Qingdao, in addition to being one of the few destinations that Andy recommended, is a unique port city in the Shandong province. It was taken over by the Germans in 1897. The German’s started laying down the groundwork for an impressive city and the resulting architecture is odd. The German’s occupied Qingdao until 1914 when it was taken from them by the Japanese who hoped to expand into mainland China. This didn’t last however as there was a huge uprising on May fourth 1919 where students demanded that the government rid the country of foreign controllers. The uprising was so substantial that all of shanghai went on strike.
Despite this, Japan held onto Qingdao for three more years until 1922.
Qingdao is most famous for brewing Tsingtao beer. Made with mineral water from a local mountain, the beer was originally created by homesick Germans in dire need for boos.
This city is rapidly expanding and is compared to Shanghai in its growth and ambition. I will do my best to get here for a weekend. Though I think it’s probably a solid 4 or 5 hour drive from my workplace.