If you plan to come to Qingdao, you will inevitably hear about Laoshan, a must-see in the region. However, while waiting for warmer temperatures to go exploring this beautiful mountain and take a breath of fresh air, you can still go to Fushan, if you want to have an escape in the nature for a few hours.
Fushan is a 5km long and 2km wide mountain in the eastern part of Qingdao. Its highest point is roughly located at 384 meters above the sea. To go up there you won’t need a lot of time, just a bit of willingness. That is what we needed, me and a friend of mine, when we got up at 4:45 am on a Saturday morning (What? Lie in during the week end? Never!) to go to Fushan in order to see the sunrise from the mountain top. Rude awakening, I have to admit, but once our hiking shoes were on, we were up for climbing all of the mountains of the world. Well… it was only Fushan, but anyway.
We walked for a while in the quiet early morning of Qingdao. As we had already been there once, we were familiar with the small passage that allows you to enter the mountain: only three stairs separated the link between the street and the wildness of the mountain. From there, no more roads could be seen but only natural trails. We knew we were going to make it on time, thirty minutes before the sunrise, but the sky was becoming lighter and lighter (good job because otherwise we would have fallen more than once on the way). After few minutes walking gingerly, we reached the stairs. Here is where the real climbing began!
Time quickly passed, sweat and 500 stairs later, we found a comfortable rock to wait for the sunrise. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side, we didn’t even see the sea from the mountain. But even though we had chosen a foggy day, there were beautiful colors and the muted atmosphere caused by the fog was relaxing. We were just about to give up waiting, thinking we would never see the sun coming out, when suddenly we saw it, shyly emerging out of the fog, perfect bright sphere in the sky. We stayed there for a moment, just enjoying the moment.
Afterwards we made our way back home, after a short passage in a bakery for a well-deserved breakfast.
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For last week’s Saturday Event the InternChina crew decided to walk up Fushan.
Fushan Mountain is one of the highlights of Qingdao. The whole mountain range is about 5 km long and the highest peak is perfectly embedded into the city. With a height of 384 meters it is not as exhausting as Laoshan to walk up but the lack of roads leading to the top makes it a great adventure! And Fushan is famous for its marvellous natural scenery.
Our small group of three people met Saturday afternoon to start the hiking trip. Since lots of people who had recently walked up Fushan gave me advice about where to start and where to go, I was quite confident that we would find the right way. But as soon as we got there it seemed to be a little more complicated.
We started our tour by finding our way around a locked fence with a red flag on top of it, walked up a few stairs and that was it. There was no obvious path that lead to the viewing platform, from which, I was told, the courageous ones could start their climb up to the final top of Fushan. Instead we were standing in the middle of pine trees and bushes with only a one foot wide path to follow.
After more than half an hour of following the path it suddenly stopped and instead of the viewing platform we were standing in the middle of graves. The ground was heaped up all around us with yellow squares and gifts for the dead in front of it. This was definitely not the right way. But as none of us wanted to turn around and go back to where we started, we decided to continue on our path. And after a one-hour walk through pine trees and high bushes we finally crossed the promised walking path right where it ended and the climb up to the peak began.
And the last bit of the hiking trip up Fushan was the best. Instead of walking you actually have to climb up big stones to get to the top. We started with the lowest peak but it was not enough, hence we continued to find our way over stones and through wild bushes to the highest Peak of Fushan. The wind was quite strong on that day but even though we made it to the top. At the end of our trip we were rewarded with a beautiful pre-sunset and a great view over the city. And our Tsingtao beer never tasted as good as it did after climbing up Fushan.
With May Fourth Square, Marina City, Qingdao’s Old Town, Ba Da Guan district and the shopping streets Part one of places to show your friends during their visit in Qingdao was all about Qingdao’s Culture and nice places where you can spend all your money on beautiful things. But Qingdao has a lot more to offer. With its location surrounded by the sea and mountains you and your friends should definitely escape the city for some days to discover the nice area around Qingdao.
Qingdao is located right on the base of Fushan. A mountain range with an area of 7.5 square kilometres. The main and highest peak is in Qingdao with a height of 384 meters. There are no roads but instead natural trails, meadows and pine trees that guarantee a nice hiking tour to the top. Once you made your way up you will be rewarded with a great view over the city of Qingdao, the sea and the beautiful costal area. Best time to go is definitely in the evening to watch the sunset on top of the city. There is even a little shack shop run by a friendly elderly couple selling snickers and beer… amazing.
Bigger, further away and with lots of culture to offer, you should take a whole day to experience Laoshan. It is the highest costal mountain in China with the peak reaching 1132 meters. But Laoshan has more to offer than just a long hiking tour with a marvellous natural scenery of seas and waterfalls. It is said to be one of the birth places of Taoism and thus a mountain of high significance for the Chinese culture. With lots of Taoist temples and nunneries Mount Laoshan offers more cultural experiences than one could possibly place on one day.
After hiking up two mountains it might be nice to grant your visitors a little rest. Best way to relax in Qingdao is definitely a day at the beach. Since Qingdao has 6 bathing beaches the decision which one to show is not that easy. One of my favourite beaches is Shilaoren beach. It is the biggest beach and outside of the city center. The second one that should not be missed is bathing beach number 2 next to the Ba Da Guan District.
Best way to discover both, spend the day at Shi Lao Ren beach and watch the sunset near bathing beach No 1.
In case that is a little too much nature for your friends, take them out for a drink to Minjiang Er Lu – Coffee Street.
With comfy kitsch coffee places next to Italian restaurants and wine bars the coffee street will be the perfect place for your friends to relax after hiking up two hills and discovering Qingdao’s seaside.
For our weekly InternChina trip, we planned to climb on the Fushan Mountain here in Qingdao. As the weather was really nice and sunny and not too cold not too hot we decided to conquer FuShan!!
FuShan is a very popular hiking alternative, but still it is not the highest mountain. The highest and biggest mountain here in Qingdao is the Laoshan Mountain, we will also plan a trip to Laoshan in the next weeks! Climbing the FuShan Mountain is really worth it, you will have 360° panoramic views of Qingdao.
We met all on Sunday morning at 12 o clock. We were a big group about 20 people, who were excited to climb the mountain. No one of the group had been to the FuShan Mountain before; therefore it was a big challenge to get to the FusShan Mountain, because there are a lot of different entrances all around the huge mountain. We decided to take taxis, in total we needed about 5-6 taxis to get there. I was in the taxi with 3 new interns, so we had no clue how the FuShan Mountain actually looks like. As we arrived we recognized that we are the only ones there, the rest of the group was missing. The problem was that the mountain was so big and the cab driver drops everyone out around FuShan. But, at the end we all found together and it was really funny.
Actually, we thought we will have stairs to get on the top of the mountain, but as I said before no one of us were at FuShan before; no one had an idea of which path to follow. Therefore, we always voted which way to take and it was not always correct but good we had a lot of fun picking a way randomly by voting! We were climbing the mountain and it got higher and higher and also more dangerous. I was really afraid to fall down, because the path to get up was so small and you had no possibility to hold on something. But luckily we had some strong guys in our group who helped us always.
Finally, we reached the top of the mountain with a lot of effort. But this effort was really worth it!! The view from the top of the mountain is more than words can say!! You have a beautiful and clear view over the whole city. After a small repose on the top, we had some beers and food to refuel some energy! We had the opportunity to take a lot of beautiful pictures on the mountain and saved some awesome memories!
And now climbing back down the mountain, this was the most challenging and difficult part of all!! We thought again that we will have stairs to get down the mountain, but again we couldn’t find the stairs.
Unfortunately, we took the most difficult and exciting path!!Getting down the mountain is actually always faster than getting up, but this time to get down was not that quick. It was an incredible feeling to get down the mountain, because left and right were nothing to hold on! But luckily, we all got down safely and made one of the best experiences here in Qingdao!!!
From left to right- Dennis, Martin, Simon, Viet-Ha, Mia, Andrea, Steve, Kristen, Nicole, Danou, and Jacob-(he is a teacher who has just graduated from college in the U.S.). We had a great journey that day. We had tons of laughs and took some amazing pictures and the hike really wasn’t that long. Fu Shan is one of the coolest places to hike. I found it to be the single most spectacular view that I have seen in China (even better than my experience in Beijing at the Great Wall).
Click on this link to watch a really cool video of me (Steve Nostrand)- holding my camera and showing off Qingdao from the mountains of Fu Shan near my host families home. The video may take a while to load and I am planning on uploading it onto YouTube soon-
Fushan (Qingdao, China)