Top ChoiceTaoist Temple in Tai'an

Dai Temple

This magnificent Taoist temple complex is where all Tai'an roads lead, being the traditional first stop on the pilgrimage route up Tai Shan. The grounds, enclosed within mighty walls, are an impressive example of...

Mountain in Tai'an

Tai Shan

Tai Shan

The most climbed mountain on earth, and the most revered of China's five sacred Taoist peaks, Tai Shan is one third of Shandong's claim to having 'yī shān, yī shuǐ, yī shèngrén' (一山一水一圣人, 'one mountain, one...

Noodles in Tai'an

Lǐjì Miànguǎn

This no-frills noodle shack is one of numerous noodle joints on and around the non-signposted lane Yunzhou Jie (云舟街), out the back of Tai Shan International Youth Hostel. As with all of them, there's no English...

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Jiānbing Guǒzi

You find jiānbing (savoury pancakes sprinkled with chives, coriander, spring onion and a light chilli sauce) all over northern China, but Tai Shan folk are particularly proud of theirs, which they wrap around yóu...

Taoist Temple in Tai Shan

Doumu Hall

The name of this hall means 'Hall of the Goddess of the Northern Star' and it was first constructed in 1542 under the magical name ‘Dragon Spring Nunnery’. The back of the temple yard offers a quiet view of a...

Taoist Temple in Tai'an

Hall of Heavenly Blessing

The main hall of Dai Temple is the colossal, twin-eaved, nine-bay-wide Hall of Heavenly Blessing, which dates to AD 1009. The dark interior houses an exquisite, 62m-long Song-dynasty mural depicting Emperor...

Buddhist Temple in Tai Shan

Pervading Light Temple

One of the few Buddhist shrines in the area, this simple temple dates to the Southern and Northern dynasties (AD 420–589), its arrangement of ancient pine trees and small halls rising in levels up the hillside...

Taoist Temple in Tai Shan

Azure Clouds Temple

The sublimely perched Azure Clouds Temple is dedicated to Bixia. The iron tiling of the temple buildings is intended to prevent damage by strong winds, and chīwěn (ornaments meant to protect against fire)...

Historic Site in Tai Shan

Path of 18 Bends

Prosaically labelled '18 Twistings' on signposts, the gruelling Path of 18 Bends is an extremely steep 400m ascent to the mountain’s false summit; ascending the path is performed in slow motion as legs turn to lead.

Taoist Temple in Tai Shan

Jade Emperor Temple

The cloud-swathed Jade Emperor Temple stands at the summit, the highest point of the Tai Shan plateau. Inside is an effigy of the Jade Emperor, who governs all mortal realms.

Landmark in Tai Shan

Rear Rocky Recess

At the rear of Tai Shan is this quiet spot, popular for viewing pine trees and where some ruins can be found tangled in the foliage.

Viewpoint in Tai Shan

North Pointing Rock

The main sunrise vantage point is the North Pointing Rock; if you’re lucky, visibility extends over 200km to the coast.

Viewpoint in Tai Shan

Zhanlu Terrace

This terrace and viewpoint is the spot from where Confucius looked out over the Kingdom of Lǔ.

Snacks in Tai'an

Beijing Daoxiangcun

Beijing's most famous brand of sweetmeat pastries, Daoxiangcun offers ideal rucksack fillers for your hike up Tai Shan. The flaky pastries have candied fruit fillings and are sold in biscuit-sized pieces (you'll...

Market in Tai'an

Night Market

The town's main night market stretches along the Nai River’s east bank. It's mostly clothing and souvenirs, but there are plenty of snack stalls and small restaurants too. Particularly popular are those serving...

Taoist Temple in Tai Shan

Red Gate Palace

The Red Gate Palace is the first of a series of temples dedicated to Bixia, the compassionate daughter of the god of Tai Shan. She wears a headdress adorned with phoenixes and is accompanied by nine attendants,...

Gate in Tai'an

Zhengyang Gate

This gate lies in the south of the Dai Temple, facing the southern aspect. Purists enter the temple through this gate to follow the traditional passage through the main temple and up Hongmen Lu to the start of...

Taoist Temple in Tai'an

Yaocan Pavilion

This pavilion contains a hall dedicated to deities including Bixia, the daughter of Tai Shan, who became the focus of worship by the 11th century, and Songzi Niangniang, her attendant to whom couples wanting...

Taoist Temple in Tai Shan

Guandi Temple

Many climbers start their ascent at the bus stop by the Guandi Temple, the first of many dedicated to the Taoist protector of peace. Note the old performance stage (dating from 1671) by its south entrance.