, 2009 after getting the approval from the State Council. The construction of 54.7 km mileage of subway line will be completed before 2016 with a total investment of 29.2 billion yuan ($4.3 billion). The city plans to build eight subway lines in downtown and some suburban districts, which account for 231.5 kilometers in future.



The unique combination of German and Chinese architecture in the city centre, combined with German demographic roots and a large Korean expat population, gives Qingdao a distinct atmosphere. A larger number of areas in former foreign styles are well preserved. Although the new city area is under large-scale reconstruction, the old city area (especially Taixi) still retains some traditional buildings.
Jīdū Xīnjiào Jiàotáng (Protestant Church) in July 2007


Other notable people include:


A distinctive local accent known as Qingdao dialect (青岛话, pinyin qingdao hua)" distinguishes the residents of the city from those of the surrounding Shandongmarker province. Due to the efforts by the city government to promote standard Mandarin, most educated people can affect that accent. With reform policies and English teaching, most young citizens have been taught English and many can converse with foreigners. Business and traffic signs in English are becoming more and more common. Street signs cannot be in foreign languages because of the law, but they typically include pinyin pronunciations which can be memorized more easily by foreigners than Chinese characters.


Seafood is a typical delicacy of the coastal city, divided into two categories: "Great Seafood" including sea cucumber, abalones, shark's fin, prawns, crabs, conch, and some big fish, and "Little Seafood" comprising squid, shrimps, octopus, oysters, razor clams, clams, periwinkle, yellow croakers, etc. Generally, fresh seafood is served in every hotel.

The distinctive cuisine of the area is Lu Cai, the Shandongmarker regional style.


  • Qingdao International Beer Festival in August/September, held annually since 1991
  • China International Afforestation Fair, since 2003
  • APEC SMEs Technology Conference and Fair
  • China Qingdao Fishing Competition
  • Qingdao Bar-Culture Festival
  • China International Exposition of electronic home appliances
  • China Qingdao Ocean Festival
  • China International Maritime Exhibition
  • Qingdao International Fashion Week
  • China International Fishery Fair
  • China Qingdao International Hot Air Balloon Festival
  • Qingdao International Beach Festival


Qingdao attracts many tourists due to its seaside setting and temperate weather. Parks, beaches, sculpture and unique German and modern architecture line the shore. For more information head over to the Qingdao Information Centre for International Visitors located on Mid-Hong Kong Road (Xianggang Zhong Lu).

Qingdao's major attractions include:

Historical Euro-Asia Area

Former site of the headquarters of the German Administration
The Protestant Church(基督教堂)
St Michael's Cathedral

  • Zhan Qiao
  • Little Qingdao Isle (小青岛)
  • Tian Hou Temple (天后宫), Qingdao Folk Museum
  • Ba Da Guan , the older area of town with some surviving German and Japanese architecture.
  • Lu Xun Park, named after Lu Xun (鲁迅), a famous modern Chinese writer and critic, who lived and taught in 1930s.
  • Zhongshan Park, named after the style name 'Zhongshan' of Sun Zhongshan (孙文,字中山), a famous modern Chinese politician.
  • Xiao Yu Shan
  • Qingdao Botanical Garden
  • Qingdao Zoological Garden
  • The twin-spired St Michael's Cathedral, (天主教堂), one piece of the famous Neo-romanesque architecture in Qingdao, designed by German architect Alfred Fräbel, completed in 1934
  • Flower-floor (花石楼), the place for previous German governors to fish, hunt or rest.
  • Qingdao Underwater World, Qingdao Aquarium
  • Jiaozhou Governor's Hall (提督府), office building of former German governors [Gouverneurspalast] and former municipal government
  • Guest House, a classic German Castle
  • Signal Hill (信号山)
  • Astronomical Observatory Hill (观象山)
  • Tuan Dao Shan|Tuan Dao Shan (Dumpling Peninsula Hill, 团岛山)
  • Underground World of Chinese Mythology, life-size figures and groups depicting scenes from the Chinese mythology.
  • Qingdao Hill Fort ruins
  • Qingdao Naval Museum
  • The Protestant Church(基督教堂)
  • Qingdao Bathing Beaches, there are 6 well-known beaches with complete facilities.

The Flourishing Eastern Area

State-level Mount Lao Scenic Area

  • Lao Shan, 40 km east of Qingdao, the most famous Taoist mountain with Taoist retreat - Great Purity Palace (太清宫).
    • Jufeng (Huge Peak, 巨峰)
    • Nine Waters & Eighteen Pools (九水十八潭)
    • Kang Cheng Shuyuan (Kang Cheng Study House, 康成书院)
    • Yangkou (仰口)
    • Yakou (垭口)

Outlying Area


Post-secondary educational institutions

International schools


Qingdao has long been a hub of professional sports in The People's Republic of Chinamarker.


  • Qingdao second stadium
  • Qingdao Hongcheng stadium
  • Qingdao Tiantai stadium
  • Qingdao Chengyang sports training base
  • Qingdao Jiaonan Paper zoned rowing base

Olympic Games

Along with Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Qingdao was the host city for the Olympic Sailing competitions which took place along the shoreline by the city. These events were hosted at the Qingdao International Sailing Centremarker and held in Fushan Bay, near the city's central business district. A hotel and an international broadcasting centre were built.


Qingdao Hainiu Football Club (former name of Qingdao Shengwen Jonoon Football Club) was founded in 1993. They joined the first Chinese professional football as a second-class league club in 1994. They got the champion in their first season and were promoted to the top league (the first two could be promoted). In 1995, they finished as 11th (total 12 teams, last two would be relegated) and was relegated from the top league. In the next year, they got the runner-up in the second-class league and came back to the top league. Till now, they have been playing in the top league for 12 successive seasons.


IndyCar Series commercial division president Terry Angstadt has mentioned Qingdao as a possible venue for a second race in Asia after Twin Ring Motegimarker, Japanmarker. There are plans for a 400,000+ seat purpose-built course to be opened in 2011 or later. Angstadt has suggested that the series may race in a street circuit while the facilities are under construction.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Qingdao is twinned with:

Friendly co-operative cities

Qingdao is a friendly co-operative city of the following cities around the world.


External links

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