Weifang City Guide
Lonely Planet‘s China guide does not include a section on Weifang, but fortunately for those English-reading travelers traveling to Weifang this blog does, and you’re looking at it!
Unless you’re an avid kite flyer you’ve probably never even heard of Weifang before. Weifang is a city in central Shandong province, which is the province that is a peninsula on your map of China. Westerners come to Weifang for three reasons:
One, to teach their native language, usually English. Weifang is home to about twenty western teachers.
Two, on business. Weifang is home to a major diesel company and factory, Weichai, and other companies getting investment from abroad.
Three, to fly kites. Weifang bills itself as the International Kite Capital of the World and annually hosts a major international kite competition drawing competitors from many countries.
In addition to Westerners, Weifang also has a decent-sized population of non-Chinese Asians.
City Guide and Things to Do
Getting Your Bearings
Weifang is basically laid out on a grid and bisected by the Bailang River. Most of Weifang lies east of the river, and most of the major city planning projects are also taking place in the east. Four major avenues run east to west through Weifang. From north to south, Fushou Street, Dongfeng Street, Shengli Street and Jiankang Street. Roads run from north to south intersecting with each of these major avenues throughout Weifang. Two roads of note are Siping Road, home to Jinrong and Yuanfei Hotels and many nightclubs, and Xinhua Road, home to Wal-Mart, Jialejia Supermarket and Liqun Department Store.
Angel Kiss Bar
Siping Road, next to Dashijie Feiniu Hotpot. Low-key atmosphere. A favorite of expats.
Arabian Nights Bar
Shengli Street, across from Dongyuan Park. Often has live music. One of Weifang’s liveliest bars.
M Box Bar
Along the Eastern side of the Bailang River between Shengli and Dongfeng Streets. Often has live music. A favorite of expats.
A small bar off Siping Lu on a street running parallel to Shengli and Dongfeng.
Boy and Girl
On the north side of Dong Feng street just west of Bailang River.
International Finance Tower Hotel
Right across from Mingtian Coffee Language on Siping Lu. There is a bar that’s joined to the hotel. What’s unique about this bar is it brews its own beer.
Located directly to the east of Kuiwen Gate (see ‘Parks and Museums’). Serves excellent homestyle Chinese food.
Located on Wenhua Road. The waiters all wear Qing Dynasty costumes. They specialize in Chinese dumplings and banquet-style foods.
Siping Road between Dongfeng and Fushou Streets. Serves great food and high quality warmed Shaoxing Rice Wine.
Near main Weichai factory, on the road south of and running parallel to Shengli Street. This is where you can get some of the best Chinese dumplings in Weifang.
Northeast corner of the intersection of Dongfeng Street and Xinhua Road. Serves spicy Sichuan dishes and in the summer cold draft beer.
Small alley off Shengli Street, near Number 2 People’s Hospital Bus Stop. Chaotian Guo is a Weifang speciality.
Southeast corner of the intersection of Shengli Street and Yuhe Road. A large hotpot restaurant. Service here is poor, but it remains a popular spot.
Near the northwest intersection of Heping Road and Fushou Street. The owner is Korean and all my Korean friends say the food here is authentic.
Located on the street running parallel to Shengli Street, just behind the International Financial Tower. Tudali is a chain of Korean restaurants in China. My Korean friends tell me it’s not very authentic, it’s also a bit pricey.
On Siping Lu about 25 meters south of Chengxiang Jiudian (see ‘Chinese Food’). My Japanese friends assure me it is quite authentic, but it is quite expensive.
City Coffee Weifang’s revolving restaurant thirty stories up offering a great view of the city. Located at the intersection of Dongfeng Street and Xinhua Road. Serves Chinese and Western food, tea and coffee. The food here is both tasteless and expensive, but if you are just dying for western food it may appease your appetite. At least the view is great.
George’s Coffee See ‘Tea and Coffee’, below.
Four and Five star hotels. The four and five star hotels listed in the ‘Hotels’ section offer Western food, and just to give you the full ‘Western Dining Experience’ they also
rip you off charge 15% gratuity.
Yonghe Doujiang (Chinese Fast Food)
Two locations, one near intersection of Yuanfei Road and Shenglie Street, the other across from Zhongbai Department Store on Shengli Street.
California Beef Noodle King
Various locations throughout the city. One location is near the Post Office on Weizhou Lu just north of Shengli Street. Other locations are near McDonald’s and Liqun Shopping Center. Its name is indicative of the food, beef noodle soup. It’s cheap and easy to order.
Two locations, one attached to Sinolook Plaza on Dongfeng Street, the other attached to Liqun Department Store on Fushou Street.
Attached to Zhongbai Department Store on Shengli Street.
Located on Weizhou Road across from the Tradition Chinese Medicine Hospital, see ‘Other’, below. Chinese owned KFC/McDonald’s-like fast food chain. A bit cheaper than the American chains, but the difference in quality shows and you get what you pay for.
Most of the major shopping centers have a food court, including Jialejia, Wal*Mart and Sinolook Plaza.
Tea and Coffee
Two locations on Dongfeng Street, one on the south side of the street just east of the Sinolook Plaza and across from the CNC Tower, the other on the north side of the street just west of Xinhua road. Tianfu’s allows you to sample teas for free. It’s not really a teahouse, but rather more of a sample and then buy the tea to drink at home kind of place. The staff is both well trained in making and serving tea and very polite. This is the place to go to buy high quality tea.
Located on East Shengli Street in the Star Space residential complex (Yihexing Guoji). Dio makes some of the best coffee in town.
Everyday Coffee Language
Located on Siping Road just north of Jinrong Hotel. Everyday Coffee has a comfortable atmosphere.
Located on Wenhua Road just north of Dongfeng Street. George’s Coffee is the newest coffee shop in Weifang. It is also the most expensive. George’s has a buffet on the weekends and features very good western food in Weifang. The set menu is 100-150RMB per person with other dishes starting at 30RMB per plate.
See ‘Western Food’ under ‘Restaurants’ above.
Weifang Tea Market
Located in the south of Weifang. This is where people go to buy tea in bulk, so if you want to bring a bunch of tea home for friends as presents this may be a worthwhile trip to make. Be prepared to bargain. If you are looking for high quality teas though and don’t mind the higher prices, Tianfu’s Tea is a better choice.
Parks and Museums
The Grave of Eric Liddel and WWII Internment Camp
During WWII Weifang was home to a Japanese internment camp where many foreigners and Chinese were interned. Among them was Eric Liddell, the Scottish Olympian about whom the film Chariots of Fire was made. Located just north of Weifang People’s Hospital off Yuhe Road.
Kuiwen Gate, Old City Wall and Riverside Park
Running all along Bailang River through Weifang.
Local performances on Wednesday and Saturday evenings in summer. Located on Shengli Street in downtown Weifang.
Located near the train station. People’s Park was recently renovated. It contains a small zoo.
Located in front of the People’s Government building on Shengli Street, People’s Square is a great place to fly kites. The square also has a nice musical fountain that is active on weekend evenings that kids really enjoy.
Located on Dongfeng Street and Yuanfei Road.
Follows a small stream through Weifang from Veterans park all the way to People’s Square. This is the best place to go in Weifang for a nice stroll.
Fuwah Amusement Park and Water Palace
Part of the Fuwah Complex on Dongfeng Street. The amusement park has a roller coaster and ferris wheel while the Water Palace has a wave pool and slides.
Municipal and Science Museum
Located across from Fuwah Amusement Park.
Yangjiabu Kite Museum and Workshop
Located a bit east of Weifang. You’ll need to take a twenty to thirty minute taxi ride to get there, but it is well worth the trip if you want to see the how the kites are (hand)made that Weifang is traditionally famous for.
Shihuyuan – Old Mayor’s House
Shihuyuan is the traditional home of the Mayor of Weifang. Now a museum, it is one of the few remaining old world structures left in Weifang. Located on Dongfeng Street and Qingnian Road. Once at this corner, turn west and walk about 200 metres. You can take the 16 bus to get here.
Bank of China
The main branch is on Siping Road and Shengli Street.
The main branch is on Weizhou Road.
China Mobile’s main service branch is located in the China Netcom building.
These guys handle telecommunications and DSL broadband connections. Located on Dongfeng Street across from Sinolook Plaza.
Located on Yuhe Road south of Shengli Street. This is regarded as the best hospital in Weifang.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital
Located on Weizhou Road between Shengli and Dongfeng Streets.
Public Security Bureau (Police)
Located across from the Weifang People’s Government on Shengli Street.
Weifang People’s Government
Located on East Shengli Street.
Chinese Protestant Church (CCC)
51 Houmen Street, a bit south of Sinolook Plaza.
Chinese Catholic Church
Located in the west of Weifang on Fushou Street.
Chinese Muslim Temple
Located on Heping Road and Fushou Street along Bailang River.
There are a couple guys who do fortune-telling on Dongfeng Street a bit east of Wal*Mart.
A large department store and supermarket on Dongfeng Street about 100 meters east of Bailang River.
A large department store and supermarket on Shengli Street just west of Bailang River.
Weifang’s most well-known superkmarket. Located on Xinhua Road between Shengli Street and Dongfeng Street.
A supermarket (part of a chain headquartered in Qingdao) located at the corner of Fushou Street and Xinhua Road.
A three story super-center located on Dongfeng Street and Xinhua Road. Wal*Mart offers quite a few things a westerner might be looking for that one can nott find anywhere else in Weifang, like decent, inexpensive, non-instant coffee, Cheerios, Gatoraid, Sam Adams Beer and my cat‘s favorite, Friskies Kitten Food.
Hard drive crashed? Need more RAM? Looking for super-cheap pirated software? Bring your wallet and your bargaining skills, a copy of Adobe CS 2 from here is worth the price of your overseas plane ticket alone. Located at the intersection of Shengli Street and Yuanfei Road.
Fresh Produce Markets
There are a few fresh produce markets in Weifang where you can go and buy fruits and vegetables at very cheap prices. You can work on your haggling skills and if you get stuck many of the vendors use calculators and hand signals to help with the barrier. There is one on the corner of Fushou Street and Xinhua Road, it’s in the warehouse beside the KFC and grocery store. There is another one, Zaochun Yuan, on Dongfeng Street between Yuhe Road and Wenhua Road.
This street is one of the oldest streets in Weifang. Here you can buy souvenirs such as chopsticks, kites, statues, old currency, paintings, etc.
Note: none of these cinemas play movies in English nor do they have English subtitles.
Located on Shengli Street.
Located in Sinolook Plaza.
Fuwah Hotel (*****) and (****)
A large complex consisting of two hotels, a fitness club, an amusement park, indoor water park and an exhibition center. Located on East Dongfeng Street across the street from the Beijing Municipal Museum and the Weifang People’s Government Complex.
Yuanfei Hotel (****)
Located on Shengli Street and Siping Road, just across from the Jinrong Hotel.
Dongfang Hotel (****) and (***)
Located on Dongfeng Street just east of Fuwah.
Jinrong International Finance Tower (****)
Located in the same building as the main branch of Bank of China on Shengli Street and Siping Road.
Qilu Hotel (****)
Located on Dongfeng Street a bit east of Sinolook Plaza.
Weifang Hotel (****)
Located on Shengli Street across from Dongyuan Park.
Sinolook Hotel (****)
Located in downtown Weifang directly behind Sinolook Plaza on Dongfeng Street.
Xuefu Hotel (***)
Located on Shengli Street just next to the south gate of the Medical College.
Star Place Fitness Club
Has a nice four lane pool, weight room and tennis court. Located in Star Place on Shengli Street close to the People’s Government.
Fuwah Hotel Health Center
Offers a decent size swimming pool, a weight room, a billiards room, a tennis court, ping pong and a ten lane bowling alley. Part of the Fuwah complex.
Dongfang Hotel Health Center
Has a weight room with basic equipment and a basketball court. There is a 60RMB fee for use of the facilities. Fuwah, however, offers better equipment and a bigger swimming pool, so unless you are a guest at Dongfang, stick to Fuwah.
Weifang Municipal Aquatic Center
Located on Yuanfei Road north of Veteran’s Park. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, though neither are particularly clean. It’s best to stick with Fuwah Hotel for swimming.
Schools and Universities
Where I taught English and studied Chinese. Located in the east of Weifang on Dongfeng Street.
Weifang Medical College
In addition to Chinese students, the medical college is home to over one hundred Nepalese students studying medicine. The medical college also has a few foreign teachers teaching English and Russian.
Weifang Foreign Language School
Located on Donfeng Street in the west of Weifang. The foreign language school has a number of foreign teachers and Korean students.
Weifang Number One Middle School
Has two campuses, new and old. The new campus is located a bit outside Weifang while the old campus is located on Yuanfei street across from Veteran’s Park.
Weifang Number Two Middle School
Located on the same street as Weifang People’s Hospital.
Weifang Textile College
Located across from Wal*Mart on the corner of Dongfeng Street and Xinhua Road. The textile college has a few foreign teachers from the US and Korea.
Weifang Transportation Vocational College
Located a bit south of Weifang. The Transportation College has a couple of western English teachers.
The Taxi meter starts at 5 RMB and 6 in the evening. They are plentiful throughout the city, though can be hard to find in the evening towards the edge of town. Be prepared to pay 1 yuan more than what’s on the meter though. The price of oil has caused the taxi companies to raise their price by 1 yuan. This is written clearly in Chinese on the dashboard, but of course if you don’t know Chinese you’ll probably think the driver is trying to rip you off.
Buses in Weifang are either 1 or 1.5 yuan and go through the major parts of town. They run from 6AM to 7:30PM in the winter and until 8:30PM in the summer.
Getting There and Away
Currently, a new train station is being built and it looks as though it will be quite impressive once completed. A makeshift station makes due in the mean time. Weifang lies on the main line between Qingdao and Jinan, which means that basically anywhere you can go from Qingdao you can go from Weifang. so it is quite convenient. There are small windows throughout town where you can buy train tickets. You can also book train tickets at most of the large hotels for a small fee. The train station is located in the southern part of town.
Buses in Weifang run most places you’d want to go, and many places you’d never think of going. Destinations include, Qingdao, Jinan, Yantai, Weihai, Zibo, Rizhao, Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing and Shanghai. The main long distance bus station is not too far from the train station.
Weifang has a small airport with daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai. It’s located about 20 minutes south of Weifang.
Weifang Resource: A site mainly intended for co-op students maintained by my friend and former Weifang expat, Tiffany Glover.
Some information may be out of date.
Last Edited September 30, 2007.