Just south of the capitol of Shandong, lies the city of Tai’an. At first glance, the importance of Tai’an may be lost on foreigners. But for what this city lacks in beaches and nightlife, it more than makes up with the presence of Taishan Mountain. It has long been thought by the Chinese that 5 mountains reach up to support heaven to keep it in the sky. Affectionately known as the “first of the five great mountains of China”, Mount Tai’s highest peak is thought to be the joining location of Heaven and Earth.
Tai’an has longed played a significant role in China’s extensive history. While many places in China boast histories of a few thousand years, this area has known human involvement for over ten thousand years. More than 3000 years ago, worship began on Mount Tai. Initially including local leaders and warlords, it became a ritual for the Emperor of China to come and pray at both the base and peak of the mountain. 72 emperors are recorded as having visited Mount Tai, however only 5 ascended the more than 6,600 steps to the top. Calligraphy left by emperors during their ascent, as well as the natural beauty of the mountain, has attracted a great number of writers and artists to carry tales across the world. Needless to say, this stoic mountain has become immortalized in more than one way.
As one saying goes, “You cannot know the depth of the world until you stood upon the peak Mount Tai.” Surrounded by plains on all sides, the elevation of over 1,500 meters can give you a view for miles. In fact, Mount Tai is so tall that is the first place in all China to be greeted by the morning sun. We guarantee that the humbling walk up the mountain, the various temples and inscriptions along the way, and the magnificent scenery at every point will leave you awe-struck and inspired.
Welcome to Tai’an, Heaven on Earth.
An old saying goes, “Mt. Tai is known for three delicacies-Chinese vegetables, bean curd, and water.”
Also called Tai’an Divine Bean Curd, bean curd made in Tai’an is fresh, tender, and white. Over 100 kinds of dishes can be prepared with bean curd for a banquet.
Taoist cuisine consists of a wide variety of well-prepared vegetable dishes. Taoist cooks pay great attention to the color, smell, and taste of dishes.
Prepared with green foods, Taishan thin pancake is suitable for both old and young, making it an ideal food to be served at a banquet or presented to guests as gifts. Flavors include millet, Chinese chestnut, black sesame, walnut and peanut, jujube and various vitamin pancakes.
Boiled with soybeans, millets (highly variable small-seeded grasses), and rice, Dongping Porridge, originally known as the Xu’s porridge, has a 300 year history. After one finishes eating a bowl of porridge, the bowl always looks as if it were cleaned.
Bean curd is famous at Mount Tai for its great flavor. As a result, many dishes have been created around this key ingredient. We would tell you which one is best, but we can’t decide on a favorite!
Celebrated on the 15th day of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar, people pay homage to a woman blessed with the name of the mountain. It is said that she is either the daughter of the god of Mount Tai, or that she lived long ago and was made immortal by the same god. Whichever you prefer, many pray to her as a symbol of fertility, healing, and vision. Join other pilgrims as they carry incense from the base of the mountain to temples on top.
At different times, locals may put on shows using silhouettes and curtains. Using light, they create shadow figures to tell ancient folk stories. If you see one going on, stop over and take a look.
Tai’an is close to the yellow river, the second longest river in China, and the cities of Jinan, Qufu, and Zibo. The city got its name from one of the most renowned mountains in Chinese history, Mount Tai.
Tai’an is also the birthplace of Chinese civilization. Human remains from 500 thousand years ago were discovered here. This important archeological find is an exciting milestone for the Chinese culture.
The first day of the tour, you will visit the Dai Temple. The Dai Temple is known as the first temple in China. Along with the Confucius Temple, the Dai Temple is regarded as the most important temple design in China.
Start the hike up Mount Tai.
Enjoy the beautiful sunrise in the morning. Then, start the hike down from the mountain.
Depart to the Hot Spring Resort area. Enjoy some time at the hot springs!
Depart to Dong Ping after breakfast to visit the Outlaws of Marsh studio.
Stroll around Old Town and take a boat out on Dongping Lake. Dongping Lake is the only lake described in Outlaws of Marsh that still exists today.
Mount Tai is a mountain of historical and cultural significance located north of the city of Tai’an, in Shandong province, China. The tallest peak is the Jade Emperor Peak, which is commonly reported as 1,545 metres (5,069 ft) tall. Mount Tai is one of the “Five Great Mountains”. It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded as the foremost of the five. Mount Tai has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as one of the most important ceremonial centers of China during large portions of this period.
To the north of the Yitian Gate of Mt. Tai stands a stone memorial archway with an inscription reading the “Site Where Confucius Started Climbing the Mountain.” The memorial archway was constructed in 1560 (the 39th year of the Jiajing reign period of the Ming Dynasty) to commemorate a well-known saying by Confucius: “At the top of Mt. Tai, the world looks small.”
Also known as the Second Heavenly Gate, the Central Heavenly Gate has an elevation of 847 meters and stands at the juncture of the eastern and western mountain-claiming roads. By the memorial archway there is a lying stone tiger with stripes where visitors can view the summit of the mountain, towering peaks, serene valleys and the belt-like Wenhe River, making them feel as though they are halfway to heaven.
Nestled between the low-laying area between Flying Dragon Rock and Flying Phoenix Range, the South Heavenly Gate looks like an open gate to heaven. It was created in 1264, the fifth year of the Zhongtong reign period of the Yuan Dynasty.
Located at the mountaintop, Azure Cloud Temple was built to commemorate Goddess Azure Cloud of Mt. Tai. The temple consists of a group of magnificent and well-designed buildings. It is a masterpiece of all the buildings in the mountains.
Wang Shizhen, a famous man of letters of the Ming Dynasty, once said: “Even legendary phoenixes will be startled at this inscription on the precipice in the clouds and mist” located on Grand View Peak. The most famous is the “Tang Engravings on a Cliff,” known as Inscription of Mt. Tai written by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty in 725.
The emperors of ancient China came to Jade Emperor Summit to offer sacrifices to heaven, and pay homage to all mountain gods. The main peak of Mt. Tai, Jade Emperor Summit, also known as Heavenly Pillar Peak, was named after Jade Emperor Temple. To the east of the temple stands Sun Watching Pavilion, where you can watch the red sun rising from the east. To the west, there is River Overlooking Pavilion, where you can appreciate sunset glow, the golden Yellow River, a sea of clouds, and jade plates.
Mountaineering tips: There are four routes for tourists to climb Mt. Tai.
Located in the center of the city proper of Tai’an, Daimiao Temple is a complex of magnificent ancient architectures on the imperial road leading to the place where the emperor offered sacrifices to heaven. This ancient temple, boasts steep and tall halls and towers. Tiankuang Hall, the main hall in the temple, the Hall of Supreme Harmony in the former imperial palace in Beijing, and the Temple of Confucius in Qufu are three major ancient palaces in China. Daimiao Temple has ancient towering pine and cypress trees, and a large number of steles and cultural relics. A stone inscribed with an article by Li Si of the Qin Dynasty in the temple is the first-class national historical monument.
Located by the Dawen River in the south of Tai’an City, this site of Dawenkou culture is the ruins of the late New Stone Age, which was discovered and excavated in 1959. The site includes tombs, ruined houses, and a large number of unearthed cultural relics. Today, it is a key historical monument under state protection.
Culai Mountain is a branch of Mt. Tai with its highest peak the Taiping Summit. The park has moist climate, lushly growing forests, tall and steep peaks, and picturesque scenery. Its main scenic spots include Taiping Summit, the site of Culai Mountain Anti-Japanese Armed Uprising, and sutras inscribed on cliffs of the Northern Dynasty (386-581).
Also known as the Peak of the Jade Emperor, this is the highest spot on Mount Tai. See the temple where Emperors and millions of people have come to pray to Heaven. Here you will find tablets of praise to the God of Mount Tai, and a blank tablet that continues to baffle archaeologists and scholars.
Not far from Tai’an, there are large fields of peach trees. Celebrated in April and May, people flock to the fields to see them in full bloom. Stop by when you’re in the area and grab a fresh and juicy one!
With more than 6,600 steps from the base of the mountain to the top, this expedition may very well take between 5-7 hours. Of course, buses and lift cars are available to those who are not able (or simply prefer not) to walk up. We highly recommend that you walk if you are able, so as not to miss the beautiful temples and calligraphy on the way up. This walk has long been considered to cleanse the mind and soul, as the walk up gives you much time to think.
Mount Tai, with its height and location, is the very first place in China to be met with light from the morning sunrise. In the early morning, stand on the peak of the mountain and enjoy the sensory overload as everything changes from pitch black darkness to a wealth of color and activity. Even without a camera, this is one opportunity that you’ll remember your entire life.
|Taishan Theater||At the juncture of Youth Road and Caiyuan Street||High-class stereo and three-dimensional cinema|
|Daizongfang Park Celebration||Daizongfang, Hongmen Road||Fountains, flowers, trees and sculptures|
|Naihe Park||In the city proper||Appreciating flowers, playing with water and meditating on the past|
|Yaocan Pavilion Park||Eastern and western sides of Zhengyang Gate of Daimiao Temple||Green land, shopping, fountains and sculptures|
The telephone number of the Tai’an Tourism Consultancy Center: 0538-8272114
Address: Taishan Railway Station Square
Also known as Haoli Mountain Insect Fossil, Yanzi stone is produced in Haoli Mountain. Yanzi stones can be produced into stone slabs, paperweight bars, pen containers, pen racks, vases, and snuffs.
As precious and special products of Mt. Tai, red glossy ganoderma is generally used to make medicines, which can treat deafness, improve the joints, invigorate spirits, consolidate stones, relieve deficiency and fatigue, and improve health.
Ranking first of all precious medical herbs found in Mt. Tai, the tuber of multiflower grows between rocks on the slope and under the trees in the wetland. The medicines prepared with it can nourish the blood, liver and kidney, improve muscles and bones, and make hair retain black color.
Also known as Buddha Peach, the peaches produced in Feicheng are large, full, juicy, sweet, and fragrant. The largest, known as the “largest peach in the world,” weighs over two pounds. Peaches can be made into various kinds of food, beverages, and wine and seeds can be made into medicines.
Also known as Chicken Head Rice, this annual herb can be eaten or used to make starch or medicines.
With an aroma of chestnut and rich flavor, this tea is so heavily praised that it was favored by Chinese emperors of old. Not only does it stimulate the taste buds, this tea was often used for its medicinal purposes.
Mount Tai has no shortage of plants. Many of these plants were recognized by ancient physicians to have medicinal properties. Even today, plants like ginseng and the gingko root are praised. But you may have trouble deciding what to bring back, as Mount Tai is home to over 400 species of medicinal plants!
The locally harvested mahogany has long been an important part of Taian’s history. Recognized worldwide as a beautiful wood, here you can find it hand-carved into creatures, amulets, legendary figures, and more.
Tourists can enter and leave China in Jinan by air. It takes only 80 minutes from Tai’an to Jinan along the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway.
Tai’an sits on the Tianjin-Pukou Railway. Every day, 44 passenger trains enter and depart from Tai’an and visit Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Jinan, and Qingdao. The Tai’an Railway Station sells train tickets to all the places domestically.
Passengers may travel along the Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Fuzhou expressways, or the No. 104 national road. Buses leave the Jinan Long-distance Bus Station continuously from 6:00 to 18:00 everyday. The interval between two mini buses is 10 minutes. A ticket for the mini bus is 13 yuan, and a ticket for the bus costs 20 yuan.
Bus Nos. 3, 4, 9 and 15 go regularly from the railway station to scenic spots costing one yuan per ticket. Special tourism buses run regularly from the Railway Station to Peach Blossom Ravine, and from Tianwai Village to Central Heavenly Gate.
Tai’an has over 1,600 taxis. The starting price for a car is seven yuan for the first two kilometers, and then two yuan per kilometer. The starting price for a minibus taxi is five yuan for the first two kilometers, and then 1.5 yuan per kilometer. All taxis in Tai’an are managed and controlled by computers.