Popular with businessmen rather than tourists, Qingdao is one of China's leading ports and the country's main oceanographic research centre. With its 19C seaside resort atmosphere, the town is not lacking in charm and its fine sandy beaches are packed with Chinese tourists. From its colonial past, the town has retained a seafront lined with neo-Classical façades and a former concession district depicted by 100-year-old European villas shaded by pine trees.
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