China Daily via Reuters
People walk through an algae-covered seaside in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, on July 1, 2013.
Hong Wu / Getty Images
People sort plastic bottles for recycling at a reclamation depot in Qingdao, China, Sept. 24, 2012. The waste recycling industry provides a livelihood to low income people living in temporary houses on the outskirts of Chinese cities.
Wu Hong / EPA
A Chinese fisherwoman rides past old fishing boats on her motorcycle in Qingdao city, Shandong province, China, on May 14. Reports state that excessive fishing, ocean pollution and the high price of diesel have caused a sharp decline in fishery resources, nearly paralyzing the industry in East China.
Yan Runbo / Imaginechina via AP
Aerial view of the Jiaozhou Bay bridge on June 29. Linking China's eastern port city of Qingdao to an offshore island, Huangdao, it is the world's longest cross-sea bridge at over 26 miles.
Han Jiajun / Imaginechina via AP
Part of the Jiaozhou Bay bridge.
Wu Hong / EPA, file
Construction work on the Jiaozhou Bay bridge on June 1. The bridge opened on June 30 after more than four years of building work.
Huang Jiexian / Imaginechina via AP, file
The Jiaozhou Bay bridge during construction on January 6. The bridge is expected to carry over 30,000 cars a day and will cut the commute between the city of Qingdao and the sprawling suburb of Huangdao by between 20 and 30 minutes.
The AP reports:
China has opened the world's longest cross-sea bridge.
The Jiaozhou Bay
bridgeis 26 miles (42 kilometers) long and links China's eastern port city of Qingdao to an offshore island, Huangdao.
State-run CCTV says the 110-foot (35-meter)-wide bridge is the longest of its kind and cost more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion). Continue reading.
See more China-related images on PhotoBlog.
Wedding couples jostle with fishermen on Beach Number 2 on a sunny Sunday aternoon in Qingdao.
Check out the guy stirring his meat marinade in the bottom right.
Waiting to pose.
Even a white horse gets in on the wedding action.
QINGDAO, SHANDONG PROVINCE, CHINA –“Beach Number Two,” said my colleague Ed Flanagan.
Of the six public beaches along Qingdao’s 26-mile long boardwalk—perhaps the world’s longest—Beach Number Two was Ed’s vote for the nicest, quietest place to soak in the rays.
He was half-right.
It was the nicest.
Which was why it was also not the quietest, because on this beautiful Sunday afternoon all along the rocky cliffside and the stretch of flat sandy beach were dozens Chinese couples posing for their wedding portraits.
Qingdao apparently is THE place for memorializing one’s nuptials.
Women in huge meringue-like dresses fought the wind, which occasionally blew up their skirts, revealing jeans and sneakers underneath.
Photographers sprawled on the sand, pointing their expensive cameras up at beatifically-smiling brides and grooms.
A man led a white horse towards the shade after its photo shoot.
Another man on the sideline stirred a bowl of marinated kebab meat—perhaps lunch for the photography team.
Some couples waited patiently, unfazed (unlike me) by the spectacle of it all.
By the way, Qingdao does a roaring business in weddings. The morning I arrived, a white limousine with pink garlands snarled up traffic on the way into the city. My cab driver said couples spend at least $1,200 to rent one for their wedding day. That's in addition to the "Audis, Benzes, and BMWs" the cabbie said the betrothed also hire for their families on the big day.
And the hotel at which I stayed held four wedding banquets on Saturday and three on Sunday. At $53 a head with an average of 300 to 400 guests, couples spend anywhere from $15,900 to $21,200 just on the hotel banquet facilities. That’s very steep given that the average employee’s yearly income in Qingdao is $2,312.