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Dongying is one of the richest cities in the country with a GDP per person which is 50% higher than Beijing. In comparison to the larger cities, foreigners are still relatively rare and as a result the ever welcoming locals are particularly friendly. As a result of the relative wealth, there quite a lot going on in the city; there is an excellent range of restaurants, laser tag, swimming pools, artificial beaches, cinemas (occasionally with English movies) along with pool halls, ping pong clubs and quality gyms. On top of this, probably due to its relatively small size, there is still a heart warming sense of community.

During summer the square is filled with people of all ages for communal dancing, line walking and endless chit chat. Dongying is a new city, having been developed from a tiny rural village in the last thirty years. Dongying’s development has been fuelled by the discovery of oil in the early 1970’s. This discovery has made it a fascinating place to live and experience China.

There are no temples or ancient history within the city itself, instead you can see the massive growth of China’s economy in the last twenty or so years. It’s a great place to see modern China and try to really understand this continually developing nation. It is important to mention that Dongying is a very Chinese city and that it can be a challenge at times, but if you are prepared for that, then Dongying is a truly great place and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

Dongying is situated in the North of Shandong province around 30 minutes from the coast. It is reasonably well connected to rest of China, with good train links and an airport with regular flights to Beijing and Shanghai. The lovely city of Qingdao, the home of the beer and annual beer festival, is three hours to the East, and other coastal cites such as Yantai and Weihai are a few hours bus away. Beijing is a five hour journey to the North and most of the rest of Shandong is accessible on weekend trips.

As mentioned Dongying’s history is only thirty or so years long. However, nearby you can find the home of Confucius and the beautiful Tai mountain. Shandong is the home of the Han Chinese and has an ancient history of more than 5000 years of history, most of which can be visited on days off.

There is a great variety of food from around the country and an excellent range in prices. In summer, the streets fill with Muslim style bbq restaurants open late into the night. There is also a reasonable range of foreign foods, including pizza places, fast food outlets, an Italian restaurant, quality western food in the large hotels and great Japanese and Korean cuisine.

The weather is remarkably consistent. There is a long hot summer and a cold winter with a short spring and autumn. The weather is very livable, although it can be a little cold or hot at the start of each new season. Strangely there is almost no rain and weather is rarely an issue.

Although Dongying is connected to the rest of China by rail, it is usually more convenient to travel by bus. There are connections to destination throughout Shandong and the surrounding region. Jinan and Qingdao are each about 3 1/2 hours away. There are several direct busses daily to Beijing and Tianjin. An evening train departs for Nanjing, the ancient Chinese capital in the Yangtze Delta, every afternoon allowing convenient travel to that part of the country as well.



 
 
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