And a sunny Saturday it was! So much so that I got a little sunburn today despite the deceptive layer of fog. But I assure you that my red nose is in fact due to the sun and not the Tsingtao I have been drinking!
I spent a good five or so hours today wandering around the Qingdao waterfront, the sea breeze cooling things down to a survivable level, while in amongst the other weird and interesting smells that you find in China there was a hint of the ocean as well.
Qingdao is of course, on the coast, and is also a major naval port both for the PLA Navy, and in the golden years of the Cold War, the USSR used to berth ships here as well. (Not sure as to the status of the North Korean fleet...?) Nowadays China is serious about it's blue water navy capabilities, but not so much about its navy museum.
I'm a sucker for outdoor museums, I love the War Memorial in Seoul, and so I jumped at the chance to go to the Qingdao PLA Navy museum.
At 80ㅊ it would have to be one of the most expensive museums in China (about KRW15000) and it could do with a bit of maintenance, but the chance to clamber around, under and over a Chinese Guided Missile Destroyer (even if it was retired in 1989) is pretty awesome.
Behold the Qingdao PLA Navy museum:
MiG fighter planes circa 1950 - These are the (probably) the very planes that flew against UN forces in Northwest Korea during the Korean War leading to UN airman to nickname the area "MiG Alley".
Also at the museum, a Chinese Submaine! This particular model was the second generation of conventional (diesel powered) submarines developed in China using domestic and imported (Soviet) parts and technology.
This particular vessel was commissioned in 1978 and left service at the end of the 90s. At just over 6 metres wide - I had no intention of joining the hundreds of Chinese tourists waiting to get inside!
The emblem of the PLA Navy - on the side of a massive Turbine that forms part of a hovercraft used for Amphibious warfare:
And while not strictly sticking with the nautical theme, there were a few tanks thrown in for good measure: