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Mount Taishan / Mount of the East, Tai'an

Also known as Mount of the East (Dong Yue), Mount Taishan to the north of Tai'an is the most famous of China's Five Holy Mountains. The other four are Hengshan in Hunan province, Huashan in Shaanxi province, Hengshan in Shanxi province and Songshan in Henen province. Because it is in the east of the country, where the sun rises, Mount Taishan is treated with special reverence. For over 2000 years rulers came here to pay homage to the Gods of Heaven and Earth. The mountain stands 1545m/5070ft high and its picturesque scenery is always in the clouds. Large numbers of waterfalls, temples and pagodas all add to its natural splendor. Mount Taishan is visited by numerous Chinese and foreign walkers who also come to experience the magnificent sunrise over the mountain top.

The mountain can be climbed by either the eastern (central) or western route. It is best to choose the main route, the eastern one, because this contains most of the sights and places of interest. The climb to the top is about 9km/5.5mi, with a difference in altitude of 1350m/4430ft. Climbers can follow a flight of 6293 steps, parts of which between the Middle Gateway to Heaven and the Southern Gateway to Heaven are almost vertical.

However, there is also a mini-bus which goes to the Zongtian Men Gate, from where there is a cable-railroad up to Moon View Peak (Yueguan Feng).

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