During our time living as expats in China, we’ve traveled to several major cities – Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xian, Hangzhou,and Suzhou. As interesting and grandiose as they are, there’s a remarkable quaintness that I have only found in Qingdao. Granted, I live here so maybe it takes time to get to know a city – but I’ll never forget my reaction to the Bund in Shanghai: Historical buildings, world-class restaurants, a striking skyline, an massive walkway, laa-di-da-di-dahhhhhh. Dare I say, I stood in the middle of all of that, somewhat disappointed. Basically, it’s what, in my opinion, one would expect to see in any major city. And that is what is encouraging about Qingdao. Unlike A LOT of cities in China, Qingdao is surprisingly unassuming. It doesn’t come off fake or a copy of what it aspires to be. It just is. It preserves its own personality, its own identity and it doesn’t try to compete with the major cities, because it really can’t. Behind an energetic city backdrop, Qingdao’s serene waterfront performs with charm and grace. It delicately adopts that coastal, resort feel while preserving its old world German and imperial Chinese influences.
Even for a city this size, Qingdao is still relatively under-explored, so there’s a lot of treasures to be found in its nooks and crannies. While meandering about, we found this little ocean boardwalk, away from the busy city center, called Yǐnhǎi Dà Shi Jiè or ‘Silver Sea Big World’. And compared to the Bund, this blew me away because it was so unexpected and peaceful. Yinhai waterfront has become a part of my morning routine. After the kids are off to school, I can zone out to Adele and enjoy this beautiful seaside walk.
So here are the directions:
On Donghai lu, just west of Haikou lu, you’ll see this massive sign for Yinhai:
You made it! Many other people have the same idea:
If I counted correctly – there are 4 sets of stairs on this walk, totaling 200 steps. It makes a pretty good work out, especially if you do it both ways!
True to Qingdao-form, you can find these thought-provoking sculptures scattered throughout.
Yet another relaxing, fun thing to do in Qingdao!