Top 13 Mount Tai Attractions - Things to Do in Mount Tai

Listed into world natural & cultural heritage site in 1987, Mount Tai (Taishan) is the Foremost of Five Sacred Mountains, while actually it’s not the highest one within altitude of only 1545 meters. The reason why people named it as "First Mountain under Heaven" is because of traditional religion dating back to ancient emperors, like Qinshihuang-the first emperor in China, Qian Long emperor in Qing dynasty, etc. It was regard as the symbol of power.

Nowadays, things to do in Taishan can be vary and different. Visitors climb Mount Taishan would rather to appreciate stunning views of sunrise, clouds and witness ancient scenic spots, like South Heavenly Gate, the Heavenly Street and Jade Emperor Peak, and more Taishan Attractions awaiting you for visit.

Taishan Hiking Map

Jade Emperor Peak (Yuhuang Ding Peak)

No.1 Jade Emperor Peak (YuhuangDing) 玉皇顶

Location: The highest peak of Mount Tai Scenic Area

Having the altitude of 1545 meters, Jade Emperor Peak is the summit of Mount Tai, with a reputation of “the first Peak”. It named after the Jade Emperor Temple here, where was the altar for emperors to worship heaven. Besides the temple, there is a big stone engraved "The Summit of Mount Tai, 1545 meters", which is the landmark of Mt. Taishan. With such a high level it’s the great location to appreciate sunrise and clouds.

Mount Tai

No.2 Wuyue Duzun Inscription 五岳独尊 - Landmark Site

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

Located in the southeast of the Jade Emperor Temple at the extreme top of Mount Tai, with an altitude of 1545 meters, the landmark of Mount Tai, the stone with the red inscriptions “五岳独尊”(Pinyin: Wuyue Duzun) is printed as the banknote on China CNY 5 cash, which means“the greatest of five sacred mountains in China”.

The four characters "Wuyue duzun" are in regular script style. They are inscribed on jade in the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1907). Each character is about 42 cm to 55cm in diameter. On the left side of the four characters, there is a regular script inscription "昂头天外- head up in the sky". It has always been regarded as a sign of praise to show the lofty status of Mount Tai.

Dai Temple (Dai Miao)

No.3 Daimiao Temple (Dai Miao) 岱庙 - Museum of Tai'an

Location: South foot of Mount Tai Scenic Area

With 1.2 km away in the south of Red Gate, Dai Temple is the must-see as the largest and best-preserved ancient building complex of Mount Tai. Founded in Han Dynasty and had a larger scale of construction in Tang Dynasty, Dai Temple now contains ancient buildings of over 150, all with the imperial architectural styles.

As a Taoist temple, Dai Temple was a place where the emperors make sacrifice and worship the God of the Mt. Taishan and pray for peace and prosperity. It’s also considered as one of the Four Ancient Chinese Buildings, along with Forbidden City in Beijing, San Kong (Confucius Temple, Confucius Family’s Mansion and Confucius Cemetery) in Qufu and Chengde Summer Palace in Hebei province.

Bixia Temple

No.4 Bixia Temple 碧霞祠 - Grandest Taoist Temple

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

Bixia temple 碧霞祠 is located in the top area, which is a Taoist temple for worshiping Bixia Yuanjun, goddess of Mount Tai. It was first built in the second year of Xiangfu in Song Dynasty (1009 A.D.). The whole group of buildings is the grandest building complex of Mt Tai. It is towering, neat, and magnificent. Because it is on the top of the mountain, seen afar, it looks like a Palace in the sky. It is one of the key open temples of Taoism in China. The most distinctive feature of the Bixia temple is the main building Bixia Yuanjun hall. Inside the hall are gilded bronze statues of Bixia Yuanjun. There are giant plaques of "Fushui Haiyu" and "Zanhua Donghuang" written by Emperor Yongzheng and Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty respectively.

South Heavenly Gate

No.5 Nantianmen (South Gate to Heaven) 南天门

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

As the end of Eighteen Twistings, the South Heavenly Gate also named Heavenly Gate Pass is the terminal of cable-car and the only road passing through the Taishan Summit. With area of 1.6 square kilometers, it was built by Zhang Zhichun, an abbot in 1264. Standing in the1460 meters above sea level, the gate is an attic-styled architecture with stone arched doorway. Decorated by red walls and yellow glazed tiles on the roof, this imposing building is like a marvel between the peaks.

Gongbei Stone

No.6 Gongbei Stone 拱北石 - Watching Sunrise

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

In the east of Jade Emperor Peak - Yuhuangding, there is a huge stone which is 6.5 meters long, and 30 degrees northwestward from the ground. It is called "Gongbei stone"(拱北石) or “Tanhai” stone. It is a landmark site of Mount Tai and one of the best places for sunrise. In the rainy and humid seasons like summer and autumn, it is also a nice viewing point to see the mountains in the mist and sea of clouds, as if in a fairyland.

Zhongtianmen

No.7 Zhongtianmen (Halfway to Heaven) 中天门 - Intersection

Location: Halfway of Mount Tai Scenic Area

Zhongtianmen, meaning halfway to heaven, is the intersection of Mount Tai scenic area, located on the mountainside. It is the end of the driveway from the Tianwaicun entrance. Zhongtian gate was built in the Qing Dynasty. In the East, there are antique teahouses, a Hotel in the southwest, and Zhongtianmen cableway station in the northwest. Zhongtianmen is located in a canyon, surrounded by magnificent scenery, steep mountains and broad valleys, surrounded by pavilions. The sunset here is very beautiful.

Heavenly Street

No.8 Heaven Street 天街

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

Passing by South Heavenly Gate, with several steps in the east, you come to the Heavenly Street. This whole street is about 1000 meters stretching to Bixia Temple, filled with hotels, restaurants and various shops on one side and 1500 meters cliff on the other side. Just as the name called, walking on the street is like walking in the heaven, you can embrace the clouds and overlook the whole Taishan landscape.

Sun-Viewing Peak

No.9 Sun-Viewing Peak 日观峰

Location: East peak of Mount Tai Scenic Area

Sun-Viewing peak (日观峰) is located in the southeast of Jade Emperor Peak. It was called JieQiu rock in ancient times. The total length of the sun watching corridor is 30 meters, and the pavilion corridor is connected. It looks like a fairy Pavilion standing up and dazzling. On it, you can enjoy the rising sun. The vast sea of rosy clouds underneath the rising sun is one of the most spectacular scenes of Mt Tai and inspired many writers, poets, and painters.

18 Bends

No.10 18 Bends 十八盘 - Hiking Route

Location: Walkway of Mount Tai Scenic Area

The 18 bends is one of the steepest and most challenging hiking paths of Mt. Tai. The walkway from Songshan Valley to the Nantianmen is called "Shibapan", with 1600 steps. The first 393 levels are called slow 18 bends, the middle 767 steps are another 18 bends, and the last 473 stairs are the last 18 bends. Less than one kilometer, the vertical height is more than 400 meters, the slope is about 70-80 degrees, and you need hike for more than 2 hours. Seen from afar, it looks like a heavenly ladder. There are iron ropes for climbing on both sides of the mountain road, which is convenient for tourists to hike.

Tianzhufeng Peak

No.11 Tianzhufeng Peak 天烛峰 - East Entrance

Location: East entrance of Mount Tai Scenic Area

The shape of the Tianzhufeng peak is like a giant candlestick. There are two peaks of Tianzhufeng called big Tianzhufeng, Datianzhufeng peak, and small Tianzhufeng, Xiaotianzhufeng, respectively. The path along them is the best place to appreciate the ancient pine trees in Mount Tai. It is the east entrance of Mount Tai with the most primitive hiking path. Along the path of wildness, there are cliffs, deep valleys, strange pines, and rocks all over the place. It is less visited by tourists, and the famous night show- Fengshan ceremony is not far away from the entrance of the Tianzhufeng peak.

Taohuayu

No.12 Taohuayu 桃花峪 - West Entrance

Location: West entrance of Mount Tai Scenic Area

Taohuayu and Taohuayuan are located at the west foot of Mount Tai. It is named Taohuayuan in the upper part and Taohuayu in the lower section, with a gurgling brook. They can be literally translated as peach blossom valley. The scenery of Taohuayu to Taohuayuan is very beautiful, especially in spring and summer. The water here is very clear. Taohuayu is also one of the entrances to visit Mt. Tai. Compared with other routes on Mount Tai, it is the most convenient one. Tourists can take a car here and then take a cableway up the mountain.

Zhanlu Terrace

No.13 Zhanlu Terrace 瞻鲁台 - Overlooking Taian City

Location: Top area of Mount Tai

Zhanlu terrace is located in the south of the sun-viewing peak. The stones are very flat there like a platform. There are huge stones on the terrace, and the three characters "Zhanlutai" are engraved on the platform, implying that Qufu of the state of Lu which is the home state of Confucius. It can be seen from here. On the three sides of the stone platform, steep as the cut. This place used to be also called "sacrifice cliff". Later, in the Ming Dynasty, the governor of Shandong Province, built a stone fence in front of the cliff, and change its name to "Ai Shen Ya" meaning cherishing life cliff.

How to Plan Your Mount Tai Tour

How to Get to Mount Tai: You can take both high-speed trains and normal trains to Tai’an from Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Jinan, Weihai, Yantai, Zhengzhou, etc.

Best Time to Visit Mount Tai: From March to mid-October. It might be very crowded on weekends and the Chinese holidays.

Located in Tai'an City, Shandong, Mount Tai (aka Taishan Mountain), is regarded as the greatest of the Five Sacred Mountains in China, and listed as a UNESCO World Natural & Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. The highest Jade Emperor Peak is recorded about 1545 meters above sea level. Hiking uphill you can trek along the worshiping spots path the ancient Chinese emperors had come for; Reaching the top, you can have a panoramic view of the whole Taian city and enjoying the stunning sunrise and sunset, and it is recommended to spend 2 full days exploring the best highlights of Mount Tai including the Daimiao Temple (Museum of Taian City) at the foot of Mount Tai. You can also visit Mount Tai in a single day by taking sightseeing bus to Zhongtianmen, then hiking to the summit and descending by cable car.

✔ 2 Days Most Classic Mount Tai Hiking Tour
✔ 2 Days Enjoyable Mount Tai Hiking Tour

Taking a high-speed train and spending 2 more days, you can extend your trip to the nearby “City of Spring”, Jinan which nourishes a number of famous springs and lakes of China, such as Baotu Spring Park, Daming Lake, Black Tiger Spring, etc. Also, about 85 km to Mount Tai is Qufu, the hometown of the greatest sage of China, Confucius, and you may understand the deep-rooted Chinese culture as you stepping into the Confucius Temple, Kong Forest, and Kong Mansion.

✔ 2 Days Taishan & Qufu Tour from Beijing by Bullet Train
✔ 3 Days Confucius Culture Exploration with Sidetrip to Mount Tai
✔ 4 Days Cultural Discovery in Jinan, Taishan & Qufu

Besides these cities near Mount Tai, Shandong greets you with not only the splendid culture but also the beautiful coastlines. The refreshing ocean air from Qingdao blows the fragrance from the old Beer factories; the colorful kites fly over the city Weifang and swans in pairs nestle in the havens of Weihai by the shimmering sea...all of these highlights of Shandong can be covered in about 8 days. Beyond Shandong, travelers often extend trip further to Beijing, Xian, Datong & Pingyao (in Shanxi), Luoyang & Shaolin Temple & Kaifeng (in Henan) and more stunning heritages and nature sights in China.

✔ 6 Days Jinan, Qufu, Mount Tai & Qingdao Tour
✔ 9 Days Beijing Shanghai Speed Train Tour with Confucianism Exploration
✔ 9 Days Shandong Panorama Tour
✔ 11 Days China World Heritage Tour in North China

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