Ocean breezes ease summer heat wave
It’s almost 50 C in my kitchen in Shanghai, leaving me little desire to cook. Ordering food online — which has the potential to make the delivery person suffer heatstroke — or visiting a restaurant are not on my list of options.
So the best solution is to escape to a much cooler city where I can take a summer break with no worries about either the high temperature or what to eat in Shanghai.
This year, Qingdao, Shandong province, a city famous for its cool sea breeze — and more important, delicious and affordable seafood and drinks — is the destination my husband and I chose.
We embarked on a trip to the city for the weekend, leaving on Friday and returning on Monday, with two days of compensated leave.
As we drove north from Shanghai, we could feel the temperature dropping. When we approached Qingdao, it was only 32 C outside.
Local residents said it was very hot, and I could only smile.
We enjoyed clams, sea cucumbers, oysters, sea bass and cuttlefish on a long list of fresh seafood in Qingdao. We never worried about where to eat or the high prices, because everything was just right.
People prefer to enjoy the food in air-conditioned Chinese restaurants in star-rated hotels with higher food quality. However, the price was just about a quarter of that in Shanghai.
For my husband and I, 500 yuan ($74) is enough for a pretty nice dinner in Qingdao — a meal that would cost us nearly 2,000 yuan in Shanghai.
As for entertainment, where could there be a better place than a coastal city suitable for plenty of fun water sports and beach activities? There were multiple choices for us, such as swimming, playing in the sand, sunbathing, beach volleyball or new adventures like driving a motorboat, water gliding or snorkeling.
It’s a much better experience than being squeezed into a crowded, warm, indoor swimming pool in Shanghai, worrying about the questionable sanitary conditions and “underwater combat” with other swimmers.
For sure, there are many Shanghainese traveling with families to Qingdao to take shelter from the heat, and the Shanghai dialect could be heard in restaurants, hotels and beaches.
Now back in my office, I have started to miss my happy weekend in the summer haven.
Nothing could be more comfortable and refreshing than a cool place during summer heat.
Cao Chen in Shanghai contributed to this story.