Ensconced on the southern tip of the Shandong Peninsula along the Yellow Sea, this city of 2.5 million is the largest trading port in northern China. Yet, despite such an urban bulk it behaves in the confident manner of a tourist resort. Its rare mesh of mountains and sea combine with a fairytale beachfront setting of Bavarian architecture to conjure strange expectations of women in bikinis and men in lederhosen snacking on hot apple strudel with chopsticks. Regardless of how impossibly odd, the bottom line is that it cohesively works: Qingdao averages more than 15 million tourists a year attracted to its beautiful weather, interesting historical architecture and, needless to say, beer. Major...
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...'s strategic location at the mouth of a natural inlet on the south coast of the Shandong Peninsula has long made it attractive to foreign powers. When two German missionaries were killed in the Boxer Rebellion at the end of the 19th century, that was all the excuse Kaiser Wilhelm II needed to wrest Qingdao, then a small fishing town, from the weak Qing government, which ceded the port to the Germans on November 14, 1897, for 99 years. The Germans moved in, set up the Tsingtao Brewery, established churches and missions, built a railway to Ji'nan, and stationed 2,000 men in the garrison. But they were forced out at the beginning of World War I in 1914, and the Japanese took over, staying on after...
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