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Shandong Travel Guide

Shandong (Chinese abbreviation: Lu) is a coastal province in East China. It is situated at the lower reaches of the Mother River of China, the Yellow River, and faces the Bohai Sea to the north and the Yellow Seas to the east. Opposite the Korean Peninsula and Japan, it borders with Hebei Province to the northwest, Henan Province to the southwest and Anhui Province and Jiangsu Province to the south. Shandong Province together with Liaoning Province (the Liandong Peninsula) forms the crescent-shaped Bohai Gulf. As the juncture of North China and East China, the Yellow River Economic Belt and the Bohai Ring Economic Area, Shandong is a province of strategically economic significance in China.

Its capital city is Jinan, which is praised as being the City of Springs. There are over 100 springs in the city, of which 72 springs are famous. Baotu Spring, or Spurting Spring, the best one among the famous 72 springs, is known as The First Spring under Heaven. It is the symbol of Jinan. >> Check out our tours to Jinan

Shandong is abundant in attractive mountains, rivers and lakes, which providestourists unique sightseeing routes. It is crowned by Mount Tai with an altitude of 1,545 meters, and the Yellow River Delta of northeast Shandong is the lowest point with an altitude of two to ten meters. In addition to Mount Tai, other famous mountains include Mount Lao, Mount Kunyu, Mount Meng, Mount Lu and Mount Ya. Besides the Mother River of China, the Yellow River, there are in total over one hundred rivers in Shandong, whose trunk streams are all longer than fifty meters. Shandong boasts one of the ten biggest freshwater lakes in China, Nansi Lake, which covers an area of 1,357 square kilometers.

Centuries-old history and lots of cultural relics endows Shandong with abundant tourist resources. There are hundreds of places of cultural interest; more than 13,000 ancient pieces of architecture and historic sites, among which 27 are key historical relics under national protection and 379 are under provincial protection.

Highlights

Leader of the Five Sacred Mountains, Mount Tai

Mount Tai, located just north of Tai’an city in East China’s Shangdong province, is a mountain of historical and cultural significance. The word tai in Chinese means stability and peace and the name Tai'an is attributed to the saying: "If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country" (both characters of Tai'an have an independent meaning of stability and peace). Mount Tai is crowned by Jade Emperor Peak (in Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor is the most powerful god in heaven) with an altitude of 1,545 meters. In absolute terms Mount Tai can not be considered as the highest of China’s mountains, but because it is close to the sea and rivers and rises abruptly from the relatively low rolling hills and Qilu plains, its relative height is quite impressive, with an altitude difference of 1395 meters within nine kilometers. Moreover, in Chinese culture, east is regarded as a sacred direction, since it is where the sun and the moon rise. Therefore Mount Tai is often regarded as the first of the Five Sacred Mountains. It is associated with sunrise, birth and renewal. Read More about Mount Tai and Travel Tips

>> Design your own Mount Tai Trip

Hometown of Confucius, Qufu

With a history of more than five thousand years, Qufu is the legendary birthplace of many Chinese sages such as Confucius, Mencius. In order to memorize these great sages, temples and cemeteries were built by local people. The most famous attractions are the Temple of Confucius (Kong Miao), The Tomb of Confucius (Kong Ling) and Kong Family Mansion (Kong Fu), which are now called the Three Kongs. The Three Kongs were listed in the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1994. Read More about Qufu

>> Design your own Qufu Trip

Enchanting Coastal Cities

Penglai

Penglai, located at the northernmost tip of the Shandong Peninsula, is a charming city with a beautiful seascape. Penglai has long been a popular tourist destination thanks to the stunning sight of Penglai Pavilion with its reflection appearing on the nearby sea. Penglai Pavilion is often referred to as a place where the gods of Chinese mythology once lived, because of its beautiful scenery. For example, the well-known legend of the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea was said to have taken place here. Read More about Penglai

>> Design your own Penglai Trip

Qingdao

Qingdao, located in the east part of Shandong Peninsula, was host to the 2008 Olympic Sailing Regatta. It is also a famous coastal tourist city. Renowned as the “Eastern Switzerland”, it is surrounded by mountains and seas, which endow Qingdao with a picturesque natural landscape and pleasant climate. It is a good place for spending holidays and sightseeing. Mountain Lao of Qingdao is praised in a saying as being “China’s number one famous mountain by the sea”. Qingdao is a seaside city with a mix of Chinese and Western influences, which is rich in ancient Chinese historic relics as well as architecture of typical European style. The west part of Qingdao brings tourists a kind of classic beauty, while East Qingdao presents a kind of modern or even super modern beauty. Read More about Qingdao

>> Check out our tours to Qingdao

Yantai

Yantai, in the middle of Shandong Peninsular, around 200 kilometers away from Qingdao, is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in China. Although Yantai can not be compared with Qingdao in terms of general popularity among foreign tourists, Yantai nonetheless offers a picturesque, even romantic (especially at night) seascape whose beauty is epitomized in the stretch along the Binhai Road. Moreover, Yantai's bathing beaches are more relaxed and less crowded than those of Qingdao. Yantai is the cradle of Chinese wine production, being home to the largest wine production base in all of Asia. Read More about Yantai

Festivals

Penglai Fishing Light Festivalis

Penglai Fishing Light Festivalis also called the Festival of Fishermen or Sea Worship Festival. It was originally a hilarious festival celebrated by the Fishermen to offer sacrifice to the sea and wish for peace, safety and good luck. Nowadays the festival has been developed into a ceremonious tourism event accompanied by abundant leisure activities, such as offering sacrifice to boats and the Goddess of Sea, making Fishing Light, setting off fireworks, dancing, clanging gongs and beating drums, and releasing Fishing Lights or floating bottles on the sea.

The Fishing Light Festival is a special folk event in the Fishing villages of Penglai area, Yantai City, Shandong Province. The ancestors of the local fishermen began to live here from the Ming Dynasty (1368AD-1644AD). With a long history of six hundred years, the custom of releasing Fishing Lights has actually begun since the people started their Fishing activities.

The festival is celebrated in a most ceremonious way in the six villages of Jijiazhen Town of Penglai Area, including Chunwang Village, Lijiazhuang Village, the Chenjiazhuang Village, Sunjiazhuang Village, the Gujiazhuang Village and Luyang Village. These six villages are located quite close to each other but they celebrate the Fishing Light Festival at different times. Three of them including Chuwang Village celebrate the festival on the thirteenth day of the first lunar month, and the other three celebrate it one day later.

International Mount Tai Climbing Festival

Since the year of 1987, the International Mount Tai- Climbing Festival has been held in September every year. Besides the activity of Mount Tai ascending, the other major event during the festival is a grand mimic emperor's memorial ceremony for Mt. Tai held during the past dynasties. Besides, there are also other events like the exhibition of paintings and calligraphy, bonsai and root sculptures.Read More about Mount Tai

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