Shandong Province may not be the most known of all the provinces in China, and does not see as many visitors as many of the surrounding areas, but Shandong does have some claims to fame to lure travellers in.

Most notably, Shandong is home to Mt. Taishan, the main mountain of the five sacred mountains of China. It got the name during the Tang Dynasty, an epoch of Chinese history with peace allowing the people to focus on other things than warfare. This led to a blossoming of attention to arts, including a renewed interest in the classics of China, of which this mountain was a part. The story goes that the god Pan Gu, who ruled the world for ten thousand years, died and then his body was divided into five parts that all became sacred mountains. Mt. Taishan is said to be the head of Pan Gu. The mountain is almost 1400 meters tall, offering great views from the top, and with many temples scattered all around the walking paths.

Farther south you find Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, widely regarded as the most important scholar and philosopher of all of Chinese history. His teachings have become a major part of what we know as Chinese culture even today. He was born in 551 B.C. in what was then the State of Qi. In Qufu you can visit several sights commemorating this great man, including his ancestrial home, his grave and several temples and schools dedicated to his teachings.

In the east part of Shandong lie Qingdao, famous for its beaches and beer. In fact, China’s most famous beer hails from here. The beaches cannot match those of Hainan or Zhuhai, but still make for a nice getaway, and the area is crisscrossed with hiking trails.

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