Shandong has a rich history and culture, and is endowed with marvelous mountains and waters. Its Mount Tai - the most renowned mountain in eastern China, Baotu Spring noted as “Number One Spring under the Heaven”, Daming Lake “flanked on four sides by lotus flowers and on three sides by willow trees”, as well as picturesque romantic beaches and a great diversity of flora and fauna, together form a beautiful region. The varied natural environments within the province give rise to different geographical features and landscapes - mountains, rivers, plains, lakes, wetlands, and the sea, presenting a great picture of natural beauty.


I. Majestic Mountains


˜Mount Tai™


    Mount Tai is the foremost of the renowned Five Great Mountains of China. Majestic and scenic, it enjoys the reputation of “Number One Mountain under Heaven” and is a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site. The rulers of all Chinese dynasties never ceased to pay homage to heaven and earth through sacrificial ceremonies known as Feng Shan, build temples and statues and inscribe characters on rocks at Mount Tai, making the place partake of great cultural significance; “If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country,” goes a saying of old. Mount Tai is a mecca for lovers of cultural tourism worldwide, and its great four scenes - Sun Rising in the East, Golden Yellow River at Sunset, Rosy Clouds at Sunset, and Sea of Clouds - are what worldwide photographers love to shoot tirelessly. Only at Mount Tai can one truly feel the magnificence of the skies, earth, mountains and rivers, as well as the majesty of nature.


˜Yimeng Mountains™


    The Yimeng Mountains Scenic Area, a national 5A-level tourist attraction that mainly comprises the Yi Mountain and the Meng Mountain, is a World Cultural Heritage Site where an important pass on the Great Wall lies, and a world-famous place for health preservation. The Yi Mountain, noted as “the first mountain east from the sea”, is “the foremost of the five zhen (a general designation for famous mountains in ancient China)”, where sixteen emperors of ten dynasties ascended and paid homage to heaven and earth - leaving behind them the famous “Dongzhen Stele Forest”.


    The Meng Mountain’s highest peak, the Guimeng Peak (also called Yadai, or the Lesser Mount Tai), 1,156 meters above the seal level, is the second tallest peak in Shandong after Mount Tai. The Meng Mountain is not just a world-famous place for health preservation and longevity, but it was also favored by emperors and men of letters throughout the ages, with numerous signs of interest left by historic figures; Confucius once “climbed the Dongshan (Meng Mountain) and felt the state of Lu appeared smaller”. The Yimeng Mountains Scenic Area is quite suitable for leisure and climbs for its high forest cover, fresh air, and low difficulty involved in climbing.


    The colossus of the God of Longevity cut into the mountainside is the world’s largest single sculpture listed on the Guinness World Records.


˜Mount Yi™


    Mount Yi has long been noted as the “Wonder South of Mount Tai” and the “Beauty of Zou and Lu (States)” for unique and beautiful scenery and cultural richness. Small in size and exquisite in shape, it is majestic like Mount Tai, marvelous like Huangshan, precipitous like Mount Hua, and its scenery is uniquely beautiful. Its beauty resides in the wonderfulness of its rocks, caves, springs, cliff inscriptions, and myths. Rocks are beautiful and stand in varied shapes; the entire mountain is like a mound of countless eggs wonderfully piled. Within Mount Yi are interconnected holes where springs tinkle; whenever the northeast or southwest wind blows, the springs would rise simultaneously. The most famous of these springs is the Sweet Dew Pond, whose water is crystal-clear and delectable, with a water level miraculously unchangeable all the year around.


II. Imposing Waters


˜Daming Lake, Jinan™


    Daming Lake of Jinan is one more must-see attraction in Shandong. One of the “Three Greatest Attractions in Jinan” - the other two being the Baotu Spring and the Thousand-Buddha Mountain, it is a catchment of more than twenty springs, most notably the Pearl Spring. In the lake are six islands, large and small, including the Lixia Pavilion, the Huiquan Hall and the Lake Center Island. The scenery of the lake is picturesque, and there are pleasure boats moving on it. From the time immemorial, there are stretches of lotus in the lake, and willow trees line the lakeside. The scenery of Daming Lake can best be portrayed by a couplet: “[It is flanked] on four sides by lotus flowers and on three sides by willow trees; half the city is mountain and the other half is lake.”


˜Baotu Spring: Number One Spring under the Heaven™


    The Baotu Spring lies in Jinan, the capital city of Shandong Province. It is a real-life portrayal of Jinan that “every household has springs and weeping willows”. The Baotu Spring, which consists of more than 700 natural artesian springs, flows into Daming Lake and mirrors the Thousand-Buddha Mountain, linking the past and the present of an ancient city. Jinan is thus also called “Spring City”. Of the “72 Famous Springs” in Jinan, the Baotu Spring is at the top, enjoying the reputation of “Number One Spring under Heaven”. Spring water gushes day and night from three outlets, sometimes to a height of several feet. Tea made by using water from the Baotu Spring is mellow both in taste and color, as exemplified by a saying that goes that “If you toured Jinan without drinking water from the Baotu Spring, you did it as if you had not.” What tourists to Jinan like most to do is to lean against the balustrade enjoying the beautiful views of water gushing from the three spring outlets simultaneously in a spreading mist.


III. Expanse of Sea


˜Qingdao: A Beautiful Modern Coastal City™


    Qingdao is a seaside city situated in a superior position and with a temperate climate, whose world-famous attractions such as the Mount Lao Scenic Area, the Seaside Scenery Zone, and May Fourth Square are preferred places for many sightseers. Red bricks and green trees, blue seas and azure skies, are a real-life portrayal of the city. The walkway that extends several dozen miles along the coast of Qingdao is like a beautiful colored ribbon that links together a multitude of tourist attractions, such as the Chinese Navy Museum, Qingdao No.1 Bathing Beach, Badaguan, and Stone Man; paved with wooden planks, a large proportion of the walkway suspends over the sea, and from cracks between planks one can see the surging waves.


    The annual international sailing event gathers top-notch sailors all over the world in Qingdao. The city’s western coast resort, where there are plentiful swimming, cycling and recreational facilities, is the best place for a family vacation.


˜Rizhao: City of Sunshine™


    The coastal city of Rizhao is called the “City of Sunshine”, so named because the ancient Chinese believed it to be “the first city to get sunshine”. Rizhao has a temperate climate all year round. Widely noted for its “azure skies, blue seas, and golden beaches”, the city has superior sandy beaches that measure 64 kilometers long, where water is clear, waves calm, shoals flat and sand fine. It enjoys a reputation as a “City of Aquatic Sports” and “Oriental City of Sunshine”, and is a recipient of UN-Habitat Scroll of Honor Award.


˜Penglai Pavilion: Residence of Immortals™


    Shandong has a coastal line of more than 3,000 kilometers long, on which lie the pearls of Qingdao, Yantai, Weihai, and Rizhao, and along which there are all kinds of islands, shoals, reefs, bays, and capes. The beautiful scenery and the abundance of myths and tales render the coastal line a wonderland. The Penglai Pavilion in the fairy tale “The Eight Immortals Cross the Sea” lies just in Penglai, Yantai. Penglai is in Chinese mythology the wonderland on earth, and legend has it that the Eight Immortals came from the sea, each relying on their divine powers, to attend a banquet at the Penglai Pavilion. The Penglai Pavilion is noted as one of the Four Great Towers of China, magnificent and well-decorated as a result of construction and renovation efforts made throughout the ages.


˜Liugong Island: An Earthly Paradise™


    Apart from what a coastal city must have - an agreeable beach, and delicious seafood, the best-known landmark in Weihai is the Liugong Island. Noted as the “Divine Mountain on the Sea” and the “Earthly Paradise”, the Liugong Island is a natural shield on the sea for Weihai, and a famous scenic area in China; it features a range of hills, large and small, bounded north by upright cliffs and its south side being a continuous gentle slope.


IV. Abundant Wetland Resources


˜Eco-tourism Region of Yellow River Delta™


    The Yellow River, the Mother River of the Chinese nation and the cradle of the Chinese civilization, flows through nine Chinese provinces and autonomous regions, and empties into the sea by way of nine cities in Shandong, including Jinan, Dezhou, Binzhou and Dongying. At the point where it joins the sea, two clearly different colors blend to render the scenery magnificent. In the Yellow River estuary in Dongying, the muddy yellow river water and the blue sea water form a spectacular contrast. Sitting in a speedboat that speeds along the intersection line of yellow and blue, and taking in the vast expanses of the red plant of Suaeda salsa and reed catkins, one would be amazed at the greatness of nature.


    The Eco-tourism Region of Yellow River Delta is an “international airport” for birds. Inside the region there is a total of 368 species of birds, many of them precious and endangered ones. It is home to Chinese Oriental storks and Chinese black-headed gulls, and is an important “transfer station” for migrant birds of Northeast Asian continent and the western Pacific rim, where they spend winters and breed.


˜Rongcheng Swan Lake: Oriental Kingdom of Swans™


    The Rongcheng Swan Lake lies at the easternmost corner of the Jiaodong Peninsula, Shandong, within the beautiful and affluent town of Chengshanwei. Inside the lake area is the world’s largest swan habitat, the Chengshanwei Swan Lake, where the scenery is beautiful - clean and clear waters, golden sands, and blue skies, and the climate is agreeable. From November of every year through April of the next, tens of thousands of whooper swans, wild ducks and wild gooses travel thousands of miles from Siberia, Inner Mongolia, among other places, to descend here in flocks, where they spend the winter, forming what domestic and foreign experts and scholars call the “Oriental Kingdom of Swans”.


˜Weishan Lake Red Lotus Wetland Scenic Area™


    The Weishan Lake is located in Tengzhou, Zaozhuang, Shandong, with a shore line of 30 kilometers. Within the lake area are expanses of wetland and stretches of reed and lotus. The largest wetland reserve in Shandong and the biggest freshwater lake in northern China, The Weishan lake is bounded north by the Zhaoyang Lake and south by the Nanyang Lake, and through it the Grand Canal passes. These features together form a unique ecological environment. When the lotus blossoms in July to August each year, tourists may row boats into the lake to view broad lotus leaves and beautiful lotus flowers, listen to the breeze swaying the reeds, and taste fresh and tender lotus seeds, in a wonderland-like environment. Seeing flocks of ducks and gooses in the lake, tourists can also feel an atmosphere of a lakeside village.


˜Changchun Lake Resort™


    The Changchun Lake is located in Qixia, Yantai, Shandong. Named after Qiu Chuji’s Taoist name Master Changchun and noted as the “Heaven Lake of Jiaodong”, it covers 10 square kilometers and contains a water volume of 80 million cubic meters. Scenic spots inside include the Lake Center Island, the Taixu Palace, the Bashang, the Forest Park, the Wuqiao Cliffs, etc.


    Dear friends, Shandong boasts modern civilization, magnificent mountains and rivers, time-honored history and a galaxy of talents. It is located on the eastern coast of China, at the lower reaches of the Yellow River, across the sea from South Korea and Japan, and at the juncture of the eastern section of “Belt and Road”. It’s the birthplace of a group of thinkers and contributors to Chinese culture, such as Confucius, Mencius, Zengzi, Zisi, Mozi, and Sunzi. Shandong has the third highest GDP in China, with a population of over 100 million.


    Shandong is to recruit 20,000 “Confucius Tourism Envoy” from all around the world. Join us to know about “Friendly Shandong, the home of Confucius”.


    We look forward to meeting you in Shandong.





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official website of Confucius Institute Online


Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism