Abbreviated as “Lu”, Shandong (literally “east of the mountain”) Province is so named because it is located to the east of the Taihang Mountains. Situated on the coastland of East China in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, it includes the peninsula and the mainland territory.
Shandong’s terrain is complicated, with hills being the principal landform. The eastern part of the province is the peninsula with its fascinating coastline views. Its central and southern regions are composed of hills, while its southwestern region is made up of hills.
The province has a monsoon climate, with concentrated rainfall during the hot season. It is hot and rainy in the summer, and dry and cold in winter.
Shandong enjoys a long history and is a land that has bred generations of talents. As early as the Pre-Qin era, Qilu Culture was cultivated here, with its core being Confucian Culture.
Over a long course of history, a distinctive cultural system was established here. Shandong Cuisine is the leading style among the four Chinese Cuisines. There are more than 30 varieties of popular operas in Shandong.
Shandong Province comprises 17 prefecture-level cities, including Jinan, Qingdao, Dezhou, Liaocheng, Binzhou, Dongying, Zibo, Weifang, Tai’an, Jining, Heze, Laiwu, Linyi, Zaozhuang, Yantai, Weihai, and Rizhao.
Known for its various springs, Jinan is known as “the city of springs”. Among the “72 famous springs”, Baotu Spring, Heihu Spring, Zhenzhu Spring and Wulong Spring are the four most popular ones.
Baotu Spring is one of the landmarks of Jinan. Legend has it that when Emperor Qianlong passed the spring during his imperial visit, he inscribed the words “the Greatest Spring under Heaven” onto its rocks.
Darning Lake is a natural lake made up of a number of springs in the downtown area of the city. As a lake with picturesque scenery, it offers tourists views of kites flying over head, fish swimming in the water, lotus flowers floating on its surface, pleasure boats sailing by, willows on the banks with sinking branches and flowers blooming.
Thousand Buddha Mountain
Baotu Spring, Darning Lake and Thousand Buddha Mountain are referred to as the “three greatest tourist destinations,, in Jinan. Its major destinations include Xingguo Buddhist Temple, Qianfo Cliff and Wanfo Cave, integrating numbers of famous caves in China, majestic and imposing.
Qufu was once the capital of the state of Lu during China’s Zhou Dynasty. The hometown of Confucius, the founder of Confucianism, it is referred to by Westerners as “the Oriental Jerusalem”.
Temple of Confucius
Construction of the Temple of Confucius began as early as the Zhou Dynasty and was completed in the Ming and Qing dynasties. It was built near the Kong Family Mansions for the purpose of honoring Confucianism. The temple is designed with a layout consisting of three lanes and nine rows of houses. All the structures are located on a central axis and are symmetrically arranged.
Cemetery of Confucius
The Cemetery of Confucius, originally known as “Cemetery of the Great Sage”, is the cemetery of Confucius and his descendants from the past 2,000 years. The current number of tombs is over 100,000. It is the oldest and largest clan cemetery in the world.
Kong Family Mansions
The Kong Family Mansions were once the office and mansions of the eldest legitimate grandson of Confucius. The family is known as “the First Family under Heaven”. It is a typical piece of feudal architecture combining government offices and residences.
Peninsula. Surrounded by mountains and the sea, with a pleasant climate, it is one of the most beautiful cities in China. It is known as “the immortal city of mountains and sea”.
Yantai Mountain is surrounded by sea on three sides. With attractive scenery, it is the symbol of Yantai City. Scenic spots in the mountain include beacon towers, lighthouses, stone boats, the Relang Pavilion, the sightseeing building and consulates of various modem nations.
Zhangyu International Wine Museum
As one of the few wine museums in the world, Zhangyu International Wine Museum displays the 100-plus years’ history of the Zhangyu Wine Company. The underground wine reserve is the largest wine cellar in Asia.
Nanshan Scenic Spot
Nanshan Scenic Spot in Longkou City consists of three major parts: the Park of Religion, History and Culture; the Theme Park of Merry Valleys and the Eastern Sea Resort. The huge copper Buddha statue, 38.66 meters high, is the icon of Nanshan Scenic Spot.
Penglai has long been recognized as “the fairyland of the mortal world”. Legend has it that Penglai, Fangzhang and Yingzhou are the three fairy mountains in the sea. It is the location where the first emperor of Qin and Emperor Wu in the Han Dynasty sought elixirs of immortality. It is also the source of the Chinese legend of “the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”.
Penglai Pavilion is known as ”a fairyland under heaven”. It is the origin of the Chinese legend of “the Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”. Scenic spots here include the former residence of General Qi Jiguang, Penglai Aquatic Town, Dengzhou Museum and the division between the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea.
Sanxian Mountain Scenic Spot consists of Sanhe Hall, Penglai Island, the Imposing Land of Fanghu, Yingzhou Fairyland and Yingzhou Academic Study. The Jade Lying Buddha, Jade Guanyin, Guanyin with Eleven Facets are the most precious treasures found here.
The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea
With taoist culture and the legend involving the “eight immortals” creating its atmosphere, the scenic spot resembles a magic gourd lying in the sea. The azure sky and vast sea around it look majestic and imposing.
Located on the coast of the Yellow Sea, this city boasts bcautitul scenery. Known as “the capital of sails”, it was also the venue for the sailing boat event of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Zhanqiao Pier enjoys a history of over I 00 years and is the earliest man-made military wharf. At the southern end of the bridge is the Hui Ian Pavilion, a two-story octagonal pavilion with overhanging eaves.
Badaguan (Eight Great Passes)
Badaguan is famous for its architectural design, which combines a variety of styles from different countries, earning it the nickname the “world exposition of architecture”. Among the buildings, the best known are Gongzhu Lou (Princess Tower) and Huashi Lou (colorfull rock building).
The First Bathing Beach
The First Bathing Beach in Qingdao is the largest beach resort. Its water is so spacious and clear that the resort has become an ideal place for sightseeing, bathing in the sea breeze and yacht sailing.
May Fourth Square
The themed sculpture, “the May Breeze”, is one of the icons of Qingdao and is named to commemorate the city’s role as the spark for the outbreak of the May-Fourth Movement. The large fountain in the square reaches up to 100 meters in height, and is the tallest seawater spring in China.
Qingdao Underwater World
Qingdao Underwater World lives up to its reputation of an underwater paradise. Current show programs include “dancing with sharks” and mermaid performances. Innovative activities such as “exploration underwater,, and “wedding ceremonies underwater” are also held.
Olympic Sailing Center
Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center consists of the land and water project, and was the location of the Olympic Games’ first medal award ceremony at seas. Its waters greet one with eye-catching yachts harbored in the wharf and sailing boats glimmering on the horizon.
Old Stone Man
Old Stone Man is actually a stone pillar with the height of 17 meters, standing on a precipice above the seawater, and looks like an old man sitting in the billows, especially when seen from the northwest.
Mount Lao is an important mountain for Taoism. The ancients referred to it as “the abode of immortals and spirits”. The peak of the Mountain stands 1,133 meters above sea level on the coast of the Yellow Sea. It has long been known as “the Greatest Mountain near the Sea”.
Qingdao International Beer Festival
Qingdao International Beer Festival is the largest beer festival in Asia. It offers brand beers and food from all over the world as well as exciting performances by German art groups.
Taishan Mountain (or Mount Tai) stands 1,545 meters above sea level and is widely known as “the greatest of the five Great Mountains in China”. Over thousands of years, twelve emperors offered sacrifices to the Mountain. It is now a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site.
The holy Taoist Dai Temple contains the largest and most complete ancient structures preserved in Mount Taishan. It was an important location for generations of monarchs to offer sacrifices to Heaven and the gods of Mount Tai.
As one of the symbols of Mount Tai, the Shiba Twists are the steepest section along the path leading to the summit and consist of more than 1,600 stone steps. Seen from afar, they resemble an extremely long and thrilling ladder hanging from the mountaintop.
South Gate to Heaven
Legend has it that the South Gate leads to Heaven. Whenever the Gate is shrouded in clouds and mists, it disappears and reappears periodically, making the Shiba Twists look like a ladder hung upside down.
Sun Viewing Peak
The Peak is the best place for viewing the sunrise. A spectacular view of the rising sun can be observed every morning from the corridor against the cliff to the east of the peak.
Weihai - Liugong Island
Liugong Island is not only an island, but also a magnificent scroll that displays stories of the Han Dynasty and the battle of the Beiyang Navy against Japanese aggression.
Rongcheng - Chengshantou
Chengshantou is the place where the sunrise is seen earliest in the day in China and is the eastern end of the Chinese coastline. In ancient times, it was believed to be the abode of the sun god. The sunrise here is spectacular.
Yantai - Changdao Islands
The Changdao Islands or Miaodao Islands feature azure skies, clear water, sunshine and beaches. The poetic scenery here has won it the reputation of “the fairy island in the sea”. The most enchanting spots include Jiuzhang Cliff, Crescent Bay and Wangfu Reef.
Reminiscences of the Past
Zibo - The Former Residence of Pu Songling
This residence is the place where Pu Songling, the author of Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, lived and wrote the legendary book. The residence is a serene courtyard with four rows of houses. The main room in the north is where Pu Songling was bom and held his studio throughout his life.
Zibo - Zhoucun Village
Zhoucun Village is known as “the greatest Village under Heaven,^ and is the birthplace of the Shandong merchants. Zhoucun Avenue remains well preserved. A cloth fair, ancient banks, pawnshops, medicine stores, teahouses, dye workshops, inns and antique markets can all be found here and are testaments to the village’s past prosperity.
Zaozhuang - Ter'erzhuang Ancient Town
Within Tai’erzhuang Ancient Town is the final 3,000-meter section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal. Various waterway can be seen in the town, making it possible for one to tour the town by boat. It is a town of waterways rarely seen in Northern China.
Qixia - Mou Family Estate
Mou Family Estate was built by Mou Molin, a Qing Dynasty squire. The magnificent estate is a typical one of those owned by landlords in Northern China. The traditional feast of the family is quite a special treat.
Recommended Tourist Itineraries
Tourism Along the Coast
Route: Qingdao — Yantai — Weihai
Sight: Shandong Province’s coastal cities feature attractive seaside scenery and an enchanting urban atmosphere. Here, one can enjoy waves, sunshine, diverse international architecture and beer in Qingdao, China’s “City of Beer”.
Tourism In the Hometown of Confucius
Route: Mount Ni — Kong Family Mansions — Temple of Confucius — Cemetery of Confucius
Sight: Qufu is the hometown of Confucius, the greatest ancient Chinese philosopher. His descendants have prospered here and a number of historical relics are preserved including the Kong Family Mansion, the Temple of Confucius and the Cemetery of Confucius.
Trip Through the Culture of Outlaws of the Marsh
Route: Liangshan County — Dongping County — Yanggu County — Yuncheng County
Sight: This location includes the setting of stories from Outlaws of the Marsh. Main attractions include Dongping Lake, the Marshes, Shizi Restaurant and Jingyang Ridge in Yanggu County.
Cultures Related to Outlaws of the Marsh
Liangshan - The Marshes
The Marshes are located in Liangshan County, Jining City, Shandong Province. They were the setting of the legendary stories depicted in Outlaws of the Marsh. Scenic spots here include the Hall of Righteousness, Commanding Platform and other scenic spots related to the story of Outlaws of the Marsh. This region is also one of the sites of origin of Chinese kungfu.
Tai'an - Dongping Lake
Dongping Lake is the only wetland area remaining of “the eight hundred li of the marshes”. Scenic spots include the Studios for Shooting Outlaws of the Marsh, the Stockade in Liugong Hill, Juyi Island and Lashan National Park. Juyi Island, located at the center ol Dongping Lake, was historically a place where outlaws were oTtcn found. The Studios and Liugong Hill are also the venues for shooting the new TV Play version of Outlaws of the Marsh.
Yanggu - Shizi Restaurant
Shizi Restaurant is the venue where Wu Song, a legendary figure in the novel, killed Ximen Qing as vengeance for the murder of his elder brother. The structure is built in typical Song Dynasty style, with green bricks, grey tiles, overhanging eaves, arches, and engraved beams. Scenic spots include Wangpo Teahouse, Dwelling of the Elder Brother of Wu, Shizi Restaurant and Yuhuang Temple.
Civilian airports in Shandong Province are located in Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, Wei fang, Linyi, Dongying and Jining. Among them, Yaoqiang Airport of Jinan, Liuting Airport of Qingdao and Laishan Airport of Yantai are international airports.
The railway network covers almost all cities in the province and includes sections of t» Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Beijing- Kowloon Railway, Handan-Jinan Railway, Xinxiang-Yanzhou Railway and the entire route of the Qingdao-Jinan Railway, Zibo – Dongying Railway, Lancun-Yantai Railway, Taocun-Weihai Railway and Yanzhou-Shijiu Railway.
The extensive Shandong highway network covers all regions of the province, with highways in operation in as many as 17 prefectural cities. The Beijing-Shanghai Expressway goes through Dezhou, Jinan, Tai’an and Linyi, while the Jinan-Qingdao Expressway crosses the Shandong Peninsula, connecting Jinan, Zibo, Weifang and Qingdao.
Passenger liners are available heading to Dalian from Yantai, Weihai and Penglai on the Shandong Peninsula. Yantai provides four passenger ships to Dalian every day. Passenger cruise liners from Qingdao, Weihai and Yantai to South Korea and Japan are also available.