On your 2-night private tour of Shandong Province, discover the Buddhist and Taoist ceremonial sites of Mt Tai and learn about Chinese culture through the eyes of Confucianism. Ride the high-speed train round-trip from Beijing or continue to Shanghai if you’d prefer. Your tour includes pickup and drop-off at the train stations by private vehicle and two nights’ accommodation at the Qufu Queli Hotel plus breakfast and lunch.
Day 1: Beijing – Qufu
Make your way to the Beijing railway station and board the bullet train to Qufu for a 3-hour ride on the world’s fastest high-speed rail! You will be picked up by private vehicle upon arrival at Qufu East Station and driven approximately 30 minutes to your hotel, where you have the evening free to enjoy at your leisure.
Overnight: Qufu Queli Hotel in Qufu
Day 2: Qufu (B, L)
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide and embark on a 4- to 6-hour privately guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion.
First, head to the Temple of Confucius (Confucius Temple), the largest historical building complex in China. Originally built in 478 BC to commemorate Confucius, the temple has been reconstructed over the centuries and today includes 104 buildings dating from the Jin to Qing dynasties. As you explore the 34-acre (14-hectare) site with your guide, admire the structures, whose architecture resembles that of Beijing's Forbidden City. Learn about their symbolic significance, built according to Confucian philosophy and design, including the complementary hues of red walls and yellow rooftops.
Walk through several courtyards adorned with small gates and surrounded by tall green pines, just some of the more than 1,250 ancient trees planted here. Your guide will point out the impressive stelae, Han stone reliefs, carved pictures and stone dragon carvings.
Next, visit the Kong Family Mansion, located a short distance from the temple. Kong is the family surname of Confucius, and this landmark is where many of his male descendants lived and worked. Initially constructed as a small family house linked to the temple, the mansion was rebuilt east of the temple in the late 19th century and developed into an aristocratic residence, of which 152 buildings and 100,000 collections from the Ming and Qing period remain.
Enjoy lunch before a drive to Confucius Cemetery, located about 1 mile (2 km) north of Qufu in the Confucian Forest. The family cemetery contains the tomb of Confucius and the remains of more than 100,000 of his descendants. After your private tour, you’ll have free time to explore some of the 452 acres (183 hectares) on your own.
Overnight: Qufu Queli Hotel in Qufu
Day 3: Qufu – Tai’an – Beijing or Shanghai (B, L)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before a full-day excursion to Mt Tai, a mountain of cultural and historical significance. Considered one of the Five Great Mountains in China, the natural monument has been a Buddhist and Taoist ceremonial center of worship for 3,000 years due to its association with birth and renewal.
After transferring from Qufu to Tai’an, an approximate 1-hour drive, arrive at the foot of Mt Tai, located just north of the city. From here, board a tourist bus with your private guide to the halfway point on the mountain, and complete the journey to the summit by cable car. View Mt Tai’s tallest peak, Jade Emperor Peak, which reaches 5,029 feet (1,533 meters) above sea level.
Your guide will take you to view the gates, grandiose temples, stone tablets and inscriptions located between the Taishan Temple and the Azure Clouds Temple. Visit the South Heaven Gate, situated at the top of some 7,000 stone steps that wind up the slopes, each offering a different view. Admire Heavenly Street (Tianjie Street), White Cloud Cave, Gongbei/Tanhai Stone and Sun Viewing Peak before lunch on the mountain or back in Tai’an.
After your tour, your guide will transfer you by private car to Tai'an Station. Here, board the bullet train and either head back to Beijing or continue on to Shanghai (depending on which option you select).