XiaoQingdao Park│Small Qingdao Island. On our first Monday with Mari, Elijah and I visited this little island which lies to the southeast of Zhan Bridge, in Qingdao Bay. This is an infamous spot along the city’s coastal scenic area. It is a great place to enjoy ocean views and to soak up an island atmosphere. It is shaped like a qin (an ancient Chinese musical instrument), and when the waves ‘slap’ the shoreline, the sound is similar to that of the instrument being played, leading to its local name of ‘Qin Island’. The island is famous for its unspoiled natural scenery, which includes steep rocky outcrops, and a variety of trees, such as cherries, pomegranates and hibiscus. Visitors can either walk along the coastline to enjoy the gentle ocean breeze, and to admire the incredible scenery, or sit on the beach to watch and listen to the gentle waves roll in. There are also statues and pavilions that can be viewed at various locations. This all makes for a delightful island to visit. Justin and I first visited this island back in November of 2011, but it was much colder then, so it was nice to see XiaQingdao in full bloom.
To get to the island, you have to walk along a long narrow road which crosses the ocean, but there is a lane for pedestrians so it is safe and not too far at all. Before crossing the bridge, there is a small ticket office where you can pay for admission to the island. Children can enter for free / Adults 10rmb / Students 5rmb.
As you are crossing the bridge (road) that leads to the island, you will see the Qingdao Naval Museum across the water, on the right hand side. I think this would be a great place to explore and take photos, so we will definitely be visiting on one of our Mondays with Mari.
When we got to onto the island, I was excited to show Mariska the cozy little cafe that Justin and I had visited back in 2011. I couldn’t recall the name of it, but I looked back at our blog posts from this weekend in Qingdao back in 2011 and then remembered that it was called Coffee Land. Sadly, when we got to the middle of the island… we found only an empty building.
This is what was here before…
What a pity because I was looking forward to drinking coffee while looking out over the beautiful coastal view.
Another famous island attraction that adds to the glamour of Small Qingdao Island is the ‘beacon’. It was built by the Germans in 1900 and stands 15.5 meters tall. It is built in the shape of an octagon and constructed from white marble. In the sunlight, the tower shines as white as snow while at night the light at the top sparkles like a ruby, guiding ships safely into the bay. When viewed from the sea, the beacon’s light flickers and appears to be floating on the waves. The local people consider it to be one of the ten top scenes of the city and call this view ‘Floating Light on the Qin Island’.
That’s me on XiaoQingdao back in November 2011.
We walked around the base of the island and found a sign that read “Torpedo Underground structure” next to a huge brass door. Apparently this structure was founded in 1941 when the Japanese arrived on XiaoQingdao Island. It was used for military purposes. Today there are still the railways tracks left from the 1940’s. We walked along these tracks which run around the one side of the island. Strangely enough, Justin and I hadn’t walked here back in 2011. Perhaps we were enjoying our coffees at Coffee Land too much!
It was around this area of the island where Elijah started to get a lot of attention. We had been exploring all morning, but he had taken a three hour nap so I wanted to take him out of his stroller to stretch his legs. These Chinese tourists really wanted to take pictures with Eli but he didn’t seem too keen. I let him out of the stroller so that he didn’t feel as trapped. I have noticed that Chinese people will often try to take pictures with Eli even if he clearly expresses that he is not interested. One lady kept leaning in even though he was pushing her face away. She then kisses him… and you should have seen his face after that!
Those are the same beautiful flowers that Justin and Elijah are sniffing in a post that I did earlier today.
Below, Mariska poses in front of the Qingdao Naval ships across the bay.
There is a large circular park area at the entrance of XiaoQingdao Park. Plenty of space to sit down and relax. The view of the ocean and nearby coastal area is beautiful. We did have some pollution on this day, but compared to what we normally have, this was a very clear day. The blue skies had both Mariska and I mesmerized!
To visit the Island, visitors can take the bus to Luxun Park bus stop where they will find the entrance to the island not far from Luxun Park. We were a little confused when arrived, and we ended up entering Luxun Park at first (which is the small archway that you see behind Elijah and I in the above picture). To get to XiaQingdao Island, you need to turn right just before that archway and walk along a long winding road which passes some local seafood restaurants. The entrance to the island is just after the Naval Museum on the right. Don’t miss this island – it really is worth visiting!
Take sight-seeing bus line 1, tunnel line 2 and line 6,
bus no. 6, 26, 202, 214, 223, 228, 231, 304, 311, 312, 316, 321, 501 and 504
Get off at Luxun Park Station, and walk along Qinyu Road to its entrance.
Admission Fee: April to October: CNY 15
November to March: CNY 10
(studnets 5rmb, children fee)