Tag Archives: Qufu

China A to Z: Q is for Qingdao and Qufu

Chinese destinations

The reason why these are chosen is that they are tourist destinations for Chinese tourists, not ones on a typical tour of China. Even though they are oriented toward tourists, they are not oriented toward “western” tourists and give some insight into what Chinese people look for and value in their time off.


Qingdao is a seaside city where people come to “play”, in Chinese as in English this means to relax and have fun. Because of it’s location Qingdao is not as hot in the summer and tends to have better air quality than many of the cities nearby. It is on the fast train line and people from Shandong can get there in a couple of hours, making it popular for long weekends (many, if not most, Chinese people work six days a week so a trip is only practical on long weekends).

Food is a big part of life in China. In Qingdao that means seafood.

Qingdao is a pretty seaside town city. It reminds me a bit of San Francisco: seaside, interesting architecture…and of course beer, a gift from the Germans who occupied the area for a time.


Qufu is famous as the hometown of Confucius. Chinese people come here to appreciate and learn about their culture. It is not generally oriented to the foreign tourist. It is usually “done” in a combination with Taishan in two days. Starting with Qufu in the morning and winding up watching the sunrise at the top of Taishan the next morning.

Since that isn’t my style I went to each as it’s own place. Arriving in Qufu in late afternoon, after the tour groups had departed for Tai’an it was quiet and relaxed, like a stage after the performance is over.

By contrast, the city officially opens with a performance of song and dance at 8:00 am.

Qufu’s main attraction is the “three Kongs”: Kong Miao, the Confucius Temple; Kong Fu the “mansion” which is where the extended family lived; and Kong Lin, lin means forest, but it is also an extensive cemetary. Kong is the Confucius family name.




The challenge for Thursday’s Special this week was to look at the same scene in landscape and portrait orientation.

This is a pedestrian path leading to the city gate of Qufu, Shandong Province, China.



One of the challenges in getting a sense of China into pictures is how big it is.  It is often hard to get the context of vastness and the details that make it interesting both in the same picture. In the portrait view the gate is the thing that most grabs your eye and it gives a better sense of distance. In the landscape orientation the man walking his trike does. I like that one because it managed to get both a sense of distance and the detail of the cyclist. It isn’t necessarily obvious that in the second picture both the cyclist and I were closer to the gate than in the first, I had almost caught up to him.

Thursday’s Special

Apropos of nothing

Some street photography from Qufu.

When I visited the town of Qufu, Shandong Province in China, I decided to spend the afternoon just wandering about and getting an idea of the layout, then focus on seeing the San Kong (3 Kong’s) the second day in town.
Qufu, not WiFi (the spell checker keeps trying to change it), is Confucius’s home town and is very much oriented to tourism, primarily Chinese tourists. Most people visit Qufu in combination with Tai Shan over two days so they start early and there was a laid back feeling of the local folks living along as I wandered slowly around.

Which way to wisdom?

I ducked into a side hall to avoid a large mass of “yellow necks”* at Kong Miao (Confucius Temple) yesterday. After noisy crowds outside, this long hall of what appear to be alters to sayings felt like the right path.

I was too frazzled by the crowds to find and read the description of what this hall actually is.

Response to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge
*This was a coordinated mass of Chinese tour groups who wore yellow neck sashes. I played leap frog with them all day. The bonus is that they seemed to be putting on several reenactments for their benefit and I could slip in around the edges.