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Published: April 29th 2017
Travelling in Shangdong province and stopping by to Tai'an city is mandatory just to climb the sacred mountains in the Shandong province.
It is a very revered place and thousands of people everyday come here to climb it. Also important political figures like Chairman Mao did climb Taishan mountain.
As I was saying, this mountain has got a great spiritual importance, especially, for those practising Taoism.
There are some 7,200 steps to get to the top but the splendid panorama you will witness will be worth of the straggle.
Though very prestine and interesting, also here, the mountain now is assaulted by masses of tourists coming from allover China to visit it and the magical ambiance that is described in books and the stories of the past has disappeared.
Said that, I love these kind of places where there are those stands selling fruits and refreshing drinks while climbing a mountain so that I can also have a bit of respite and regenerate myself from the heat of the day.
Having studied the history of China, I am always fascinated to listen to the legends of the Middle Kingdom.
I was sitting at the
table sipping my fresh drink, in one of those little vendors you can find while climbing the Taishan mountain, and there was a Chinese man who started a bit of conversation.
He spoke a bit of English and lived nearby Tai'an city and told me some stories of these sacred mountains. He was, probably, a middle age man with strong Chinese lineage, so he really looked Chinese.
The Taishan mountain is one of the "Five Sacred Mountains", it is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal, and is often regarded as the foremost of the five. This mountain has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as the foremost ceremonial center for eastern China during large portions of this period, so since the Zhou Dynasty (1046-221 BC).
In Mount Taishan area, there is the tallest peak called the Jade Emperor Peak, which he says, to be 1,545 meters tall.
My Chinese friend said that there is a legend about Mt. Taishan. It is said that Pangu is the ancestor of Chinese people. When he created the world, his head turned into Mount Tai, his belly turned into the Central Mountain, his left
arm turned into the South Mountain, his right arm turned into the North Mountain and his feet turned into the West Mountain. So, Mount Taishan has become the head of the five mountains in China, in Chinese it is called “the head of Wuyue "the Five Sacred Mountains”.
It is also interesting that the word "Tai" in Chinese means stability and peace. In 1987, Mount Taishan became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This conversation was really nice and I like the Chinese people more and more. Before leaving to go to China, the Chinese people were always seen as strange and as people that do not talk much and staying within their community without socializing much with the foreigners.
But I like, instead, to discover that when you start to know a Chinese person, a bit, you can see that they are just like us: in this case I found a very chatty person full of stories to tell me, and sometimes you can find a person who loves bargaining and trying to sell you something.
This is one of the things that I love most of my travels in Asia. I am curious about these
things and I am very interested in knowing the others that are different from me.
China left me a great impression under these aspects of the life and the people, living here, turned out to be very friendly and helpful.
While you climb this spectacular mountain you will see many of the stele accompanying you to the highest peak.
These upright stone slab describe the historical event that happened in this place and are written with different colours: red, black, white and gold colours.
Once I got to the top, the vistas were absolutely tremendous with this stunning mountain scenary and being also a religious place, it added a bit of atmosphere.
I looked for a quiet place to sit down,resting for a while and I imagined how all this place would have appeared centuries ago without all these bloody tours and souvenirs shops that spoils the ambiance and beauty of this sacred mountain.
But even though it does get crowded, a trip to the Taishan mountain is another of those places to witness once in a lifetime.
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