Qingdao Eating Out Guide

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How to say Bon Appétit in Chinese

In the UK, USA, Germany, France and lots of other Western countries, it is customary to say something like “bon appétit” or “Guten Appetit” to each other before starting a meal. Many of InternChina’s interns, especially the ones living with a Chinese host family, have this question:  how do you say “bon appétit” in Chinese?  When my Chinese friends and I heard this question we were stumped for an answer.

My answer is: we don’t say it normally.

How to say Bon Appetit

If you say it according to your translation software or dictionary it would be something like “zhù nǐ wèi kǒu hǎo” 祝你胃口好! Chinese people will either not understand it or think you are being funny. We don’t say it this way.
But, in some cases we use some similar words to express our friendship and thanks. However, these will usually be said by the hosts, and if used in the wrong way, or said by the wrong people, it may seem awkward and strange.

internchina gan bei
internchina gan bei

So what can you say??

1. “chī hǎo hē hǎo” 吃好喝好

Which literally translates as “eat well and drink well”. It actually means “enjoy your meal”, however, and is said by the host. At larger events, with more than one table such as birthdays, weddings and business events, the host or representative will usually come over to each table to great the guests.

2. “màn màn chī” 慢慢吃

This literally means “eat slow”.
This saying has the same meaning as “chī hǎo hē hǎo” .  Or you are really eating too fast, and people are trying to warn you to as it’s bad for your health.  🙂

3. “qǐng màn yòng” 请慢用

Literally means “please have it slow”, but a more correct translation is “here is your meal/drink, enjoy it”, and is used by waiters/waitresses in restaurants/bars only.
Similar words like “màn zǒu”慢走 on the surface means “walk slow” its real meaning is “take care on the way”.

internchina dinner qingdao
internchina dinner qingdao

4. “chī chī chī” 吃吃吃

Literally means “eat, eat, eat”, though it can be translated as “let’s start to eat and enjoy the meal”.
Again said by the host, it is normally only used when there is a small group of close friends or family members at the table. This phrase is very popular and if you live with a host family you will hear this a lot. It’s important for you to know the actual meaning of the phrase, otherwise it could seem like they are being very rude in ordering to eat a lot.
Some Chinese people like to say kāi chī  开吃 (start eating), kāi dòng  开动 (start), dòng kuài zi  动筷子 (start) …. Of course the expressions can vary  in different dialects in China, but if you follow my phrases then you will get by just fine!

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Einkaufen in Qingdao

Obwohl es hier in Qingdao genug Restaurants gibt, um jeden Tag etwas neues auszuprobieren, geht bei mir manchmal nichts über ein selbst gekochtes Essen. Und man muss schon sagen, so lecker die Restaurants auch sind, so frisch und vielfältig sind die Lebensmittel die ich hier in Qingdao überall bekomme.

china chillis
china chillis

Der wichtigste Einkaufsladen für den Grundbedarf ist bei mir der Supermarkt Carrefour. Doch obwohl Vielen von euch der Name vermutlich geläufig ist, hat das chinesische Carrefour ein ganz anderes Einkaufsabenteuer zu bieten.

china carre four
china carre four

Vom fangfrischen Fisch über eine riesige Auswahl an Fleisch und Gemüse, Nüssen und Gewürzen bis hin zu importierten Produkten gibt es hier alles, was das Herz begehrt. Aus riesigen Kisten schöpft man sich den Reis, die Gewürze, Trockenfrüchte und Nüsse selbst ab und taucht dadurch schnell in das Gefühl von echtem Marktgeschehen ein.

pig feet
pig feet

Da in China meistens alles vom Tier verwendet wird, ist das chinesische Sortiment etwas anders als wir es von Deutschland gewohnt sind. Hier Reihen sich Entenbrust sowie Leber an Hühner oder Schweinefüße, aber ein Stück Filet ist doch eher rar. Ganz nach dem Motto, was ist schon ein wahres Fleisch ohne Knochen?
Doch auch wenn sich die Essgewohnheiten unterscheiden, bei der Qualität merkt man hier keine Unterschiede.

Und sollte man auf halber Strecke die Lust aufs kochen verlieren, bietet der Food Court im Carrefour gleich einen leckeren Ausweg. Von Pizza über Jiaozi und Baozi bis zu frischen Fleisch oder Gemüsegerichten und Sushi können hier alle Gelüste gestillt werden.

Für mein Frühstück schaue ich am liebsten beim Markt um die Ecke vorbei.
Bei unterschiedlichen Händlern kann ich Bananen, Äpfel, Trauben, Pfirsiche, Melonen und eigentlich jedes weitere Obst und auch Gemüse kaufen.
Alles ist super frisch und meist sogar noch günstiger als im Carrefour.

china ingredients
china ingredients

Gleich neben dem Markt befindet sich meine lieblings Markthalle mit riesigem Fisch und Fleischangebot. Hier findet man eine tolle Auswahl an Fisch, Muscheln, Krebsen und Fröschen, die man entweder noch lebendig, aus kleinen Aquarien oder schön auf Eis gekühlt kaufen kann.

china food market in carre four
china food market in carre four

Auf dem Weg nach Hause kaufe ich mir abends bei einem kleinen Stand noch frittierte Leckereien, die jedem selbst gekochten Essen das i-Tüpfelchen verpassen.

Und obwohl ich mich sehr gerne in ein Restaurant setze und bekochen lasse, hin und wieder sollte man sich seine Leckereien hier selbst zubereiten. Alleine schon weil das Einkaufen in China unglaublich viel Spaß macht.

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What to show your friends during their visit in Qingdao – Part Two

With May Fourth Square, Marina City, Qingdao’s Old Town, Ba Da Guan district and the shopping streets Part one of places to show your friends during their visit in Qingdao was all about Qingdao’s Culture and nice places where you can spend all your money on beautiful things. But Qingdao has a lot more to offer.  With its location surrounded by the sea and mountains you and your friends should definitely escape the city for some days to discover the nice area around Qingdao.

fushan mountain
fushan mountain

Qingdao is located right on the base of Fushan. A mountain range with an area of 7.5 square kilometres. The main and highest peak is in Qingdao with a height of 384 meters. There are no roads but instead natural trails, meadows and pine trees that guarantee a nice hiking tour to the top. Once you made your way up you will be rewarded with a great view over the city of Qingdao, the sea and the beautiful costal area. Best time to go is definitely in the evening to watch the sunset on top of the city. There is even a little shack shop run by a friendly elderly couple selling snickers and beer… amazing.


laoshan mountain
laoshan mountain

Bigger, further away and with lots of culture to offer, you should take a whole day to experience Laoshan. It is the highest costal mountain in China with the peak reaching 1132 meters. But Laoshan has more to offer than just a long hiking tour with a marvellous natural scenery of seas and waterfalls. It is said to be one of the birth places of Taoism and thus a mountain of high significance for the Chinese culture. With lots of Taoist temples and nunneries Mount Laoshan offers more cultural experiences than one could possibly place on one day.

Qingdao’s beaches

qingdao beach sunset
qingdao beach sunset

After hiking up two mountains it might be nice to grant your visitors a little rest. Best way to relax in Qingdao is definitely a day at the beach. Since Qingdao has 6 bathing beaches the decision which one to show is not that easy. One of my favourite beaches is Shilaoren beach. It is the biggest beach and outside of the city center.  The second one that should not be missed is bathing beach number 2 next to the Ba Da Guan District.

Best way to discover both, spend the day at Shi Lao Ren beach and watch the sunset near bathing beach No 1.

Coffee Street

qingdao coffee street
qingdao coffee street

In case that is a little too much nature for your friends, take them out for a drink to Minjiang Er Lu – Coffee Street.

With comfy kitsch coffee places next to Italian restaurants and wine bars the coffee street will be the perfect place for your friends to relax after hiking up two hills and discovering Qingdao’s seaside.

Would you like to explore Qingdao as good as Sandra did? Then apply now for an internship in this beautiful city!



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What to show your friends during their visit to Qingdao – Part 1

This week I am finally having my first visitors from home. My mom is coming to Qingdao for a short week. And before she arrives, I had so sit down and think about all my favourite places that I want her to discover. Not as easy as one might think, since Qingdao is huge and I only have 4 days to introduce her to the city I already fell in love with.
Here is my list of sights that no one should miss during their time in Qingdao:

1. May Fourth Square

qingdao may fourth
qingdao may fourth

Located right next to our office the May Fourth square and the modern area around it is one of my favourite places here in Qingdao. It is named after the May Fourth Movement, a nation wide cultural and political movement that started in Qingdao. The best time to go is on a sunny afternoon when the air around is filled with lots of colourful kites.

2. Marina City and the Olympic Sailing Centre

qingdao marina city lighthouse
qingdao marina city lighthouse

The whole area around the Olympic Sailing Centre is definitely worth a visit. With an area of 45.000 square meters being reconstructed and built up for the Olympic games in 2008 the whole costal area around Marina city is the most modern one in Qingdao. I love the long pier with the flags of every nation that lead to the little light house from which you can enjoy the view on Qingdao’s skyline.

3. Old Town

qingdao catholic church
qingdao catholic church

If my visitors make their way to old town, I want them to discover the two famous churches. The Catholic Church and the Christian Church.  Once you had your first glimpse on the architecture it is hard to believe that you are still in China.

4. Badaguan District

qingdao badaguan
qingdao badaguan

The Ba Da Guan District is next to the beautiful costal area of Qingdao. It is the former residential area of the Germans and quite small with eight streets only. Latest by the time you escaped the big city and find yourself wandering through tree alleys next to nice architectural buildings Qingdao will have you captivated.

5. Taidong, Ji mo lu and shopping in general

InternChina – Nightmarket – Qingdao

But of course Qingdao has not only nice architecture and the sea to offer. There are lots of possibilities to spend your money on nice things. A Fake market in old town for Prada bags, New Balance sneaker, sunglasses and whatever you desire, the unique night market at Taidong and my favourite little market next to Crowne Plaza where I buy Zara clothes for a quarter of the real price if I am lucky.

But its not only the shopping for clothes, bags and shoes that my visitors have to experience. The shopping for food is quite an adventure itself. My favourite place to buy food in Qingdao is the little market on Dayao 3 Lu, next to where I live. The mass of fresh vegetables, sweet fruits, delicious meat, and freshly caught fish is hard to describe and definitely needs to be discovered by them.

Even though these nice sights are a good start to introduce my beautiful Qingdao to visitors, there is so much more for them to discover. And 4 days could never be enough in such an amazingly diverse city.


Part two – Qingdao Mountains and beaches is coming soon!

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Taidong Picture: http://www.myredstar.com/top-5-markets-qingdao/
Badaguan Picture: http://scenery.cultural-china.com/en/20Scenery11688.html

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Why you should come to Qingdao?

You may already be convinced on the idea of coming to Qingdao. Or you may be thinking about it – you want to do a big trip and make new experiences but you’re not sure if China and especially Qingdao is your thing. Below are some valuable reasons I think you should come to my current place to be, Qingdao.
The Food

InternChina- Qingdao cuisine

Chinese food is delicious, cheap and spicy. You should better learn to eat with sticks too. If you are prepared for that you will have some great culinary experiences. In Qingdao you should especially not miss the seafood. On my first night I had a big Chinese BBQ. You can find it on nearly every corner of the city. Just be open-minded and enjoy.

The Landscape

InternChina- Qingdao is full of beautiful beaches

In Qingdao you can really enjoy the nature. On the one side you have the sea and the beaches. It is great to walk along the beach and watch the sea or spend a chill out day with friends. On the other hand you have a lot of nice mountains to climb. The most famous is Laoshan. It is a great experience to go up and you can truly enjoy the view.

The Sights

InternChina- The impressive Zhanshan Temple

Qingdao can also offer you some nice sights and cultural experiences. Come and check out some more interesting spots in Qingdao. For example Zhanshan temple: it is a Buddhist temple located on ZhiQuan Road. Especially during summer it is great to just go there to picnic and enjoy the day. Another good place to go is the Zhongshan Park. This is the main city park. Inside there is an amusement park, nature garden, carnival and petting Zoo and a Botanical Garden. Besides that Qingdao offers many other great places. Go out and explore!

The Lifestyle

InternChina- Qingdao at night

Another big reason for coming to Qingdao is the lifestyle. You have a big city where you can always find a place to go out. You have great restaurants and the previously mentioned barbecue. For fans of the nightlife you have bars like LPG and Charlie’s as well as nightclubs like Muse and Ye Zhao. You will get to know a mixture of Western and Chinese people there. At the same time you have the opportunities to chill out on the beach or in the park. So whatever mood you are in, in Qingdao you can always find a place that makes you happy.

Would you like to join Stephan in Qingdao? Then apply now for an internship.

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Welcome to the International Beer Festival in Qingdao!

! GAN BEI !    ! CHEERS !     ! PROST !     ! SANTÉ !    ! CHINCHíN !
Every year Qingdao hosts the largest beer festival in Asia with beer from International breweries all over the globe.  Being German, and even Bavarian, I was quite excited to see what the Chinese would make out of our traditional beer festivals in Germany. I don’t know how many of you have already been to a beer festival, but imagine the huge beer tents, stuffed with benches and millions of Chinese people drinking beer, screaming and cheering to Chinese music. It was great!

Have a Drink

Besides the tents and the benches it didn’t really have a lot to do with a traditional German beer festival. They had awesome Chinese BBQ, a lot of other food stands (including a McDonalds stand), tons of rides and even some nice German sausages. Besides that, tons of different brewery tents were present; just to give you an impression: Beck’s from Germany, Kirin & Asahi from Japan, Carlsberg from Denmark, Corona from Mexico, Heineken from Holland, Tiger from Singapore, Budweiser from the states, and of course China’s Tsingtao.


Beer Festival in Qingdao

There are several ways to get to the festival, probably the easiest way is going by taxi. But be careful especially taxi drivers try to make the best our of these 2 weeks, therefore they ask for absurd numbers like 200RMB to go to the festival, instead of the usual price of 25RMB. You can work around that by saying a side road of the beer fest, which we did.
When we finally arrived at the beer fest it was really crowded, no wonder because about 3 million people visit the event every year. Finding our way through, we were asked for tons of pictures, it seemed like a group of 7 foreigners is not a common picture for most of the tourists there.

Chinese People drinking Beer

We wondered along the site, had some BBQ, had a look at the different tents where you could find all kinds of Chinese music and a lot of KTV. We finally ended up in the Tsingtao beer tent, because we felt the need to support the Qingdao brewery which is a big part of our Chinese life … We had a great time at the festival, drinking beer, meeting new Chinese people and dancing to Chinese music which we’ve never heard before.  After a lot of “Gan Bei” the festival closed down, it is just officially open till 10:30pm.

Would you like to come and visit the International Beer Festival in Qingdao? Then apply for an internship now.

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Thea is Moving from Chengdu to Qingdao

After one month enjoying the spicy Sichuanese food in Chengdu and having a great time with the Chengdu office team, I had to say goodbye to our lovely interns, whom I miss a lot. So last week I moved to Qingdao, China’s most liveable city, birthplace of the most famous Tsingdao-Beer. My arrival was pretty chaotic, including me breaking the key of our apartment, but our InternChina staff here is just as nice as ours in Chengdu and our Qingdao-master Leo helped me out together with my two roommates. Qingdao is a beautiful city, we can even see the sea from the window of our office. It is great to by the sea at night. Our InternChina team here is really awesome and helped me to overcome the loss of my Chengdu friends. Starting with the first Thursday dinner I had in Qingdao – Sichuanese Restaurant. With traditional spicy Sichuanese food like Mapo-Tofu they helped me to cure my homesickness from Chengdu. We have also lots of events going on in Qingdao.

high climb in Qingdao

On my first weekend here, we had a trip to Fushan Mt. on Saturday. Apparently Emeishan before was not enough, so the challenge continues. After almost an hour hiking through the forest around Fushan, we finally reached the wall we wanted to climb – and did! It was really exciting, but also very hard. Many of us who came back down from that steep wall claimed that we often considered giving up, but thanks to the cheering from our coach and other interns who waited down there, almost everyone who tried also succeeded. The view on top of it was totally worth it. On the next day we all had sore muscles, which lasted for the following couple days. But if we ever get a chance to do it again, we would!


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There is a New Guy in Town

I will just put it out there. There is a new guy in town. That is not just the line of a Rolling Stones song, but it is also completely true. Now I will promise to stop talking in third person.
Let me introduce myself to you in a classic way. My name is Stephan, I am 22 years old and I am coming from Berlin, Germany. 3 months ago I decided that for a certain amount of time I want to leave my beloved old continent called Europe to make a life changing new experience. A good friend of mine made me familiar with the idea of going to China. 3 months later the idea became a reality and now I have arrived in Qingdao and he is living in Shanghai.

Me playing the guitar

I have arrived in Qingdao only 2 days ago and it was a long journey to get there. I started with a train in Berlin going to Frankfurt where my Lufthansa flight started. After a 11 hours flight, there was supposed to be a short stop in Shenyang for about an hour, before the same aircraft would bring me safely to Qingdao. But things turned out differently.

After leaving the plane to wait in the transit zone, they told us that the new Lufthansa staff had food poisoning and the flight was cancelled. Despite the setback, they told not to worry, and that they would immediately supply another plane. After 3 hours this plane was also cancelled due to bad weather in Qingdao. What a mess!

Source: http://www.iac-kohlstrung.de/assets/Uploads/architecture/shenyang/shenyang-airport4.jpg

Luckily some first class flying Germans helped me to get into the first class lounge of the airport where I got a nice place to chill out and a pretty good buffet. You can say I made the best out of the adverse situation. Still, I had to spend 9 hours at the airport. At midnight a plane from Xiamen Airlines finally brought me to Qingdao where I was picked up by my new roommate and IC staff; Marina.

At 2.30am I got to see the place I’ll be living in for the next 5 months. I was surprised in a positive way as we got a big flat with 2 bathrooms. After eating some noodles in the middle of the night, my new bed made me the happiest person of the city at that moment. As my room was previously a child’s room, there are bright stars on the ceiling when you turn off the light. That let me rest assured as I fell asleep looking at the stars.

I am planning to settle in real quick, and get started with helping new people come to Qingdao and making sure they have a good time! Hope to see you soon!

Do you want to have some fun with me in China? Why not come to China! Apply now or send us an email for more information.

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Stephanie’s Weekend in Qingdao: IC Beach Party

This Saturday was the day of THE beach party! I’ve heard so much about this event since I arrived to Qingdao’s office. I was really looking forward to seeing what it was like.

QD Beach Party: An Annual Affair

‪So on Saturday morning, the plan was to meet on the coast for a boat trip for only 9 RMB, But when we woke up, it was raining. The trip was unfortunately cancelled.

Qingdao Brewery: A German-Chinese institution known around the world

‪A trip to Qingdao would not be complete without a Tsingtao Brewery tour,  so we decided to visit the beer museum to know more about the most popular Chinese beer.

IC Qingdao Manager Jack showing Qingdao some love

‪The place is amazing! You enjoy the great surroundings and atmosphere once you arrive. Tsingtao Brewery Museum, located East of ChuShuiShan Children’s Park and south of Taidong on Qingdao Beer Street, is China’s oldest brewery (1903).


Qingdao through the ages!

‪The museum shows the history of the Brewery, from the German ownership to the Chinese. It was very informative, and the samples of fresh beer straight from the production line were a great way to end the tour. It was a fun stop during our day.

IC Qingdao: Redefining the city's party-scene since 2007

‪Then it was time to party! The weather could have been better, but let’s face it, no world is perfect. Luckily we had better weather than the last beach party. When we arrived the sky was foggy and we couldn’t see clearly the sea, but by the end of the evening we had the chance to see the fantastic view of Qingdao’s coast.

The beer pong arena distinguishing the champions from the pretenders

‪Lots of InternChina’s interns were present and we had a great time partying all together. InterChina’s team prepared some snacks, beverages, glow sticks and of course BEER for everyone. We played some games like beer pong, flip cup…

IC Managers Phil and Jack

‪AND some Chinese people joined the party and showed us how to drink, China style! To end the party, some of us decided to take a late night dip in the sea, the water was nice and we were surrounded by Qingdao’s awesome skyline… good times! In a nutshell, it was a great party and evening where we all had lot of fun and enjoyed ourselves!

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Sights in Qingdao – Part II

Qingdao is home to about 8 million people and especially now during summer time you can see how the city becomes more and more crowded. A lot of tourists come to see Qingdao and enjoy the beaches and the sights. Come and check out some more interesting spots in Qingdao:
Zhanshan Temple:

Zhanshan temple is a Buddhist temple located on ZhiQuan Road. This is also right next to the Taiping Mountain where you can find a range of ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as small statues. Especially during summer it is great to just go there to picnic and enjoy the day. The temple was built in 1945 and is China’s youngest temple constructed within the Tiantai sect of Buddhism.

Zhanshan Temple: Beautiful view at the top!

Zhongshan Park:

This is the main city park. Inside there is an amusement park, nature garden, carnival and petting Zoo and a botanical garden. The best time to go is Springtime to see the Cherry blossoms open on the nature trail. Also going during the week will help you avoid the crowds!

Flowing cherry blossoms turn the park into a magical site

Tianhou Palace:

This temple was built in the Ming Dynasty (about 1467 AD). You can just go there and visit the temple without any entrance fees. It is quite nice with a stage in the front and bell & drum towers on both sides of the temple.

Get lost in history at Tianhou Palace!

Tsingtao Brewery:

Tsingtao Brewery was established in the late 1890s, and it is recognized as China’s premier beer, which explains why it is so famous all over the globe. The original brewery building is a beer museum today, so you can visit the museum, get a beer for free and learn about the history of the delicious Tsingtao beer.

Tsingtao: China's preeminent beer

Navy Museum:

Right next to the small island Xiao Qingdao you will find a formal naval base, which was built in 1989. It is home to former US and Soviet vessels, a Chinese Huafeng missile boat and various small crafts, vehicles and tanks. It is the especially interesting that it is the only military museum that features the complete development of the Chinese naval establishment.

Navy Museum overlooks Qingdao's iconic lighthouse in the distance

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