Last weekend was my first time visiting the ‘Old Town’ and was not sure what to expect… hopefully I will give you a little introduction into what to search for there!
First thing to do is get to ZhanQiao (Qingdao’s grand pier), you can easily reach here by taxi or bus (228 for example from opposite Carrefour).
Zhan Bridge has many other names such as Qianhai Zhan Bridge, Nanhai Zhan Bridge and Grand Pier. Located at the coastal area at the southern end of Zhongshan Road, Zhan Bridge is an extension of the road into the sea.
Originally built in 1891 as a naval pier, Zhan Bridge is as old as Qingdao City. During the Qing Dynasty, the imperial envoy Li Hongzhang once came to Qingdao to inspect the local development. At that time, Qingdao was just a small fishing village, which couldn’t house the big official ship of Li Hongzhang so the pier was built.
Back then the pier was small. But now, Zhan Bridge is a famous scenic spot thanks to the renovation in recent years. It is 440-meter (1444-foot) long and 10-meter (33-foot) wide with giant granite supports. Lotus-shaped lamps provide illumination and decoration. At the south end of the bridge is a Chinese style octagon pavilion standing in contrast to European buildings in the background
It is also interesting to note that this is the scene from all those Qingdao beer bottles we all love 😛
From here we walked up the road to find St. Michaels Cathedral..
This huge Cathedral is located in the oldest part of Qingdao, at 15 Zhejiang Road, on the east side of Zhongshan Road in Shinan District. Built by German missionaries, the cathedral stands at the top of a hill in the center of the old German-built part of the city. It is the largest example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the province, resembling a German cathedral of the 12th century… Worth a visit… even just to see all of the pre wed couples having their photos taken in the square in front.
Just down the road is Ji Mo Lu.. this is where the fun starts because this awesome centre of shops is home to a whole range of interesting, counterfeit designer goods and novelties, where bartering is the name of the game.
Spanning at least 5 huge floors you can find pretty much anything for pretty much any price!
So, if you want to get the right price then follow my foolproof steps –
Jacks sacred six step plan to haggling:
1. First choose the item you like, check its quality, then ask the vendor how much it is (duo shao qian?)
2. Politely laugh at the price they tell you.
3. Offer something around ten percent lower than what you would be happy paying for it, which coincidentally will probably be ten percent of what they originally price the item at! This way you will have a bit of wiggle room.
4. You will then be locked in to the ancient ritual of the haggle where the vendor will most likely huff and puff, moan and tap at the calculator saying all the time that this is their best price. You will be repeating ‘tai gui le’ for good measure.
5. Do not be fooled. Be cheeky, smile and don’t take it seriously. To get the very best prices you will need to pretend to slowly walk away at least once.. twice to boot 😉 all the time saying ‘dui bu qi.. zai jian’
6. With a bit of luck, the vendor will chase you and agree to the lower price and the deal is done.. sometimes though you may just be left walking away. But then you just keep your head up and go to the next stall.. which is most likely selling exactly the same stuff and the game starts again 😛
Some useful phrases to bare in mind when negotiating –
• Rang wo xiang yi xia – let me think about it for a second
• Tai gui le – too expensive
• Qing gei wo pian yi yi dian(r) – please make it a little cheaper
• Ni shi wo peng you – you are my friend
• Wo shi da xue sheng, wo mei you qian – I am a student, I have no money
• Wo zhi you xxx kuai – I only have xxx yuan
• Wo yao song gei zhi ge wo nai nai/ma ma. Qing bang wo – I want to give it as a present to my gran/mother. Please help me < — pulls on their emotional strings
• Zai jian – Good bye
These are a few of the things I bought there – the beads were 10 yuan (1 euro), the purse 10 yuan and the designer leather belt.. 40 yuan (4 euro). So not a bad haul overall!
Hope you enjoy these sights, there is so much more to see in Old Town so I will keep you updated on my adventures there!
Last saturday Jamie and Leo arranged our monthly round table with all the interns…We relocated it outside and drove about 40 minutes with the bus to the north of Qingdao. It is one of the biggest and most bizarre markets of this city and if you want to see everything on this market you should schedule a whole day. They really sell everything there. There were even some doctors who checked the people and medicated them if necassary. To give an exaple there was a dentist who pulled out the teeth of people in public presence ^^
Jamie divided us into some groups and gave us shopping lists. It was kind of a bargaining competition. The group which payed less money for all of the goods (a hat, men´s and women´s underwear, 5 eggs, 5 tomatoes, 50g green tea, 5 screws, one chinese new year decoration) was the winner… That was fun but have I mentioned that it were -10° outside and the wind made -20° of it 😉
After this great excursion the people who weren´t frozen went to a rock concert at the ‘Red Star’ office where the band ‘Free the birds’ from Beijing played. It was a very nice concert…
I like 😉
I am back from my Christmas holidays in Hong Kong and I must say it was amazing. Although the city is a bit expensive (taxi fare starts at 18 HK$ and goes up every 200 meters or so, by 2; the MTR (subway) is comparable to that in Shanghai (around 6-9$)), it is also one of the nicest cities I have visited so far. It never gets boring there: you can party at night in Lan Kwai Fong (exit central station of MTR), go shopping in big malls with every store imaginable (like Elements at Kowloon Station), visit street and night markets in Stanley, Mong Kok and almost every street corner or spend a day or two in the amusement parks there (the Disneyland Resort or Ocean Park).
But what I especially enjoyed, was island hopping. From the Central Ferry Piers on Hong Kong Island you can get to the main outlying islands of Peng Chau, Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau, including Discovery Bay.
Peng Chau is the smallest of all, and has a wonderful little harbour town. The beaches are not that nice there, but you can go up finger hill and have a nice view over the little island.
Cheung Chau is bigger (they even have a Mc Donald’s on that island, but the Mc Flurry machine is broken). It has more to offer than Peng Chau like a pirate cave, pancake shaped rocks (I can’t remember if it really was a pancake, I just remember a lot of steps and a nasty tasting water melon) and a haunted house.
Lamma Island is the biggest of these three islands and really worth visiting, although there are a lot of tourists. The beaches are very nice and you can have a fantastic hike there (if you wander of the main trail, there aren’t even any people! Awsum!)
Yes and Lantau island (which apparently is even bigger than Hong Kong Island) is a must visit. The landscape is breathtaking, the beaches clean, white and beautiful and the best thing is the biggest outdoor, sitting Buddha of the world.
You also can take a ferry from Wan Chai to Macau, aka Las Vegas (which is about 150$ per trip and person). Once there, don’t mind taking public busses, just take the shiniest bus provided by the casinos at the ferry pier. They are free of charge and depart frequently.
If you want to visit the ruin church of St. Paul, take the casino bus to Grand Lisboa. You can walk from there.
Ohja, on a side note: you can use HK $ or the local currency over there. Both works fine.
Yes, that’s it for now and from my little trip.
As we can´t celebrate Christmas with our families at home this year, we thought of doing something special to compensate the bitter taste.A little bit like women who get up for shopping and buy lots of things, if they are frustrated 😉
But it really worked…
Maybe I should go out for shopping when I feel bad from now on ^^
Yifan arranged a very nice and expensive restaurant for us next to the Olympic sailing center with real traditional Cantonese Christmas food. Just like at home 😉
We even got a private room. We felt really important 🙂
The service there was very good as well.
I couldn’t imagine before that they even have beautiful and big Christmas trees here in China.