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Shandong

Qingdao - Weihai - Penglai - Qufu - Taishan - Jinan

Qufu

A tour of the eastern coastal province of Shandong, one of the cradles of Chinese civilisation as centre of Taoism, Chinese Buddhism and Confucianism.



Day 1  Arrive Qingdao, the seaside city of Shandong province. Transfer to hotel. Visit the Badaguan area, home to many of the classic European-style houses built when Qingdao was under German control pre-1914. Also visit Qingdao pier, one of the symbols of the city.

Day 2  Excursion along the coast, with its dramatic mountain and sea scenery to Laoshan, famous as a retreat for Taoist monks. On the return journey stop at the Qingdao brewery, creator of the world-famous Tsingtao beer - another legacy of the German occupation. View the brewing process and taste the freshly-brewed beer!

Day 3  Travel two hours by road along the coast to Weihai. Between 1898 and 1930 Weihai was a British possession, and before that the base for China's modernised navy which was crushed by the Japanese in 1895. Take the boat trip to Liugong Island, the former naval base, in Weihai Bay.

Day 4  Travel by road to Yantai. Visit the Zhangyu Wine Museum, founded in 1892, the largest wine production base in China, even in Asia. In the museum, many different kinds of wines can be tasted. Then visit the Yantaishan Scenic Area, centred around the base of the Yantaishan Mountain. From its peak a good view of the whole city can be seen. Also tour around the newly developed area of the city, particularly the Binhai Road, to experience the modern side of the city

Day 5  After breakfast, a one-hour journey takes you to the Penglai Pavilion, a building clinging to the clifftop above the well-preserved remains of a Ming Dynasty naval base and fortification. In the pavilion, numerous calligraphic works by famous writers, couplets are hung on the columns of the hall, and stone inscriptions can be seen everywhere, as it was once the gathering place for many renowned scholars and poets. A miraculous mirage also frequently occurs here. Also included is a visit to the residence of Qi Jiguang, a famous general in the Ming Dynasty about 500 years ago who led the efforts to combat Japanese pirates attacking China's coastal provinces.

Day 6  After breakfast, enjoy a scenic ride for about 3.5 hours to Weifang, the “international Kite City”, which holds an annual international kite festival in the spring. After lunch, visit the village of Yangjiabu which is famous for producing colourful Chinese New Year wood-block prints and kites.

Day 7  After breakfast, travel to Qufu (5 hours), the birthplace of Confucius. With fine imperial architecture and cultural relics, Qufu's historic sites are second only to the Forbidden City in Beijing. After lunch visit the Confucian Forest, the largest and best-preserved cemetery in China. Also visit the Temple of Confucius. See the stone-carved statue of Confucius and walk through the maze of more than 450 halls, rooms, and buildings of the Kong Mansion, the largest and most sumptuous aristocratic mansion in China.

Day 9  Travel to Tai'an, the gateway town to Mount Taishan, the most revered of the five sacred mountains of China. Visit the famous Dai Temple (Temple to the God of Mt. Tai) - the site where 2,200 years ago Qin Shihuang, the First Emperor of China, held sacrificial ceremonies. Climb Mt. Taishan and experience the mountain's grandeur whether you ascend the 7,000 stone steps on foot or travel by cable car. Onward travel two hours to Jinan, capital of Shandong province.

Day 10  Also nicknamed as "The City of Springs", Jinan boasts of numerous natural spring groups due to its unique geographical foramtion. After breakfast, visit one of the mighty natural wonders, the Baotu Spring, also known as the Jet Spring, which gushes an enormous amount of water accompanied with roaring sound. In the afternoon, fly out of Jinan.