Qingdao, previously voted China’s “most liveable city”, is a fascinating city with much to experience and explore!
Qingdao is on China’s East Coast, about half way between Beijing and Shanghai, in Shandong province. Its name literally means cyan or greenish-blue (Qing) island (Dao) – sounds good already! A major seaport and industrial centre, it is also home to Tsingtao, China’s second-largest brewery.
Qingdao is also a major global finance centre (it ranks in the top 100 in the world) and as such, has a real international feel. It was named among China’s top ten cities in 2007 and was voted China’s “most liveable city” by the Chinese Institute of City Competitiveness in 2009.
The city has an interesting history, including a German colonial period between 1898 and 1914. Although short-lived, this had quite an impact on Qingdao, which is evidenced in the German architecture to be seen in the city as well as the German roots of the population. This, combined with the large number of Korean expats living in Qingdao, give it a unique atmosphere. Qingdao is, in the words of an old Chinese saying, a city of “red tiles, green trees, blue sky and blue sea”.
Festivals in Qingdao
There are no shortage of events and festivals for the teacher living in (or just visiting) Qingdao! The Qingdao International Beer Festival takes place in August/September and has been an annual event since 1991. This is perhaps further proof of the city’s historic Germanic influence! There are a variety of other events on offer, including Ocean Fairs, Fishing Competitions, Maritime Exhibitions, International Fashion Week plus a Bar Culture Festival. As well as the obvious marine theme, there seems to be an established beer-drinking culture in Qingdao – there’s even a beer museum!
You won’t be limited to festivals and exhibitions for things to do either; there are options a-plenty for the tourists among you; with temples and historic sites as well as water and amusement parks, nature and scenic areas, a zoo and aquariums to list but a few!
What can you expect in restaurants or food shops in Qingdao? Being a coastal city, there’s a lot of seafood on offer- some of it typical for Westerners like prawns and crab meat; others not so common like sea cucumbers and octopus! The Shandong regional cuisine is known as “Lu Cai” and the Jiaodong style, typical in Qingdao, is characterised by seafood dishes with a light taste – anyone hungry yet?
Teaching in Qingdao
TFA has a number of positions on offer in Qingdao, including some great opportunities teaching adults. For details on these positions, check out our jobs page at www.teachersforasia.com/jobs/ and search under “Qingdao”. If you’re considering teaching and don’t yet have a TEFL-type qualification, you may want to check our fully accredited courses, which are ideal preparation for teaching English to any age group – see www.tfa-academy.com/ for more information.