Known as a "Pearl on the Yellow Sea", Qingdao is surrounded on three sides by water, with Laoshan Mountain as a backdrop. It is a beautiful seaside city and located in the southeast part of Shandong Province. To the east, a short distance across the Yellow Sea, lie Korea and Japan, making Qingdao an important city for international trade.
The city's construction on the whole is a combination of European and traditional Chinese styles. For thirty three years, up to 1949, Qingdao was a colony of Germany and Japan. Thus, Qingdao has a great deal of European architecture. This foreign architecture -a remnant of the colonial past- now beautifies this seaside city.
Qingdao's red-tiled roofs and verdant foliage complement its picturesque setting. Its crimson reefs, gentle waves, colorful sailing boats and golden beaches help to make up the beautiful scenery. Qingdao's history, religion, natural conditions, native customs and its festivals constitute the city's tourism culture. There are also some old buildings where famous figures in China's modern history once lived. The city is sometimes known as the Switzerland of the Orient. All things make Qingdao widely appealing to tourists both at home and abroad.
Qingdao, which is the finest aquatic sports centre in Asia, is well known for water competitions. Thus it is no surprise that the International Sail-Boating Association judged that Qingdao is capable of becoming the site of the sailing contest after Beijing won the bid for hosting the 2008 Olympics. This great event brings a great opportunity for this charming city to build its bright future.
The port of Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province has become the 16th largest in the world with a handing capacity of at least 100 million tons of cargo a year. The port has navigation routes to more than 400 ports in 130 countries and regions worldwide. The port's container handling capacity has been increasing at an annual rate of between 30 per cent and 40 per cent during the past few years. All the world's top 10 container-shipping companies do business with the port.