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● Qingdao/Tsingtao

Qingdao 

Qingdao (also spelled Tsingtao) is a city in eastern Shandong Province on the east coast of China. It is the largest city in its province. Administered at the sub-provincial level, Qingdao has jurisdiction over six districts and four county-level cities. As of 2014 Qingdao had a population of 9,046,200 with an urban population of 6,188,100. Lying across the Shandong Peninsula and looking out to the Yellow Sea, it borders Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west and Rizhao to the southwest. Qīng in Chinese means "cyan" or "greenish-blue", while dǎo means "island".Qingdao is a major seaport, naval base, and industrial centre. The world's longest sea bridge, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, links the main urban area of Qingdao with Huangdao district, straddling the Jiaozhou Bay sea areas. It is also the site of the Tsingtao Brewery, the second largest brewery in China.

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Geography and climate

Qingdao is located on the south facing coast of the Shandong Peninsula (German: Schantung-Halbinsel). It borders three prefecture-level cities, namely Yantai to the northeast, Weifang to the west, and Rizhao to the southwest. The city's total jurisdiction area occupies 10,654 square kilometres (4,114 sq mi), and stretches in latitude from 35° 35' to 37° 09' N and in longitude from 119° 30' to 121° 00' E. The populated sections of the city are relatively flat while mountains spur up within city limits and nearby. The highest elevation in the city is 1,133 metres (3,717 ft) above sea level. Of the total area of Qingdao, 15.5% is highland, while the foothill, plain and lowland areas constitute 25.1%, 37.8% and 21.7%. The city has a 730.64 kilometres (454.00 mi) coastline. Five significant rivers that flow for more than 50 kilometres (31 mi) can be found in the region.

Qingdao has a temperate, four-season, monsoon-influenced climate that lies in the transition between the humid subtropical (Köppen Cwa) and humid continental (Köppen Dwa) regimes, but favouring the former. Winter is cool to cold and windy, but generally dry, with a January average of −0.5 °C (31.1 °F). Summer is generally hot and humid, but very hot days are rare, with an August average of 25.3 °C (77.5 °F). Due to its proximity to the coast and being on a peninsula, it experiences a one-month delayed spring compared to most inland areas of China, and the annual diurnal temperature variation is only 6.3 °C (11.3 °F). Conversely, autumn is milder than inland areas in Shandong. The water temperature peaks at about 25 °C (77 °F) in late August, with swimming possible two months on either side. The annual mean temperature is 12.6 °C (54.7 °F). Extremes since 1951 have ranged from −15.5 °C (4 °F) on 16 January 1958 to 38.9 °C (102 °F) on 15 July 2002. 

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Transport

Marine

The Orient Ferry connects Qingdao with Shimonoseki, Japan. There are two ferry lines connecting Qingdao with South Korea. The New Golden Bridge II operates between Qingdao and Incheon, and the Blue Sea Ferry operates between Qingdao and Gunsan.

Qingdao hosts one of the world's busiest seaports. Cooperative relations have been established with 450 ports in 130 countries worldwide. In 2003, the annual cargo handling capacity exceeded 100 million tons for the first time. The number of containers reached 3.41 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargoes. By 2011, the port had become the world’s sixth-busiest by Total Cargo Volume, having handled 372 million tonnes of cargo in that year. It is the 8th in the world in terms of TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units).


Aviation

The Qingdao Liuting International Airport, 23 km (14 mi) away from city centre, is served by 13 domestic and international airlines, operating 94 routes, 12 of which are international and regional. In 2011, Qingdao Liuting International Airport was the 16th busiest airport in the People's Republic of China with 11,716,361 passengers. A new civil aviation airport with much larger capacities will be built in Jiaozhou District.


Intercity rail

Qingdao railway station

Qingdao's railway development was picked up during the late 1990s. It is at the beginning of the Jiaoji Railway. Qingdao's city proper has some major railway stations, Qingdao Station, Sifang Station, Cangkou Station, Great-Seaport Station, etc.

D and G series High speed trains travel on the Jiaoji High Speed Railway and reach speeds of 200 km/h (120 mph) on the Jinan-Qingdao Section.Services go to Beijing, Shanghai, Hefei, Jinan and Tianjin.

Domestic rail lines connect Qingdao with many cities in China including Beijing, Lanzhou, Chengdu, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Jinan and Jining.


Public transport

Qingdao's public traffic owns 5283 large and medium-sized buses, CNG buses as of 2012.There are also 136 trolleybuses as of 2012. There are 260 bus routes and 3 trolleybus routes as of 2012.[citation needed] All of these buses and trolleybuses can be accessed using the Qingdao Public Traffic IC Card (Qin dao Card 琴岛卡), which uses radio frequencies so the card does not have to physically touch the scanner. Non air-conditioned busses cost 1 yuan, The volume of road passenger transport approaches 0.8 billion per year.[citation needed] The Public Transport Brand of 'Ri-Xin Bus ' is also known in China.

There are a number of taxi companies in Qingdao including Yiqing Company, Zhongqing Company, Jiaoyun Company and, Huaqing Company.


Subway

After getting the approval from the State Council, the government announced on 18 August 2009 that Qingdao is ready to spend more than 29 billion yuan ($4.2 billion) before 2016 on its subway construction. Construction of 54.7 km (34.0 mi) of subway line will be completed before 2016 with a total investment of 29.2 billion yuan ($4.3 billion). Metro Line 3 is the first line in function and opened on 16 December 2015. In the long term, the city plans to build eight subway lines in downtown and some suburban districts, which account for 231.5 km (143.8 mi) in future.


Cuisine

Seafood is a typical delicacy of the coastal city, divided into two categories: "Great Seafood" including sea cucumbers, abalones, shark's fin, prawns, crabs, conch, and some big fish, and "Little Seafood" comprising squid, shrimps, octopus, oysters, razor clams, clams, periwinkles, yellow croakers, etc. Generally, fresh seafood is served in every hotel.

The distinctive cuisine of the area is Lu Cai, the Shandong regional style.

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