Yantai, named the “Most Charming City in China”, rests along the coastline in northeastern Shandong. An important city in China for commerce and industry, this city is rich with both history and natural beauty. In the mid-1800s, Yantai was opened for international trade following China’s Opium Wars with Western Europe. This plunge into the worldwide market brought a wealth of foreign influence and new ideas to Yantai. The city then truly began its race to become the modern giant that stands today, with a GDP that increases over 10% annually. Of course, life was never really boring for the people of Yantai. In the 1300s, great towers were erected in the area. These towers would smoke as a warning for the people when Japanese raiders would approach the shore. In fact, these smoking towers are what gave Yantai its name (Yan = smoke, Tai = tower). Memories of this name would become very real for the Chinese again in the first half of the 20th century, as the area was controlled by the British, then the Germans, and finally by the Japanese before returning to the Chinese. Come and see the Yantai Museum to witness the city’s changes throughout time!
Though not even the capital of Shandong, Yantai commands great respect both locally and abroad. Along with Dailan across the water, Yantai serves to protect naval routes to Beijing. Long ago, a military base was constructed at Penglai to oversee all naval operations in the area. Today the area is well maintained and remains a window into China’s past. Here you will also find a number of magnificent hotels, restaurants, and themed tourist areas. Atop the Dan Cliffs in Penglai, witness an awe-inspiring statue of the 8 immortals, legendary men of old, which are revered in Taoist culture. But while you’re here, be sure to taste one of Yantai’s greatest pleasures – wine. The wine culture here developed with the injection of foreign influence and now boasts the largest and greatest production of wine in all China. The Chang Yu Wine Museum, while no longer producing wine and spirits, acts as a storage facility for the company’s wines and is the best place for visitors to do a bit of taste-testing. This alone makes Yantai a perfect destination for anyone enjoying the finer things in life. As the 2nd largest industrial city in Shandong, Yantai makes more than just great wine. This area produces more gold than any other city in China… which is really impressive when you know that China is the world’s leading exporter of gold.
Yantai is also the leading city in China for producing cellophane noodles, which are a key ingredient in a ton of recipes both in and out of the county. Additionally, Yantai is the largest exporter of pears, apples, cherries, and peanuts in the nation. Fun fact: apples didn’t exist in China until an American brought them in the late 1800s. Now, Yantai grows over 200 kinds. It’s just one example of the wonderful things nations create when they work together. Seafood holds great importance as well, considering the costal nature of the city. The ease of access to fish and other seafood has led to a variety of different flavors that all lend to the great Chinese cuisine of Shandong. At the very least, know that this is one city where you won’t go hungry.
This great city is heralded for its amazing food, drink, rich history, and friendly people. It houses China’s first aquarium and largest display of sharks. There are military museums and art exhibitions. You will find people exercising, laughing, and demonstrating ancient rituals all over the city. With everything the city has to see and do, it’s a must on anyone’s list. So come on over to Yantai, grab a bottle of wine and some fresh fruit, and kick up your feet on the beach for the most relaxing time of your life.
As part of Yantai is situated on the coast, expect to find a variety of local seafood dishes. But with fresh fruit and other local agriculture, expect to find some unforgettable meals.
A perfect blend of savory seafood and seasonings wrapped in a light layer of dough. They can be found boiled or fried, but always delicious.
The name says it all; fresh clams are brought in from the coast, fried with special seasonings, and served to make your mouth water.
The delightful pancakes that are found China, but with a spin of sesame flavor. You’ll wish you had them at home!
These egg noodles are an integral and tasty part of many meals. Expect to see them more than once during your stay.
Missing the taste of home? Yantai is quickly becoming an international hub of edible delicacies. Expect to find foreign restaurants with popular foods from the United States, Ireland, Japan, Korea, India, and more!
If you’re seeking a bit of nightlife and your legs still have energy, head out to one of the many bars and clubs in the city. Had enough wine for the day? You’ll find great selections of domestic and international beers and liquor. A few places cater specifically to foreign visitors, but don’t be shy about walking into a Chinese hub and strike up a conversation. The locals want to show off their town and make sure you have a great time, so make some new friends and explore!
Held for a week in the end of August, children and teenagers from China and surrounding countries gather to celebrate the promise of peace in the world. They learn about peace promotion and express themselves through art and laughter. This is truly an inspirational opportunity for everyone, even adults.
Each year, around the middle of June, Yantai plays host to a large crowd of domestic and international wine lovers. Not only is this a great time to try locally made wine, but an opportunity to try famous wine from around the world. Anyone with a taste for red or white would regret missing this exhilarating and eye-opening event.
From the middle of May to the end of June each year, local farmers display their fresh cherries in full glory. As the area produces more cherries than any other region in China, you can feel safe knowing that there are always enough to go around. Watch the judges decide who has the best produce, and walk through the cherry fields to pick some fresh ones yourself!
Yantai Mountain is situated on the northeastern corner of the Zhifu District ofYantai and the city is named after the mountain. To guard against raids by pirates during the Ming Dynasty, Langyan Terrace was set up in the north of the mountain, facing the sea. Whenever pirates appeared, smoke from fire would rise to signal an alarm, which led to the nickname Smoke Terrace Mountain. The 40-meter-high lighthouse on the mountain is a symbol ofYantai and visitors at the summit can enjoy panoramic views. Standing at “Relang Pavilion” in the mountain, visitors can also listen to and take in the roaring waves lapping against the shore. After 1863, 17 countries, including Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Italy, Japan, Russia, Belgium, and Holland, set up consulates at the foot of Yantai Mountain. Today, these consulates remain a wonderfully preserved complex of consulates with the longest history in the country.
Situated at the top of a small hill in the south of Zhifu District is the YuhuangSummit. There, stands Jade Emperor Temple, which was first constructed in the Yuan Dynasty, and was renovated and expanded in the Ming and Qingdynasties. Solemn halls and pavilions give visitors a bird’s-eye view of the sea.
Constructed in 1876 (the second year of the Guangxu reign period of the Qing Dynasty), the Western Fort sits on Tongsheng Hillock in the northwest of Zhifu District, Yantai. It is one of the most well preserved forts in China, consisting of encircled walls, large and small forts, a drilling ground, an underground headquarters, and an ammunition depot.
Located in Liumalu, Zhifu District, the Zhangyu Wine Culture museum was created in 1992. Zhangyu Company is the largest wine company in China. The museum is home to a 100-year-old wine cellar that used to be the only underground wine cellar in Asia. There are four exhibition halls, History, Wine Culture, Honor, and Calligraphy and Painting, which display in a systematic way, the 100-year history of Zhangyu Wine culture. Visitors can also find calligraphy, paintings, and collections of famous people.
Standing on Danya Mountain by the sea and in the north of Penglai City, Penglai Pavilion is a 4A scenic zone, and a key historical monument under state protection. Constructed in the Jiayou reign period of the Northern Song Dynasty, this two-story building is one of the four famous towers in China. A horizontal inscribed board is hung in the pavilion with three Chinese characters meaning “Penglai Pavilion,” showing the handwriting by TieBao, a famous calligrapher of the Qing Dynasty. On the eastern and western walls are the poems written by famous men of letters of the past ages.
Travel tips: The best time for a tour of this scenic zone is from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. or 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. In addition, tourists may take a walk by the sea in the early morning and watch the sunrise. Dusk is an ideal time to go swimming at a bathing beach, enjoy Karaoke singing, and taste various kinds of roast foods in the street. Long-distance buses travel regularly to Yantai, Qingdao, Jinan, Weifang, and Longkou; and scheduled ships venture toChangdao, Dalian, and Lushun.
Under Penglai Pavilion, Water City is a key historical monument under state protection. Constructed southward along the Danya precipices, it was one of the navy bases in ancient China. The city has only two gates in the north and south. On the north gate, there is a floodgate to control the flow of ships. The south gate, Zhenyang Gate, is linked with the land where horses and carts can travel. The Water City is both ancient and magnificent.
Located to the east of Penglai Pavilion, this museum is an imitation of ancient gardens, and the second ancient boat museum in China. This museum consists of three main halls: The first hall houses a sand table of the Water City and two display boards. The second one exhibits an ancient warship excavated from Xiaohai in 1984, stone and wood anchors of the Song and Yuan Dynasties, purple sandalwood rudderstocks of the Ming Dynasty, and various ancient iron anchors. The third hall shows pottery wares of Longshan culture excavated from Xiaohai, a triple-leg jar of Yueshi culture, 79 pottery kettles of the Western Han Dynasty, and two bronze cannons cast in 1375 (the eighth year of the Hongwu reign period of the Ming Dynasty).
Located in Laizhou City, the mountain houses 37 stone inscriptions of the past ages scattered throughout. Zheng Daozhao, a famous calligrapher of the Northern Wei Dynasty, left 17 cliffside inscriptions in the mountain. His works are regarded as the best regular and official scripts and provide valuable knowledge in the study of the evolution of Chinese characters.
Located in the Culture Exhibition Center in the western suburbs of Zhaoyuan City, this museum vividly introduces the production of gold in Zhaoyuan. A tour of the Gold Museum allows visitors the opportunity to learn more about the history of gold mining, production, and processing techniques. Visitors will also see the mysterious veil of gold, and get a taste of the charm of the “gold capital of China.”
Come see the mountain that gave Yantai its name. Hundreds of years ago, Japanese pirates would venture the Chinese coastline to raid and pillage the nearby villages. In order to better protect the people, it was ordered that a permanent lookout post be established on the mountain. The guards would then create heavy amounts of smoke to warn the villages of an impending pirate attack.
after 1863, 17 nations from around the world established consulates in Yantai, near the base of the mountain. Though the capitol is now in Beijing, the consulate buildings still remain in perfect condition. They are a wonderful representation of foreign architecture in China.
First established during the reign of the Yuan dynasty, the temple complex was later expanded in following dynasties. In addition to a meticulously crafted structure, little pieces of art are scattered both in and outside the temple. On the top of a hill resting along the ocean, it offers a peaceful view of the surrounding areas.
Built in 1876, this fort is one of the best preserved military structures from its era. Visit the underground headquarters, the majestic walls, and the drill grounds where countless soldiers marched in splendor.
Come and see one of China’s greatest aquariums, filled with all sorts of ocean life and arctic dwellers. In fact, here you’ll find the largest collection of living sharks in all China. We wouldn’t recommend trying to pet them.
Address: In the center of Yantai City
Address: 24 Fenglin Road, Laishan District, Yantai
Here is the original home of the Chang Yu Winery of China and the first-ever wine cellar in Asia. After the company moved to a larger location, the museum was built here in 1992. Tour the grounds; see how the wine was made, and taste-test of their best products. A favorite for any drinking connoisseur.
As the “Gold Capitol of China”, it’s the best place to see the whole process in action. Learn about ancient and modern mining techniques, how it is refined, and some of the amazing designs produced in the area.
One of the four most famous towers in China, the 2-story building sits along the coast in the north. The building itself shows great displays of calligraphy from famous ancient calligraphers, while the outdoors is a fun zone for coastal activity. It is said, as the pavilion sits on the coast, that lucky people are able to see a special mirage on the waters when conditions are right. Many locals and foreigners come here for the captivating sunrises, warm beaches, and great food.
Under the pavilion is the Water City, where an ancient Chinese naval base once stood. Enjoy cool breezes while you see the finely crafted floodgates and architecture.
DISCALIMER: Gentlemen with wives or girlfriends, you may want to be careful here
This park is a great place to see so many amazing things about Chinese culture in one go. Lush vegetation, a climbable mountain, and a lake to boat in capture the essence out outdoor beauty. Expect to find locals participating in martial arts, meditation, and sings folk songs. And for those seeking other excitement, there is carnival-style entertainment with rides and food.
With two great beaches in Yantai, there are plenty of opportunities to go for a swim and soak up some sun. Join others in a game of volleyball or just lounge on the beach and leave your cares behind.
Yantai has built a modern transportation network that has helped draw tourists from around the globe. Its first-class open airport hosts 120 weekly scheduled flights to Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Macao, as well as flights to 20 large and medium-sized cities in the mainland. Yantai has also established a freight transport network with the ports of over 100 countries in the world. Passenger ships travel regularly toKunsan and Fukuyama in Korea, and express ships navigate to Dalian, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Lushun, and Yingkou. Regular trains run directly from Yantai to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Jinan, Qinghai, Weifang, Zibo, Jimusi, Xi’an, and other cities. Yantai also has crisscrossed highways and roads, including the first-class Yantai-Qingdao Highway and Yantai-Weihai Expressway.
Yantai City has over 50 public bus lines, which visit all tourist attractions. Visitors may get on the bus or tourism bus at the railway station and travel directly to Penglai, Laizhou, Longkou, and Haiyang. There are over 2,800 taxis in the city, and most taxis are Sangtana, Xiali, and Fukang cars. The starting price of the taxi in the city proper is five yuan for the first three kilometers, and 1.3 yuan per kilometer thereafter.
Airline information: 0535-6299138
Plane Ticket Office: 0535-6669777
Train information: 0535-6243917
Bus information: 0535-6242716