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4 Days Jinan Mount Tai Qufu Cultural Tour

Chinese Cultural Discovery

1

The province Shandong is one of the cradles of the Chinese nation. During its longlasting history, there have many brilliant cultures been created, and many great people have born on this land of legends including the Confucius. There is no doubt that Shandong is one of your best choices to explore authentic Chinese culture. To find the essence of Chinese culture that has been preserved in Shandong, you must visit its three most cultural destinations which are Qufu – the birthplace of Confucius, Mount Tai – the most sacred mountain in China and Jinan, the city of springs. This 4 days classic tour takes you to travel from Jinan to Mount Tai, then to Qufu with a leisured pace. All the highlights are covered.

Highlights of this tour

  • Hike up to the beautiful summit of Mount Tai like the ancient Chinese emperors once did;
  • Learn about the life stories of Confucius and famous Confucianism in the birthplace of Confucius - Qufu;
  • Enjoy fun of many kinds of natural springs and enjoy a leisure stroll in the local park;
  • Fully-inclusive tour package includes your own tour guide, private transfer, hotels, tickets, etc.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Jinan / Mount Tai / Qufu
Travel Length:
4 Days and 3 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-JNT-04
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Jinan Arrival

Welcome to Jinan, the City of Springs. Your private guide and driver will pick up you once you arrive at Jinan airport or train station, then transfer you to check in to your hotel in Jinan downtown area. The rest time is free for you to relax and explore this charming city.

Free time idea: you can go to hunt for local snacks at Kuanhouli food street, or enjoy a leisure stroll on Qushuiting Old Street, or explore bustling Quancheng Square.

How to get to Jinan? At present, travelers can get to Jinan by high speed trains from Beijing (about 1.5hrs), Shanghai (about 4hrs), Tianjin (1.5hrs), Zhengzhou (about 4hrs), etc. or domestic flights from Shanghai (about 2hrs), Xian (about 2hrs), Guangzhou (about 3hrs), Chengdu (about 2.5hrs), etc.

Spring City Square
Day 2 Jinan City Tour & Drive to Tai'an (B, L)

After breakfast, you will go to visit Black Tiger Spring first which ranks No. 2 among all 72 springs in Jinan. The spring water emerges from a natural limestone cave in a cliff and cascades from three giant stone tiger heads into a wide and open pool. The sound of spring water is similar to the roar of a tiger, so it is called Black Tiger Spring. The spring water is drinkable and rich in medicinal properties. You can also see locals collecting water with jars and jugs. There is also many chances to enjoy some relaxing stroll and find some peace and calm.

Next, you will take an interesting boat cruise along the city moat to Baotu Spring Park. Enjoy beautiful views of architecture, river and living scenes along the moat sides. The Baotu Spring is probably the most famous spring in China that every Chinese student should learn in textbook of primary school. It has been a well-known attraction since Shang Dynasty (1600 BC ~ 1046 BC), and visited by many celebrities and emperors including Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty (1644~1911) who claimed Baotu Spring as “the No. 1 spring under heaven” after his pleasant visit. Today it is the icon of Jinan where you can marvel at beautiful springs as well as a number of ancient shrines, pavilions, memorial halls, bridges and steles full of cultural and historical value.

Lastly, you will be taken to visit Daming Lake which is dotted with small islands and framed with thick willows. Relaxing yourself with the picturesque scenery, enjoying walking crossing stone-carved bridges, stopping by peaceful pavilions, watch fish swimming among lotus flowers… there are many ways to seek fun time.

After the city highlights exploration, you will be transferred to Tai'an which is located at the foot of Mount Tai. Before checking in to your hotel, you will take a cultural visit to Dai Temple which is the epitome of Mount Tai's history and culture with important historical and artistic values. Originally built in the Han Dynasty, it is the place where ancient Chinese emperors worship the gods of Mount Tai and hold the ceremony of sacrifice. Dai Temple also acts as a national museum. It preserves the sacrificial utensils, offerings and handicrafts of the emperors of past dynasties to worship the God of Mount Tai.

Accommodate in Tai'an city.

Optional evening activity: enjoy the live show "Fengchan Ceremony" which is grand and magnificent in scale, integrated with beautiful music and dances, representing you the vivid scene of how ancient emperors of different dynasties paying homage and offering sacrifice to the God.

Grandiose Dai Temple Daming Lake Park Baotu Spring Park
Day 3 Mount Tai - Qufu (B, L)

After breakfast, meet your guide and driver in your hotel and drive about 30 minutes to Mount Tai (1524m). Mount Tai is the holiest of all mountains in China. Because of its history, majesty and stunning scenery, it was listed as World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site (the first one of its category) in 1987, and was announced to be a World Geopark later in 2006. Mount Tai has been a significant place of worship for over 3000 years. It was regarded by the ancients as the heaven of "direct access to the throne". From Shihuang Emperor of Qin Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty, there were 13 emperors came to Mount Tai to offer sacrifices. The great sage Confucius once hiked the mountain and claimed “the world is small”.

You will arrive at the Tourist Center first, then shift on to a sightseeing bus (about 30mins) and head along a zigzag but stunning road to the halfway point of the Mount Tai – Zhongtianmen (Middle Heaven Gate 800m). The hiking trail starts from here to Nantianmen (South Heaven Gate), which is the most highlighting part of Mount Tai hiking with more than 6000 uprising steps The steep trails demand much energy and time. You can lower your pace with stops to visit the ancient temples, historical relics, spectacular pine trees and stone inscription of different times. Finally, you will get to Nantianmen (South Heaven Gate 1460m), which means you have already put your steps on the top of Mount Tai. It’s time to slow down your steps to explore the essence of Mount Tai. You can wander leisurely on the Heavenly Street, worship in the Jade Emperor Hall which has a centuries old altar used for worshiping ceremony, appreciate rock inscription of Chinese calligraphy, look out over the peaks, enjoy the sea of clouds, etc.

After about 2 hours’ exploration on Mount Tai, you will descend the mountain by a cable car. Take the sightseeing bus back to the tourist center. Your driver is ready to escort you to Qufu which is about 1.5 hours' drive from Mount Tai. Accommodate in Qufu City.

Mount Tai Hiking Mount Tai Cable Car Mount Tai in Summer
Day 4 Qufu & Qufu Departure (B, L)

Today you are going to explore the life story of the great sage Confucius and his influential Confucianism in three sacred sites in Qufu – Confucius Temple, Kong Family Mansion and Confucius Cemetery.

After breakfast, you will go to the South Gate of Confucius Temple to watch the grand ceremony of the city gate opening which usually starts at 8 AM, with grand performances of ancient music and dance. Then start to explore Confucius Temple which is the largest and most influential temple of Confucius in East Asia. It was originally constructed on the former residence of Confucius in 478 BC. Today, the Confucius Temple is not only a popular site to learn about Communism culture, but also an important site to hold many ceremonies, festival and events about Communism. The history of the tradition of paying homage in the Confucius Temple can be traced back to 205 BC when the emperor Gao of West Han Dynasty offered sacrifices to memorize Confucius and blessed for good fortune for his empire. Since then, many emperors and high officials followed Gao’s example. In total, there were 12 emperors of different dynasties came to Qufu Confucius Temple personally to worship Confucius.

Next site to visit is the Kong Family Mansion. It is located to the east of the Confucius Temple, as the home to Holy Duke of Yen, the direct descendants of Confucius who were in charge of governing the Confucian sites and organizing elaborate ceremonies to worship Confucius. Since its establishment in northern Song Dynasty, the descendants of Confucius have lived, also worked in the mansion for over a thousand years. Leaving the mansion, you will then visit the Confucius Cemetery which is the private cemetery of Confucius, his more than 100,000 descendants and some of his disciples. The oldest graves can be traced back to Zhou Dynasty, and the most recent graves belong to the 78th generation of Kong family. They are the witnesser of the dominant position of Confucianism in the long feudal society of China with great value to the study of the evolution of China's tomb system and ancient politics, economy, culture, customs, calligraphy and art.

After the Confucian sites exploration, you will be provided a rare chance to experience the First Writing Ceremony, also known Enlightenment Ceremony, was a very important ceremony for every ancient Chinese student before they were admitted to school. During the ceremony, you will wear traditional costumes, get a red dot on your forehead (meaning opening the wisdom eye), toll the bronze bell and learn to write Chinese characters.

After the full day tour, you will be escorted to catch your flight/train to next destination.

Portrait of Confucius Dacheng Hall - Most Grandiose Building in Confucian Temple Confucian Temple Sacrifice

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