Located in the northeast of the Shandong Province, Yantai faces China’s Bohai Sea to the north and the Yellow Sea to the southeast. Yantai is recognized as the most “Charming City of China” with its beautiful landscape and pleasant climate.
After Yantai opened to the outside in 1862, about 16 countries including Britain, France, Japan and the United States set up their consulates, churches and post offices here. The 42.5-meter-high Yantai Hill, the symbol of the city, witnessed ups and downs of the city in the past 600 years.
Atop the hill stands a white light tower built in 1905. Being 50 meters high, the light can be seen 40 kilometers away. To the north of the light tower is the former Denmark consulate built in 1890. Its rough coffee granite outer wall illustrates its North European style. Coming down the slope from the Denmark consulate, you come to the former Japanese consulate which was composed of office building, dorm building and office residence of the consul. The clock museum in the dorm building is worth to be seen. Former residence of taxing section of Donghai Pass was built by the end of the 19th century. It is an early British arcade-style building in Asia. Today it is the site of the Peking Opera Art Hall. Also the former British and U.S. consulates demonstrate their own unique styles but they do not open to the public.
To the east of the Yantai Hill is the wonderful seaside scenic area, the most attractive tourist destination in urban area. Going eastward along the Seaside Road, you will come to the First Sea Bathing Ground. At the end of the bathing ground stands the Seaside Holiday Inn and APEC Exhibition Hall. The modern architectures and greenery belt will make you feel very comfortable.
Penglai Pavilion on Danya Mountain by the sea and in the north of Penglai City was first built in the Jiayou reign of the Northern Song Dynasty. Penglai Pavilion, also known as a Fairyland on Earth, stands in the mist year around. In China’s traditional legends, Penglai Pavilion was the place where the Eight Immortals cross the sea. Now it includes Sanqing Hall, hall to Lu Dongbin, Lord Su Shrine, Heavenly Queen Palace, Dragon King Palace, Penglai Pavilion, Mituo Temple, and so on.
Heavenly Queen Palace is built in the memory of Sea Goddess. A legend has it that the queen is originally a girl of a fisherman with a surname of Lin. The girl is name Lin Mo. She always rescues fishermen on the sea. Later Lin Mo dies of illness but her spirit is still here and rescues fishermen. In her memory, the local people built this temple. Until in the Kangxi Reign of the Qing Dynasty, this Sea Goddess was entitled Heavenly Queen and her temple is called Heavenly Queen Palace accordingly.
Yantai does not have many European-style architectures as Qingdao has. But those who love Chinese ancient architectures can be satisfied here. The Mu’s Manor and Fujian Guild Hall are Chinese-style building complexes full of special charm.
The Mu’s Manor is located in Qixia City. First built in 1723, it was the residence of landlord Mu Molin and his descendants. It is the largest, well-preserved and typical feudalist landlord manor in north China. In this manor, tourists have great impression about its maze-like rooms, excellent stone sculptures, long corridors and strict arrangement.
The Fujian Guild Hall is also famous as Palace of Heavenly Queen. From 1884 to 1906 it was built with money collected among ship traders from Fujian. Some 100 years have passed, this building is still attractive with its excellent architecture art. Opera Hall, Mountain Entrance and Great Hall are rich in southern Fujian style with sophisticated carvings. Stone pillars with pattern of dragons and color painted roof beams will catch your eyes.
If you come to Penglai in August, you can see “Song of Peace” International Youth Cutural and Art Festival, which is held from August 20 to August 26 every year in Penglai. The main activities include the exhibition of 100,000-meter-long paintings by 100,000 people and calligraphic works, open-air concert, world moive show, large literary and art performances and the Forum on Peace and Development.
Yantai is also the hometown of grape wine. The famous Zhangyu Grape wine was first produced here. Drinking wine is now a part of the Yantai lifestyle. So to look more like a local, you got to try some pure grape wine during your stay in Yantai, then you will fall in love it and the city.