Downplayed in Jǐ’nán’s tourist pitch are the Chinese celebrities who have come from Jǐ’nán. Film idol Gong Li grew up here. Bian Que, founder of traditional Chinese medicine, Zou Yan, founder of the Yin and Yang five element school, as well as Zhou Yongnian, founder of Chinese public libraries, all herald from these parts. A number of nationally and internationally recognised writers also hail from Jǐ’nán.
Its German heritage is not as unmistakable as Qīngdǎo’s, but the area south of the train station is well worth a wander for the pleasant ordering of its streets, lined here and there with European-style architecture. The rest of the city is being resculpted by road-widening schemes and construction, although determined efforts have also been made to prettify the city with plants and grass. Appealingly decked out with flowers and ornamental trees, the commercial street of Quancheng Lu exudes a vibrancy and energy that keeps shoppers on the go, restored by shots of bubble tea from regularly spaced kiosks.