Your 2-night tour to Shandong makes it easy to visit this province of historical and spiritual significance. An expert guide shows you the sights, and handles the logistics of transportation and accommodation, with two breakfasts and two lunches included. Start by taking a high-speed train round-trip from Shanghai or continue to Beijing – it’s your choice – with pickup and drop-off at the train stations by private vehicle. Your tour includes two nights’ accommodation at the Qufu Queli Hotel.
In Shandong, you'll discover elements of Chinese culture through the eyes of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. Accompanied by your own private guide, visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Qufu: Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion, along with sacred places at the summit of Mt Tai (Tai Shan).
Day 1: Shanghai – Qufu
Make your way to the Shanghai railway station and ride the bullet train for 3 hours to Qufu aboard 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. After check-in, spend your free evening at your leisure.
Overnight: Qufu Queli Hotel in Qufu
Day 2: Qufu (B, L)
After breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide for a 4- to 6-hour private tour of the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion that make up one amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your first stop is 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 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 – Shanghai or Beijing (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 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 to Tai'an Station by private vehicle. Here, board the bullet train and either head back to Shanghai or continue on to Beijing (depending on which option you select).