Shandong Special: Friendly Shandong welcomes you
( China Daily USA )
With a tradition of hospitality that dates back 7,000 years, Shandong beckons travelers from all lands.
This is a stretch of magical and old land. Magnificent mountains and vast sea nurture her 7,000-year history of civilization. It is the place where Confucius was born, where Mount Tai rose skyward, where the Yellow River empties into the sea and where the Olympic Sailing Games took place. It is the land of ceremony and propriety with a perfect combination of ancient and modern civilizations. This is Shandong!
Shandong has the tradition of being hospitable since ancient times. One of the defiing features of Shandong people, a number of whom are prototypical heroes in China, is being straightforward and great-hearted. That is fully demonstrated in those novel characters that are from Shandong, like Qin Qiong, Cheng Yaojin, Wu Song and Li Kui, all of stocky and imposing build, drinking liquor in big bowls, eating meat in big bites, and sticking together in both good and bad times.
The hospitality, boldness and generosity of Shandong people is also vividly and thoroughly shown in their drinking style, as "when drinking with a bosom friend, a thousand cups will still be too little", and "drink till all's blue".
Holy Land of Oriental culture
Located in the eastern part of China, Shandong is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. Yiyuan Man, from the same period of Peking Man, was discovered in Shandong. Home to the ancient states Qi and Lu, it was within the political and economic center of China from the pre-Qin period to the Northern Song Dynasty. The Great Wall of Qi State, 400 years earlier than the Great Wall of the Qin Dynasty, is well preserved, emitting the scent of Chinese civilization.
Confucius, the greatest educator and the founder of Confucianism, was born in Shandong. His thought has influenced the evolution the Chinese nation and culture, and his family lasted for more than 2,000 years in Shandong, which is a miracle in world history.
Mencius said, "Having climbed the East Peak (of Mount Tai), Lu seemed small to Confucius. Having climbed to the top of Mount Tai, the whole world below seemed small."
The towering spirit of Mount Tai is unparalleled among all the grand, peculiar, pretty and beautiful mountains in China. The tremendous body of Mount Tai crystallizes the essence of the mountain culture of China.
"It flows away endlessly day and night." The Yellow River, mother river of China, embraces the ocean in Shandong after flowing 610 kilometers within the province. The estuary displays a spectacle like "a yellow dragon jumping into the sea".
When the heat wave of summer starts to harass the north and south of China, the beaches of Shandong peninsula turn out a fairyland that offers unrivaled opportunities to enjoy the breeze, take a sea bath, and eat the seafood.
Qingdao is a modern metropolis blessed with mountains and sea and dotted with red roofs and green trees against the blue sea and sky. It charms travelers with its annual beer festival. Qingdao gained the reputation as "Sailing City" as it hosted the Sailing Games of the 2008 Olympics.
Yantai is considered the world's seventh-largest grape coast. It is the fairyland on earth where the legend "Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea" took place.
Weihai lies at the easternmost tip of the Shandong Peninsula and faces the Korean Peninsula and Japanese archipelago across the sea. It is surrounded by mountains and water and is known as "the most livable city".
Rizhao is a new port city and distinguishes itself with blue sea, golden sand and water sports. It is an ideal place of leisure for holidaymakers who prefer unfrequented places.
A blessed land
The land is blessed with timehonored history, splendid culture, numerous celebrities and charming natural sceneries. The 17 cities with specific characteristics are embedded in the land like 17 sparkling pearls, forming the unique tourist map of Shandong.
With the joint efforts of all working on tourism, Shandong has developed 10 tourist destination brands attracting the people across the globe - Oriental Holy Land, Fairyland Coast, Mount Tai in Peace, Capital of Ancient Qi State, City of Springs under the Heaven, The Grand Canal Bathed in Confucianism, Hometown of Water Margin, Yellow River Estuary, Affectionate Yimeng and China Dinosaur City.
As Confucius said 2,500 years ago, "Isn't it a great pleasure to have friends come from afar?"
This is a sincere invitation from the hospitable Shandong people to the world. Today, we welcome more friends from home and abroad to appreciate the unlimited charm of "Friendly Shandong".
(China Daily USA 11/21/2016 page16)