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Shandong

Shandong is on a peninsula with the Yellow River flowing through its northern part and joining with the Bohai Sea. It has been inhabited since Neolithic times, having charming islands, coastal cities, mountains and temperate weather. Shandong 's capital city, Jinan, is 15 km south of the Yellow River. It was the capital of a state in 6th century BCE. Today, it is called "City of Springs" because of its over 100 springs. The springs are surrounded by lovely gardens and tea houses. The best one, Jet Spring, has 16 fountains. The quality of spring water is excellent.

Qingdao (Green Island), the province's largest city, is on the Yellow Sea. It is well-known for its tasty Qingdao Beer and mineral water. The city is pretty with hills, trees and red-tiled roofs. It has 6 beaches which are usually crowed in summer. 40 km east of Qingdao is the Laoshan Mountain, home of the 8 Taoist Immortals. The range is dotted with small Taoist temples and rushing waterfalls.

Yantai (Smoke Tower) is another coastal city on the Bohai Sea. It is one of the prettiest small cities in China, nestled between the sea and gentle hills. Penglai Pavilion is said to be where the 8 Taoist Immortals flew across the sea. Mirages have been seen on the sea surface by many people standing here. Yantai is a must for seafood lovers. It produces prawns, abalone, scallops and jelly fish. Also famous are its embroidery and wine. Yantai has 2 bathing beaches in the city proper.

Qufu, was the hometown of Confucius, who lived in 6th century B.C.. His philosophy was the official ideology in China for over 2000 years. Even today, his theories still influence Chinese thoughts and behaviors. Qufu has Temple of Confucius, the largest temple in the world with an area of 20 hectares, and Mansion of Confucius, Tomb of Confucius.

Tai'an is a small city from where tourists can climb the Mt. Tai, 2 billion years old, one of the oldest mountains in the world. Emperors used to offer sacrifices to Earth and Heaven at Mt. Tai. The summit can be reached by climbing over 7000 steep stone steps. There are ancient cypress trees, beautifully carved memorial arches, temples and breathtaking views of forests and crags.

An international kite festival is held during the first 10 days of April in Weifang, a city in the center of Shandong province.

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Site Created: September 16, 1998; Updated: September 23, 2007.