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LinZhenPu

Stopover in Qingdao

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LinZhenPu

Hi,

On my way to Harbin I've got a 17 hour stopover in Qingdao from Friday 4th of November 6pm until 10am the next day Chinese time.

I will be staying at the Qingdao 798 Youth Hostel.

Any recommendations on what to do? Anybody on these forums residing in Qingdao?

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dingye

Hi, 林振蒲

 

I am a local "Qingdaonese"(青岛人). 

 

I am not sure which 798 Youth Hostel you will be staying at. There are at least 3 798 Youth Hostel in Qingdao. Is that one on the LaiYang Road(莱阳路)?

 

I am not sure what kind of attractions you are interested. But I think XiaoYu Hill(小鱼山) is a place worthy to go. You can have a panoramic overlook of the whole city. 

 

If you love the sea, that's simple, just go to the seaside, you can go to the Pier(栈桥) or Olympic Sailing Center(奥帆中心). It looks wonderful in these two places at nights.

 

If you prefer the architectures and the tranquility, Eight Great Passes(八大关) is a good place to visit.

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LinZhenPu

Hi dingye,

I did not realize that there were multiple 798 Youth Hostels in Qingdao. I will be staying at the one on Liujiaxia Road.

Do you think I could fit both XiaoYu Hill and the Pier in one evening?

Thanks for the information!

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dingye

Sure. You can go to the XiaoYu Hill first and see the sunset if it's not cloudy. And then go to the Pier to the sea at the night.

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abcdefg

I would seek out one of the lively and popular big seafood restaurants where one selects shellfish, shrimp, crab, and today's saltwater catch, all kept live in large glass tanks. They cook it to order and you choose the side dishes to go with it.

 

I remember a glorious street with 6 or 8 such restaurants all in one block. The name has slipped my mind just now, but I'll bet Dingye knows, since he is 青岛人。(There may be several such streets.)

 

These places are more fun if you are dining with a couple of friends. Maybe some other people at your hostel will find the idea appealing.

 

The saltwater seafood you will find in Qingdao won't be available in Harbin, though they do have plenty of freshwater fish from the nearby lakes and the tributaries of the Songhua River.

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LinZhenPu

@abcdefg

Sounds great, thanks for the advice.

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abcdefg

Ouch! 大肚男 that was a nasty scam. Doubt they are still trying it today.

 

In case LinZhenPu is still in Qingdao considering a seafood meal, I'll expand a little on the basic shrimp "how to" of it here.

 

Best to buy live shrimp 活虾 from the live tank, where you can see whether they are frisky or lethargic. They should hop and splash when disturbed. Sometimes one or two athletic specimens may even leap entirely out of the tank.

 

As to the kind of shrimp to buy, there will be two or three options. The first two, which are their best sellers will come in size small and large. Large ones are less trouble to eat, but cost a little more. The price is usually posted on the tank in Yuan per Jin 元/斤。Half a jin is enough for one person, generally speaking, when you are also having other items in the meal.

 

Regardless of what price is posted, confirm cost before the waitress scoops them out. 这些下多少钱一斤?There should not be any extra charge for preparation unless you order something made fancy.

 

As a general tip, it's best to avoid the exotics unless you are armed in advance with more than casual knowledge. Establishments in Qingdao often offer "deep water shrimp" 深水虾 or "rock shrimp" 石头虾 that they maintain have much more flavor. The cost may not differ much from that of ordinary shrimp, but they can be very difficult to peel at the table. Shells are thick and stiff, and you will require tools, scissors usually, to peel them. Lots of fuss.

 

After selecting your shrimp, the waitress will ask how you want them prepared. For fresh shrimp like these, no ones that have been on ice a while, you can have the best taste experience by simply boiling them. This is usually said as baizhu 白煮, which means plain boiling in water.

 

Typically they will be served with a small dish 碟子 of dipping sauce. Most commonly dark vinegar, perhaps with some chili peppers sliced into it. If they forget, ask for it, and that's 麻烦你过来一碟醋。Shrimp are not served with a ketchup-based sauce as in the west.

 

Seafood restaurants will also offer them stir-fried with garlic and salt. Understand that they fry them in the shells and you will need to peel them at the table or just eat the shells Chinese style. Chinese diners relish the crunch; it's a 口感 issue (texture). Don't eat the head and the tail.

 

They usually also offer very large prawns 大虾 slit down the middle and grilled with lemon and butter. These large prawns are straight instead of being curled like ordinary shrimp. These are delicious, akin in flavor to lobster, but cost more. A meal can be made from only three or four of these; maybe five or six of them depending on hunger.

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