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Shandong

Travel Guide Asia China Shandong

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Introduction

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Shandong (山东) is a province of China located to the east.

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Geography

Shandong is located by the sea. It's northen coast borders the Bohai Sea, and its southern coast borders the Yellow sea. It is mainly flat but mountainous in the centre. It also shares borders with Hebei, Henan, Jiangsu and Anhui province.

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Cities

  • The capital of this province is Jinan (济南).
  • Qingdao (青岛) is the largest city and financial capital of Shandong province.

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Sights and Activities

Mount Tai

Located in Eastern China, Mount Tai (泰山, Tàishān), is one of the most famous mountains in China. It is considered the most famous of the 5 Sacred Chinese Mountains. The mountain has had human settlement around it since the Neolithic period and has been the sight of several warring periods. About 3,000 years ago active religious worship began at the mountain and continues to this day, with several active temples still located precariously on the slops. As a legacy there are 22 temples, 97 ruins, 819 stone tablets and 1,018 clidd-side and stone inscriptions scattered across the mountain. Mount Tai is a tilted fault-block mountain, which means it is a series of high peaks, that increase in elevation from north to south. The highest peaks are Jade Emperor Peak, Heaven Candle Peak, Fan Cliff and the Rear Rock Basin. 80% of the area is covered in vegetation an many of the trees were planted by the Emperor Wu Di about 1,300 years ago. In 1987 the mountain was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today the Mount Tai has over 6 million visitors a year. Official Website: http://www.mount-tai.com.cn/english/index.asp

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Events and Festivals

China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.

Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.

The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.

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Weather

Being nearer to the coast, summers are more temperate than inland China. Being relatively north, winters are colder than southern China and can reach sub-zero temperatures in some regions.

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Getting There

By Plane

Flights from Liuting International Airport go frequently to many Chinese cities, including Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. There are also international services to Seoul, Osaka, Nagoya, Taipei, Tokyo and Fukuoka. It takes 30 minutes by taxi to reach the airport from downtown Qingado. Cheaper but longer bus rides are available as well.

By Boat

Ferries can be caught from this province to South Korea and Japan due to its relative proximity. There tend to be sizable Korean communities around the ports which sail to South Korea as well.

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Sleep

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This is version 11. Last edited at 10:34 on Dec 19, 16 by Utrecht. 13 articles link to this page.

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