Qingdao (青岛; Qīngdǎo; also known as Tsingtao), is regarded by some Chinese as one of the most beautiful and clean cities in China. It has a population of around 3.5 million (8 million regional) and is the largest city in Shandong Province. The name Qingdao means The Blue/Green Island. In 2012, Qingdao was named China's most livable city.
Qingdao is a city steeped in China's 20th century history. It was taken as part of the Imperial German Concession of Jiaozhou Bay. Despite ongoing discussions with Chinese authorities about giving the Germans a territory, on 7 November 1897, they landed troops. Their pretext was the murder of two missionaries on 1 November of that year. The concession treaty was signed on 6 March 1899, for a 99-year lease. The Germans acquired it as a relatively unimportant town of about 1,000 inhabitants. Yet by 1902, it had grown to 668 Caucasians and 15,000 Chinese. During the colonial period, the Germans left a distinct mark on Qingdao's architecture that can still be seen in its historic center and train station. The train station has undergone a recent overhaul that has tried to strike a balance between maintaining its colonial heritage while modernizing to be the terminus of the high speed rail line to Beijing. Many German-period buildings have been preserved as heritage monuments. It is a kind of Bavaria-on-the-East-China-Sea, where they even sell Bratwurst on the street. In 1903, China's most well-known beer maker, Tsingtao brewery, was established by the new occupants homesick for Germany.