Tai'an

Tai'an 泰安 is a city in Shandong. Famous for Mount Tai, an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Understand

History

The name Tai'an (泰安) is from the word 国 (Peace of the nation and well-being of the people). It lies in the south of the sacred mountain Mount Tai or Taishan(泰山) in local language. This mountain is considered the palace for all the gods, which is similar to Mount Olympus. The city is historically considered the holly city where the three worlds annexes: World of Gods (Heaven), World of Human(Mortals), and World of Afterlife(Hell).

Apart from the fact that every year thousands of people visit Tai'an to admire its nature, to tour its slopes, and reach its peaks, historically, if an emperor is to seek peace of his dynasty, a national ceremony which last a month shall be arranged in which the emperor himself shall worship the mountain gods and keep on diet.

Get in

By train & bus

Booking a train is not an easy job for non-Chinese speakers. Online ticket agency might provide English interfaces but cost an extra. For Chinese speakers, online booking is the most easy way which can be payed online using Union Pay or VISA card, no additional fee. Otherwise, speaking to the ticket office at the station usually means a really long queue. Online booked ticket can be collected at the ticket machine in most ticket halls. The price of a certain service is fixed usually. During Chinese New Year or summer time or national day holiday etc. purchasing your ticket in advance is recommended.

From Beijing

There are several train stations that serves Tai'an including Beijing and Beijingnan(Beijing South), please make sure you are departing from the right one. Regular trains (service starting with number, K, T, Z) usually takes 5-7 hours, typically cost ¥78, there are 5 services per day. Since there is no difference in price between these regular services, please choose a service that takes less time. High speed services (G services) usually takes 2 hours, with a price starting from ¥214, 22 services per day.

From Qingdao

If you are coming from Qingdao, regular trains run to Tai'an and take 6 hours while costing ¥56-65 one way, there are 11 services per day. Express trains also run from Qingdao and take only 3 hours, though the ticket price jumps to ¥148. As of Dec 2014, there are 6 express trains daily. You can book the ticket online via 12306.cn(national rail official). Both the regular and express trains pass through Jinan, the capital of Shandong.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus from Qingdao's Sifang long-distance bus station. The trip takes 6 hours and costs ¥116. To book the ticket, http://ticket.qingdaonews.com/index.aspx is your first choice. Alternatively, by calling the free landline 4006-916-916, phone booking can be made.

From Jinan

If you are coming from Jinan, an express train takes only 15 mins, however regular train which is only ¥5 taking 1 hour. Coaches take 1 hour, but usually is more expensive (¥15~¥50).

Train stations

There are two different train stations in the city.

Taian Railway Station (High Speed Only)

From this station, bus route K18 (fee: ¥2) will bring you to Tai'an center where the other station is.

Taishan Railway Station (Regular Services)

From there, bus route 7/4/3 will bring you to the Dai Miao Temple (alight here) and other attractions.

By plane

The nearest airport is Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport(JNA) where a shuttle service to the city centre can be found (~¥95)

Get around

Tai'an is a really small town compared to Qingdao and Jinan, however, there are more of places worth your seeing and potentially help you to understand the Chinese traditional beliefs.

The Mt. Tai is the moutain believed to be the palace of gods. With Mt. Helly (Haolishan, 蒿里山) the palace and entrance of hell. There is a river call River Null (Naihe, 奈河, which sounds like 奈何, means helplessness of the death of a life) which is believed to the boundary of the mortal world (Yang, 阳) and the afterlife (Yin, 阴).

There are mainly 3 ways to the top of Mt. Tai, since all are prepared for the royal visit, they are called Royal Way or Okimichi. East Royal Way is from Peak Candle(Peak Tianzhu, 天烛峰), West is from the Blossom Valley (Taohuayu or Tyohwa Valley or Peach Blossom Valley, 桃花峪). The Main Royal Way is the most popular choice since it is in the town centre. It goes from the Red Gate (Hom-Men, Hongmen, 红门), via Goddess Pool (Wangmuchi, 王母池), God's cave (Dongbin Cave, 洞宾洞), Confucius footpath (Kongzi Deng Lin Chu, 孔子登临处), then there are cable way to the Middle Haven Gate (Zhongtianmen, 中天门) and then a sharp moutain way called 18 Turns (Shibapan, 十八盘) to the main gate Haven Gate (Nantianmen, 南天门).

On the top there are Biha Palace (bixiaci, 碧霞祠, the palace of goddess and god of the ultimate power and who bless the people).

By bus

Bus route 3 (Hongmen (Hom-Men, Red Gate, 红门) - Fairyland(Tien-wai-cun, Tianwaicun, 天外村)) takes you to most historical sites in the old Tai'an town.

Bus route 16 can take you from the train station (main station) to Blossom Valley where you can find the beautiful rural area and the beautiful nature, especially the Red Flake Fish (Chilinyu, 赤鳞鱼) which is unique in Mt. Tai.

Bus route 19 can take you to Peak Candle where you can find the undeveloped peaceful mountain view which is tremendously different from the european. Also, a commercial program was launched to provide with the revival of how the traditional emperor worship the mountain Tai, where you will find the Chinese etiquette.

Buses might operate with a K in front, it runs the same route as the normal bus but air-coned which takes ¥2. All buses terminates in its fixed destination, no worry that you might take a short service.

See

Buy

Supermarket called In-Zone and RT-mart are near the Taishan train station (not the high-speed rail station) where all kinds of Chinese daily foods are available, also KFC therein.

Eat

Local food can be found north to Taishan Station, called Kangfu Rd (Hospital Rd, 康复路).

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.