We left just before noon to the airport.. because it was 1 hour’s drive away. Got there and we were *STARVING*, or at least I was, and nearly started eating my luggage bag or fainting right there and then. Or both. So after checking in (took only 5 mins – brilliant), we chowed down on some food near our airline gate. It was average at best, but insanely expensive. I guess what can you expect from airport food right?
Our flight was 1.5 hours, during which I completely conked out and woke up only when the pilot announced that we were landing. I love my ability to sleep on anything and in anything, it’s practically a talent ;) I never get insomnia, I sleep within 10 mins of getting into bed, and I don’t really dream either. Weird huh??! Just call me Super Sleeper ;)
Our guides (1 in Chinese, 1 in Korean for our boss, but NONE in English for me – arghhh!) met us at the airport and had a mini bus waiting for us. It took another 1 hour to drive to the hotel. So that’s 2 hours of driving, and 1.5 hours in the plane, *lol*.
Checked into Wu Sheng Guang Hotel which is a spectacular hotel – smack bang on No. 1 Bathing Beach! Yes, odd name, it’s basically just a beach with loads of water sports and activities. The service was fantastic, though they did meticulously analyse the 3 of us with foreign passports (apparently because of swine flu, so they’re nervous about foreigners), and then we headed up to our rooms.
And I’ve got the Deluxe Suite! Walked into the door and was greeted with a large living room and office desk, and thought “Oh, where’s the bed” Turns out it was in another room, haha. And then “Oh, where’s the bathroom?” and turns out it’s down the corridor and actually looks into the bedroom (voyeur style). The bathroom is my favourite – it’s massive! I especially adore the large rainshower in the shower. I stood under there having a shower for the longest time ever, looking through the window-wall straight into the bedroom, and out the other window overlooking Qingdao. Nice views!
The mattress, however, has totally stumped me. I’d heard that Chinese mattresses were (in)famously hard, but didn’t really remember it. I kind of jumped to sit on the bed and nearly broke my tailbone. It was BLOODY HARD!!!! Like sleeping on a wooden plank. Gah. I like pillowy soft mattresses and lots of padding underneath, so I’m totally enveloped in my bed and feel the luxury. This was not really that :P But fortunately, being Super Sleeper, I’m OK with sleeping on it.
After 2 hours of working in our hotel rooms (yes, we really do have to work when we’re here!), we headed out to dinner at Qingdao Restaurant. It was a great experience. Loved how there’s no regular menu, but rather a real life menu – you walk around pointing at the dishes you want, which are all laid out! I also spotted loads of weird/unnameable seafood. We did order some (and some of which I tried, others I didn’t dare) but also didn’t order the ones that even the locals thought were weird ;)
It was a staggeringly large meal. About 13-14 dishes for 7 people. I ate and ate and ate until someone announced “See? I told you she eats ALOT”, at which point I got guilted into putting down my chopsticks :P I don’t care – the I’M-GETTING-MARRIED diet starts on Monday when we get back!!!
All of us at the airport, waiting to board
In Qingdao, on the way to our hotel
Pretty corridor walking to my suite
The Deluxe Suite’s living room, with free internet, yay!
Bathroom – my fave part is the massive rain shower (not in photo)
Bedroom, looking into the bathroom at the far end
The view from the window
After settling in our rooms and doing work for 2 hours, we headed
out to dinner, at a restaurant very aptly called: Qingdao Restaurant
There’s no regular paper menu here. Instead, you walk around the main hall
and a waiter follows you whilst you point at dishes you want to order!
Except all the dishes had me salivating ;)
I LOVE how you can see in real life what the food will be like!
Array of fish on ice
These weird spiky but soft… thingys
Sea urchin, I’m pretty sure?
I think these are silkworms. They were ALIVE and wriggling everywhere! Egads.
Helpfully pointing out where the veggies are
This yoghurt drink, it was good!
Spicy pork pancakes
Calamari and something (that’s good for the liver) I didn’t quite catch
Braised fatty pork with steamed buns – soooooo good
Whole steamed fish – tender!
Bamboo clams, I think they’re called? A bit too big and weird for me
Braised eggplant – this was pretty much my fave dish. It was divine!!!
‘Lil clams – ultra tasty and a wee bit spicy
Some sorta veg with freaky worm thingys (that were wriggling
in the tank before), didn’t dare eat it.
Salt & pepper lobster – star dish!
Whole baby abalone – I’ve never eaten abalone (too scary) but felt
obliged to this time cos it was so $$. Didn’t like it, too weird :P
Assortment of shelled stuff. Only ate the one in the middle ‘cos it
looked like clams, the others looked a bit too scary!
Asparagus and mushrooms – not bad but nothing amazing
Crab – nice, but just too little meat and hassle to pick off the shell
Yam in syrup – at least thats what I think it was, no idea what it
really is, but it was AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Loved loved loved loved it.
There’s this MASSIVE TV screen outside, so people sitting at the beach can see
Took a walk along the beach afterwards since the air was balmy and perfect
First time I’ve stepped on sand in China :P