Sunday, July 20, 2008

Qingdao's Olympic Preperations: Alge Cleanup & Torch

After more than a week in Harbin, I am now in Qingdao. As the 2nd biggest city in Shangdong province, and one of China's major ports, Qingdao is a semi-host of the Olympics this year. It has the honor of hosting the sailing competition.

After the moment I stepped off the plane from Harbin, I found that the Olympic spirit was everywhere. Here's what I've seen:

1. Billboards for the Olympics are everywhere. Just everywhere.
2. Qingdao airport is incedibly clean and ready to receive tourists. A visit to the train station today showed that it will be looking good as well after its ongoing expansion is over.
3. Numberous volunteers were camped out at the baggage claim helping old people find and carry their luggage.
4. 5 star hotels like the Shangri-la and the Crowne Plaza (among others) are being very strict with security. All vehicles driving up to the door are being examined by mulitple officers. Metal detectors and x-rays are mandatory for all patrons.
5. Hotel prices are definitely increasing. I dont know if they're going to increase 4x like they are going to be in Beijing though.

One of the major issues that Qingdao has had to deal with is the inconvienet increase in sea alge. It has been in the news constantly and has been considered a threat to the sailing event. However, the government officials have mobilized voluteers, military members and other resources to clean things up. I was privilidged to see local officials walk through lines of volunteers at the Lao Shi Ren beach 2 days ago. It was the "sea cleanup day."And trust me, the beach definitely needed some help. Some kids were even helping out.







Not only was the local government mobilized in its cleanup, but it is about to host the Olympic torch relay. The torch is scheduled to arrive on Monday, the 21st. However, i've already spotted a Olympic Relay Coke truck parked close to my Hotel (Sophia) all the way on the eastern end of town. Workers are everywhere constructing barricades while right beside them are young merchants selling fake Olympic T-shirts. I love China and the Olympics.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Don said...

Hello,

May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,

Don
chinaolympics8@gmail.com