5 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Shandong
Shandong, China is a province made up of 56 prefectures and four autonomous prefectures. This province is situated in the eastern part of China and is on the south of the Yellow Sea. It borders Hebei, Heilongjiang and Liaoning provinces and the Bohai Sea and East Sea.
With many rivers flowing through the province and abundant water resources, Shandong has abundant rainfall and is hence the largest vegetable and fruits producing area in China. Also, Shandong is a core area of crop production, mineral resources, and fishery of China.
At present, its per capita GDP is over $12,000, and Shandong ranks fifth among the top ten provinces in terms of gross domestic product in China. As one of the four economic spectacular zones in China, Shandong's GDP has doubled in the past 30 years, and its annual consumption level per person is the highest in the nation.
Shandong is a province which holds tremendous potential for human development. It is a popular travel destination with a wealth of top attractions and thriving tourist centers. Its natural beauty, cultural diversity, and abundant historical relics have all earned Shandong a position as a distinctive Chinese tourist destination.
Tourist attractions in Shandong include many festivals, ancient sites, man-made landscapes, cultural relics, touristy places, and more. Be sure to explore the top attractions in Shandong with our list of the top places to see in Shandong, China.
Lake Tai is a fascinating yet little-known example of a very different kind of lake. It is a meteor crater located in the province of Shandong and is one of the country's few man-made lakes. Its black appearance is due to carbon-rich volcanic soil rather than the mineral magnesium and calcium lakes are often associated with. Lake Tai can be reached by train, which runs to the southern part of the lake, from Shandong's capital, Jinan, which lies to the north. Even though there are no beaches or fresh water, the picturesque location makes it well worth visiting.
The port city of Yantai is located on the northeast coast of China and was formed as a strategic port to transport iron ore to the capital, Beijing, some 200 kilometers away. Yantai also contains three large coal reserves. It's a fairly industrial city with a rapidly developing port and a rapidly expanding heavy-industry zone. In the 1980s, Yantai's port was deemed more important to the Chinese economy than all of Beijing. Travel to the city of Yantai is often used as an alternative route to Beijing, as it is also easily connected by train and is the longest sea route in eastern China. Yantai's beautiful setting, clean air, and wildlife make it an ideal city for a quick getaway.
Baiyun Temple (Baiyun Guan), dedicated to the Buddhist protective guardian dragon, is located near Qingyuan in the town of Fushan in Shandong Province. The temple is called a pagoda because of its shape; nevertheless, this temple has little of the usual feel of a pagoda. The current temple dates back to a structure that was built over the ruins of an older temple and dates to the Jin and Yuan dynasties. Today's temple complex is not known for its decorum but is well worth visiting for its beauty. A highlight is its collection of Chinese art (a variety of different Buddhist sculptures, paintings, and calligraphy) and for its replica of the Grand Canal, one of China's greatest engineering marvels.
Shandong Folk Custom Museum
Shandong has a very rich, ancient history. Legend has it that Shandong was the home of Qin Shi Huang, founder of China's first unified empire, the Qin. Now, thousands of years later, visitors are beginning to discover Shandong's rich culture. The Folk Custom Museum in Shandong showcases the local cuisine, architecture, and decorative arts of Shandong. The museum was originally built in 1972 as a workshop for local craftsmen, and today a number of traditional crafts such as furniture, pottery, and traditional medicine are on display in the museum. Visitors can also go to the ancient theater in Yitian village, and visit several ancient villages that feature well-preserved houses and ancient equipment.
One of the most important sites in Chinese culture, the Confucius Temple (Guozijian) in the provincial capital of Shandong was founded by the famous philosopher in the 5th century BC. The current temple was rebuilt in 1793 after an earthquake destroyed the original one and it was altered again in 1919 when the Nationalist government restored the buildings and added a square Chinese pagoda at the top of the temple. It is impossible to enter the temple but there are several altars located around its perimeter and they contain statues of various Confucius family members. The huge Hall of Statues is empty of any statues but is one of the largest and most interesting of its kind in the world.