The east coast port city of Qingdao is probably most famous for its eponymous beer, Tsingtao. The beer is a portal into a more complex history, however, with a substantial German “concession” in the city in the early 20th century.

Like it’s massive neighbor to the south, Qingdao’s desirable position as a port city made it appealing to European powers setting up a base of operations as they expanded their global presence along trade routes. While the era of communism did away with the extraterritoriality, the architecture and cultural remnants of Western presence remain. In Qingdao, these were predominantly German. In a relatively short time, the German colonists mixed their own style of architecture into the traditional Chinese city center, including cathedrals and the storybook style German Governor’s Mansion. They also introduced the city to their prized export: beer.

The people of Qingdao took to the golden brew with enthusiasm, and continue to produce Tsingtao, a global favorite. The Tsingtao Museum is a popular destination for world beer lovers.

In recent years, the world of sailing has come to coastal Qingdao in style. Hosting regattas, races, and events from Olympics to invitationals, the city has made a name for itself with the picturesque and exciting events.

Just outside the city, experience the gorgeous coastal scenery of the Shandong Peninsula, including the mystical and famed Mount Lao, or Laoshan. Prized as one of the cradles of Taoism, the mountain sits inside the Qingdao Laoshan National Park. Here the Complete Perfection School of Taoism developed, and devotees constructed many temples over time. The Temple of Supreme Purity is the largest of these, dating back to the 10th or 11th century.

Allow Ker & Downey to match you with our local guides to explore this vibrant region of China’s coast, a beautiful and fascinating addition to your grand China adventure.