Difference between revisions of "Yantai"
Revision as of 23:25, 6 January 2012
Yantai is a small sleepy port city on the Shandong coast that to this day still retains some of its colonial charm. The city is fairly small but there is a bustling development zone and large container and shipbuilding ports. There are a number of western expats working here on the docks and teaching English.
Yantai is home to Yantai Raffles (in Chinese: 烟台莱福士船厂) (Coordinates: 37°35′48″ N,121°23′39″E), which owns the largest ship building crane in the world, towering over the eastern edge of the T shaped peninsula. Yantai is known for tasty fruit, especially cherries, apples, peaches and pears and is also the home of Changyu Wines.
The seaside is home to a promenade for walking or relaxing. Among the seaside attractions is a great water, light and sound show: nightly at the promenade. It is definitely worth seeing.
International flights to Seoul, Osaka and Hong Kong are available. Domestic flights connect Yantai with more than 20 major cities in China, such as Beijing (daily, 1 hour), Harbin (daily, 2 hours), Jinan, (daily, 35 minutes), Shenyang, (daily, 2 hours), Ningbo (daily, 1.5 Hours), Dalian (daily, 45 minutes) Chengdu (4 hours), Guangzhou (3 hours), Kunming (4 hours), Shanghai (daily, 1.5 hours), Shenzhen (3 hours), Wuhan (daily, 2 hours) and Xi'an (2 hours). The airport is 15 kilometres (9 mi) south of the city. An airport shuttle bus (¥10) is available at No.6, Dahaiyang Lu. A taxi ride to Laishan or downtown can cost you about ¥40.
Yantai is easily accessible from Jinan and Qingdao with frequent trains daily. But rail transport may be inconvenient if you travel long-distance, as there are no direct or fast trains. Sometimes you need to transit at Jinan.
The Yantai-Weifang (272 km/169 mi), Yantai-Qingdao (276 km/172 mi) and Yantai-Weihai (86 km/53 mi) high quality superhighways have been put into service. Minibuses run between Yantai and nearby cities, such as Qingdao (3.5 hours) and Weihai (1.5 hours). The long distance bus station is southwest of the railway station on Qingnian Lu.
There are seven slow boat departures daily to Dalian at the ferry terminal. A third class bed costs ¥114-160 and the journey takes 8 hours. An alternative fast boat (four departures daily) which takes only 3.5 hours at ¥170. There are also boats to Tianjin, but only in the summer. Several Korean ports can be reached by boat which takes approximately 16 hours, including Pusan (Thursday, 11AM), Qunshan (Monday, 11AM). Japan can be reached by boat which takes approximately 30 hours, Kobe (Tuesday, noon).
City transport: There are about 30 public bus lines in service. Bus Line No.10 and 17 are by far the most useful for travelers for sight seeing purposes. No. 10 goes from the railway station, then passes Nan Dajie and turns east down the coast. No. 17 goes from the railway station to the coast and all the way to the municipal government in newly-developed Laishan District. Taxi is a good means of going places with a flagfall fare of ¥8 (Although many taxis still have ¥7 posted). A 30-minute of taxi ride would probably cost you around ¥30.
Summer - Go to the beach during the day and go to the bar at night.
There are two major beaches in Yantai, the First beach(第一海水浴场) & Second beach(第二海水浴场)and another one called Golden Sand Beach in the Economic Development Zone(appx. 25mins from city centre).
There is also a skiing place in the Tashan Park during winter.
If you are the shopping type, Three Stations (pronounced in Mandarin like: San Jang; taxi drivers all know it well) market has almost everything you can imagine, including Chinese cultural nicknacks, calligraphy sets, silk paintings, tea houses, and tea shops, sculpture and statue shops, as well as many computer outlet markets, clothing shops, furniture stores, and department stores.
French-owned Yantai-based Louis Wann  makes wines and a good brandy.
Changyu Winery has also been around for over 70 years and their wines are pretty good. www.changyu.com.cn.
One French restaurant, one American-Diner style restaurant, a few Japanese and Korean restaurants and lots of Chinese seafood restaurants (well what do you expect, it is the seaside?!).
There are several great restaurants in Yantai: Penglaichen is very good: "hen hao." Penglaichun is over 100 years old, and some of the dishes are truly fabulous. The dining experience is quaint and very well tailored to a lone gentleman diner, a well-to-do family, or an intimate dinner date. The staff is very friendly and well mannered, and they invited foreigners in with open arms.
Jackies Cuisine serves great western style food in a nice hard rock cafe style environment, with many Europeans, Americans, Australians, and Chinese businessmen and women. It is a good place to meet some fellow English speakers, and also to just sit at the bar, eat peanuts and drink some great imported beers. They serve Quesadillas, Burgers, Fries, Fajitas (beef or chicken), chile, chips and salsa, fish and chips, and much more. Jackie keeps the only real cheese inventory in Yantai, so if your hankering is for cheese, drop by and pick up a brick. Jackie is kind and fun loving. The staff speaks English very well. The flat screen LCDs are often bussing with concert videos of Queen, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, and other great Western musical acts. I recommend the Jalapeno Burger, medium well, some fires, heinz ketchup, and a Guinness beer. If that sounds to Western for you, then try one of the Chinese restaurants below. You won't be disappointed.
Chinese food restaurants
Penglaichun Restaurant It is a time-honored restaurant and specializes in cooking sea food. It's said that the dishes are tasty but not too expensive. Recommended food: Quanjiafu (Hotchpotch), Soft-fried Oyster and Scrambled Eggs with Agarics. Location: No.13 Dingxi Rd
Xile Restaurant Highly recommended for its food but its service and environment are not so good. Recommended food: Fish Dumplings, Garlic-Style Scallop, and Fried Leek Dumplings. Location: No.52 Huanshan Rd
Shunshui-renqing Quite good environment as it is near to the Golden Beach. Recommended food: Dove Soup and pumpkin pies. Location: No.34 Haibin Rd
Yantai Renjia Old Restaurant Good service and dishes are moderately priced. It is not so crowded. Recommended food: Soft-fried Shrimp Meat, Stir fried Crab, Fish Ball Soup, Penglai Noodles. Location: No.32 Beima Rd
Juxiangyuan Casserole It specializes in casserole, a dish with soup cooked in the clay pot. It comes in many flavors, such as Beef Casserole, Chicken Casserole with Mushrooms and the Vegetable Casserole. Location: No.7 Huamao Street, Yantai.
Western food restaurants Jackie's Western Food Many locals feel that this restaurant is the most native western food restaurant, with good service and tasty food in Yantai. Location: No.14 Huanshan Rd
Recently opened Jusco in Laishan District has a number of Japanese, Korean and Chinese restaurants as well as McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut
Mingtien Coffee Language It serves coffee and western food. Location: No.51 Shifu St
Chaoyang Street is known as the Bar Street among the expats is the place to be seen in Yantai! Although it has a slightly seedy reputation within the city, Chaoyang Street is most definitely the expats' first port of call when feeling homesick. Trendy locals and ex-pats mix along the street, and for many westerners its the only place where you can bump into other native English-speakers.
Midway down the street, Havana bar plays good western music and has a fantastic atmosphere after 12 if you want to dance (again, western staff).
Alibaba's newly opened bar is also a great place up the hill about 10 minutes by taxi from the beach hotels, and has great atmosphere with hip-hop music and great long bar, and also has about 20 pool tables in the adjoining area.
Bracchus Bar just a few minutes walk from Chiayangjie is also an upmarket western style bar
Baby Face Club - Located downtown, the only real clubbing experience Yantai offers, Baby Face Club offers you loud house music, laser lights galore, poor bar service, cover charge and cross dressing bartenders
No.299 Gangcheng East Main St, Laishan District
No.34 Hai'an Rd, Zhifu District
Consider getting yourself a local prepaid mobile phone number you are planning to stay in China longer than 3 days. Most mobile telecommunication providers have promotional rates for new SIM card number. ¥20 for ¥100 worth of talk time.