Qingdao, a vibrant economic center and port, is also a historic city with rich culture set amid beautiful scenery.
Even as it ranks among China`s 10 most economically dynamic cities, Qingdao has been named a "National Civilized City", a "National Model City of Environmental Protection", a "National Sanitary and Garden City" and won the Habitat Environment Prize in China.
Located on the southeast of Shandong Peninsula facing the Yellow Sea, the city is backed by mountains and refreshed by a pleasant climate.
Qingdao`s total coastline is 870 km, a quarter of Shandong province`s total. The city`s borders encompass 10,654 sq km and a population of 8.38 million.
Its climate is moderated by the adjacent ocean, yet it still has distinct seasons.
Humans inhabited the area as far back as 6,000 years ago.
China`s first Emperor Qin Shihuang visited Langyatai, now is a tourist resort in Jiaonan, Qingdao, three times. His subject Xu Fu led a fleet from Langyatai to the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
By the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Qingdao had developed into a bustling town, known as Jiao`ao. The city`s opening-up as a trade port dates back 300 years to the reign of Emperor Qianlong. It started on the path to becoming an international city about 100 years ago.
Three decades of reform, opening up and development have resulted in six major industries based in Qingdao, including electronics and telecommunications, information technology and home appliances.
Qingdao`s total GDP surpassed 370 billion yuan in 2007, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year.
Qingdao was selected for special development in the State plan of 1986 and listed among 15 influential sub-provincial cities in 1994.
Ranked at the top for tourism, Qingdao is an entrept for visitors and goods entering and leaving China.
The city`s annual cargo handling capacity exceeds 300 million tons, while more than 30 million visitors from home and abroad arrive each year.
Its mountainous surroundings provide a backdrop to verdant growth, red-tiled buildings, clear sky and blue sea.
Architectural styles from 20 European countries bear witness to its past.
The western part of the city is dotted with the former German governor`s residence, Catholic and Lutheran churches, and the Badaguan - or Great Eight Passes - scenic area, which contrast sharply with the modern skyscrapers in the city`s east.
It has become a world-renowned destination for holidays, business and exhibitions.
The sculpture Wind of May and the Olympic sailing center are highlights of the newly built eastern portion of the city.
Lining the city from east to west, the seashore boardwalk passes many scenic spots including Huiquan Square, Sculpture Street, May 4th Square, Music Square and Sculpture Garden.