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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  Beijing Tours  »  Shandong Tour   »  Taishan Trip
To the summit of Mt. Taishan
From the Red Gate to the Middle Gate to the Heaven
I have a quick breakfast at Ramada Plaza Taian on July 12, 2008. It offers very nice and delicate international buffet breakfast.

I take a taxi to the Red Gate and start my 6 hours' long march to the summit. Actually I only plan to climb to the middle Gate to Heaven and try to change for the cable car to get to top. But later I change my mind and continue to walk and successfully reach the top. There are over 7000 steps from the red gate to the top. How to finish the 7000 steps and get to the top is really to test my will, my mentality and my physical strength. I divide my plan into two phases - first get to the Middle Gate to the Heaven, then walk from the Middle Gate to the Heaven to the south Gate to the Heaven. It is an weekend. There are a great number of people climbing the mountain. They are from all works of life, all ages, men and women, up and down. When I walk up, I find many hikers walking down. Most of them got to the top last night. In fact, they climbed the mountain during the night to either avoid the hot weather in daytime or catch up with the sunrise in the early morning. The sunrise at Mt.Taishan is one of the most impressive highlight trips of Mt.Taishan.
The middle route of rock steps is wide and solid. It is not difficult to climb, but it does test your endurance. But things are not so bad. On the both sides of the middle route, there are some vendors selling you some stuff you may need in the course of hiking, like, walking sticks, towels, water, fast noodles, water melons, local Jianbing ( a kind of pies instantly made ) and more. It is said that they offer 24 -hour serice since many people prefer to walk in the night. And the ticketing office does sell the tickets during the night!
Walking on the rock steps - over 7000 steps is monotonous. But very often the dullness will be stopped by the beautiful views and cultural relics made in the past on the way up. On the way up, we often see some carved rocks with the calligraphy written by men of letters and celeberaties in different dynasties. That's why Mt. Taishan is listesd both as cultural and natural world heritage. Mt. Taishan is a famous Taoist mountain, so on the way up, you find over a dozen of taoist temples. For me, they all look a little bit too commercial, pushing people to buy incense sticks and pay money for prayer. I think some of the taoist temples are managed privately. It is a free world now. Still some reverent people enter the temples to make a wish for their family or their busines, happiness and fortune, the two main themes in life. During the hiking from the Red Gate to the Middle Gate to Heaven, I only take one long rest to refresh myself, drinking water, smoking and talking with the local vendor for new and fresh knowledge. At last I get to the Middle Gate to the Heaven, the half way to the top. It takes me about over 3 hours to get to the Middle Gate to the Heaven from the Red Gate. There is a nice open air restaurant, selling simple lunch, fast noodles, water, and Jianbing ( a kind of local pies ). I try two pies, delicious and I feel energetic.

From the Middle Gate to the Heaven to the South Gate to the Heaven
On the fairly flat ground around the Middle Gate to the Heaven, there are a great number of people, taking a rest after coming down or walking up. There is a bus station on the Middle Gate to Heaven as well as a cable car station. Lazy people can take the mini bus from the city directly to the Middle Gate to the Heaven,, then change for the cable car up to the summit. Those who have walked directly from the Red Gate can take the cable car here to the top. But I find most of the poeple coming directly from the Red Gate continue to walk up to the top - the South Gate. I follow the crowd and go on with my hike to the top. The section from the Middle Gate to the Heaven to the South Gate is much tiring, a little bit dangerous due to the steep slope. Especially the so called 198 bends are very steep!!

On the top of Mt. Taishan - Jade Emperor Peak, Watch Sunrise Peak
The point of Mt.Taishan is the Jade Emperor Peak, 1545 meters above sea level, a taoist temple, a must for any travelers to the summit. Visiting the sunrise peak, where you have the best place to view the sunrise. There are more scenic spots on the top beside the many restaurants dotted on the summit.

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