The Shāndōng Chinese love to boast their province has '一山一水一圣人', which means 'One mountain, One river, One saint', namely Tài Shān (泰山), the Yellow River and Confucius. If you have to choose a sacred mountain to scale in China, climb Tài Shān. The mountain and Unesco World Heritage Site has been worshipped since at least the 11th century BC. To scholars and poets it is known as Dōng Yuè (东岳), the Eastern Great Mountain, one of China's five most sacred Taoist peaks.
Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor, chose its summit to proclaim the unified kingdom of China in 219 BC. From its heights Confucius uttered the dictum 'The world is small.' Pilgrims – young, old and very old – still make their way up the steps as a symbol of their devotion to Taoist and Buddhist teachings.