Ocean breezes ease sum­mer heat wave

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA -

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.

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