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6 Days Best of Shandong Tour

Encounter Friendly Shandong

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What are the best highlights of Shandong? There is not only one! Shandong is an amazing land where culture and nature meet. China’s both imperial culture and folk culture are preserve very well in Shandong. They can be explored in the park and alleys of Jinan, grand halls and temples in the Temple of Confucius in Qufu and the ancient Imperial Road on Mount Tai. While in Qingdao, you can slow down your tour pace to enjoy some fresh beer, walk on a romantic beach, and hike up to a high mountain for a city panorama… Our Best of Shandong Tour takes you to enjoy all above highlights and much more beyond.

Highlights of this tour

  • Hike up the most sacred mountain in China - Mount Tai which used to be hiked by ancient Chinese emperors either including Qin Shi Huang;
  • Learn about the most famous beer branch in China – Tsingtao Bear in its museum, also sit down to enjoy two cups of fresh beer;
  • Figure out how the philosophy of the siege Confucius has been changing the society, manners, governmental system and living style of Chinese in Qufu, Confucius’ hometown;
  • Experience authentic style of Chinese urban living in Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, which is also known for its magic springs.

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Jinan / Mount Tai / Qufu / Qingdao
Travel Length:
6 Days & 5 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-JNQDT-06
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCulturePhotographReligious
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 - Mount Tai (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 in Summer Mount Tai Cable Car Mount Tai Hiking
Day 4 Qufu to Qingdao by High Speed Train (B, L)

Today you are going to explore the life story of the great sage Confucius and his influential Confucianism.

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 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, go to catch your high speed train to Qingdao. You will arrive at Qufu after about 3 hours' train ride, and be welcomed by your local tour guide who will accompany you to check in to your hotel in Qingdao downtown.

Portrait of Confucius Confucian Temple Sacrifice Dacheng Hall - Most Grandiose Building in Confucian Temple
Day 5 Qingdao Laoshan Mount Tour (B)

After the breakfast, you will go to take an interesting visit to Tsingtao Brewery Museum, where you can watch the exhibition of the complete process of making the beer and taste the freshly brewed beer. Since Qingdao is famous for the Tsingtao Brewery, you will have a better understanding about the beer and the city after today's visit. Before leaving, you will take a fresh sip of 2 glasses of Qingdao beer in the museum.

After the special beer experience, drive about 1.5 hour to beautiful Laoshan Mountain, which is known as the Most Famous Mountain on the Sea. This trip focus on Taiqing Scenic Area - the highlight of Laoshan Mountain today. As you arrive, a big statue of Laozi - the founder of Taoism will come into your eyes. Your sightseeing journey starts with a nice hike from Bashui River to Longtan Waterfall. Bashui River is named after the eight streams converging into the river and Longtan Waterfall is one of the streams. During your hike, you can get an enjoyable view of the waterfalls, peaks, rocks, various plants as well as the Yellow Sea from different perspectives. Then, you will continue your hike to Shangqing Palace and Mingxia Cave which are two featured Taoist Temples. In Mingxia Cave, you will get a breathtaking view of the mountain and sea from above. After the amazing sightseeing trip, you will take a cable car down to Taiqing Palace, the largest Taoist temple and the Taoism communication center in Qingdao. There are many Taoist buildings and statues in this temple delivering a cultural savory of Taoism.

After Laoshan Mountain exploration, drive back to your hotel in Qingdao.

Lao Mountain Scenic Area A Taste of Qingdao Beer in Qingdao Beer Museum
Day 6 Qingdao Half-day Tour & Departure (B, L)

After breakfast in your hotel, you will first visit Badaguan Scenic Resort (also called Eight Passes Scenic Resort) which is named after 8 important military fortresses in China's history. In fact, it is not a resort and there are no passes here. It is a pretty neighborhood with about 200 old buildings in over 20 different countries’ styles, including German, Russian, French, American, Danish, Greek, Spanish, Swiss, Japanese... Take a nice stroll in the scenic streets and get some great shots. The landscape of Badaguan becomes most marvelous in spring when lots of flowers are in full blossom and in autumn when the leaves present a stunning mixed hue of yellow, orange, red, etc. To fully appreciate the buildings, you can walk into the Princess House, Butterfly House, Spanish Villa and Huashi House (optional).

Then you will visit Qingdao No.2 Bathing Beach, just near Badaguan Scenic Resort. In spite of its small scale, it enjoys a peaceful environment and gorgeous scenery. After that, take a short visit to Zhanqiao Pier, a symbol of Qingdao city. It was built in 1891 as a naval pier, and now is a famous landmark in the Qingdao Bay.

Lastly, you will be transferred to Qingdao airport or train station to catch your flight/train to next destination. Tour ends!

Spectacular Landscape of No.2 Bathing Beach Pricess House in Badaguan Scenic Resort

Recommended Add-on Options

+3 more days to explore the imperial city of China - Beijing

Beijing, the 'forbidden' city, now is open to the world!

As the capital city of China for more than eight-hundred years, Beijing possesses rich cultural deposits of China. You will need at least 3 days to explore its best highlights. Here is the plan - Day 1 is for you to visit the imperial historical sites, including Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and Summer Palace; Day 2 is to hike the magnificent Great Wall while Day 3 is for you to have a half-day visiting of the Temple of Heaven,local Hutongs, and depart from the city.

the Forbidden City Overall View
+ 2 more days to visit the Paris of the East - Shanghai

Shanghai, regarded as the Oriental Paris, is the best place to experience East-meet-West Culture, find hidden tradition within modernity.

Generally speaking, you can spend Day 1 exploring the popular landmarks of Shanghai, such as the Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, the Bund, and Shanghai World Financial Center Tower. The Day 2 is for you to explore deep into the city of Shanghai (such as Old French Concession, Tianzifang or Jade Buddha Temple) and departure.

The Bund: Famous “Exhibition of the World's Architecture”

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Qingdao / Weihai / Yantai / Weifang / Zibo / Qufu / Mount Tai / Jinan

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