Qingdao is a big city with a big reputation. It is the tourist city of China, the city with the beaches and oceans that you must go to, and think it is completely full of crap. It is a complete giant tourist trap designed to suck away all your money as quick as possible. I loath this city, and I could not wait to get out of there.
My first impression of Qingdao was not great, and my short trip there went from bad to worse. The whole city is a tourist trap, designed to relieve you of your money. Taxis want to take you the long way to places, if you want to go see any attractions, you got to buy tickets at one location and then take a bus that you must pay for to destination. You cannot buy tickets at the attraction. Everything is designed to relieve you of your money. Even the restaurants advertising is completely fake and prices on the menu are not the price on the bill at the end of them meal. I have never burned though so much money so quickly in China before.
The Ice Palace in Qingdao is most likely the biggest rip off in the whole city. Many taxi drivers recommend the place and if you do relent and go their, it is $50 per person and the tour inside in only 2 to 3 minutes long. Biggest con job in all of China. The only thing in there is some frozen flowers and some ice statues.
Although I really did not have a good time in Qingdao, I did find that the local people away from business to be very friendly.
My trip to Qingdao was cut short as I decided to leave early. I had enough of the city. In my opinion, Qingdao is the most over-hyped city in China. I would never want to go back there again, there are so many fascinating cities in China, but Qingdao is just not one of them. My advice to any travelers coming to China, before you decide to come to Qingdao, do some research and find a better city to explore. Avoid this giant tourist trap and you will be much happier for it.