Tsingtao was originally popular with the Germans, who introduced the city to beer at the beginning of the last century. The beaches here have only recently become accessible to every social class. In 2008, Tsingtao hosted the Olympic Games’ water sports events.
On the sands, one encounters a surprising cross-section: those in their work clothes and business suits, and others who daringly sport a swimming costume, (although bikinis are rare). Many hesitate to take the plunge, because a lot of young Chinese quite simply can’t swim. Rubber rings are therefore indispensable, and are carried, or worn around the waist. Some people are abandoning them, though, as they learn to swim.