Apr 9, 2009

Qingdao trip

Had a nice road trip down to Qingdao over the long weekend for tomb sweeping festival. When you consider the available options such as planes, trains, and buses, road trips are comparatively more expensive in China than in the US. But to a place like Qingdao with a lot of nice surrounding beaches and mountains to explore, you have a lot more freedom and access to places.

My last trip to Qingdao, a second-tier city, was in 2006. This time around I noticed that they have more of the chain stores and restaurants that they have in Beijing: Quanjude, Bellagio, and a few other national chains. Here's some photo highlights:

Fishermen unloading their catch, close to Laoshan:

A closer view of the fishermen's catch:

...and an even closer view. What is it? Tiny cuttlefish to be used in stir fries.

I have a strong urge to build a raft like this out of Styrofoam and wood and sail it in Houhai or Yuyuantan in Beijing. This looks really fun.

Now for the food and drink pictures...

Outside of the Tsingtao brewery; directly across the street are a bunch of local seafood restaurants. Your choose the live seafood you want before you sit down, and how you want it prepared. The restaurants sell fresh beer right from the brewery for 25 yuan a pitcher. It's very tasty.

I've got crabs...

Local clams, stir-fried

Fruit that I've not seen before

Cicadas for sale in a local chain supermarket, already weighed and wrapped. Not sure why any Qingdao-ians (or Qingdao-ers?) would want to eat cicadas when they have lots of excellent local seafood and fresh beer. I suppose some people like seafood, while others prefer cicadas or rabbit heads.

These are some scallops we had at a local mom and pop restaurant at a restaurant out along the coast. This was my first experience being presented whole scallops in a restaurant. In the US, you typically only get the white adductor muscle. In this restaurant you get the entire scallop and you get to figure out what you want to eat. Here's a picture of the anatomy of a scallop. I'd advise you to pluck out the white adductor and stick with eating that. Avoid eating the stomach and the anus — it tastes like _________ (you fill in the blank).

This is how you climb Laoshan in comfort:

Someone translated drunk people as "stoned people" in rule number 6 of this sign:

Inside of the Qingdao aquarium:

Here's a comic posted above a urinal in the men's room. It shows an OJ Simpson-esque rooster, who sees that his hen has just given birth to an elephant. As he strangles the hen with two hands, he shouts "Why did you betray me?". This is dark humor if I ever saw it...

Here's a nighttime shot of the German church in Qingdao:


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