Yantai, appropriately named the “Most Charming City in China,” rests along the coastline in northeastern Shandong. An important city in China for commerce and industry, this city is rich with both history and natural elegance. In the mid-1800s, Yantai was forced to open for international trade following China’s loss in the Opium War with Western Europe. This plunge into the worldwide market brought an abundance of foreign influence and new ideas to Yantai. The city then truly began its race to become the modern powerhouse that visitors will see today!
Of course, life was never really boring for the people of Yantai. In the 1300s, great towers were erected in the area that would use a smoke signal as a warning for the people when Japanese raiders were approaching the shore. In fact, these smoking towers are what gave Yantai its name (Yan = smoke, Tai = tower)! Memories of this name would become very real for the Chinese again in the first half of the 20th century, as the area was controlled by the British, then the Germans, and finally by the Japanese before returning to the Chinese. This co-mingling of cultures throughout its history helped to transform the city into the global melting pot it is today.
Though not the capital of Shandong, Yantai commands great respect both locally and abroad representing the province. Along with the city of Dalian across the Bohai Sea, Yantai serves to protect naval routes to Beijing. Long ago, a military base was constructed at Penglai to oversee all naval operations in the area. Today the sea fortress is well maintained and remains a window into China’s past. Here you will also find a number of magnificent hotels, restaurants, picturesque themed tourist areas, as well as six stunning temples!
Wine aficionados must add Yantai to their bucket list. One of the city’s greatest pleasures is wine. The wine culture here developed with the injection of foreign influence and now boasts the largest production of wine in all China! The Chang Yu Wine Museum, while no longer producing wine and spirits, acts as a storage facility for the company’s wines and is the best place for visitors to do a bit of taste-testing. Cheers!
As the 2nd largest industrial city in Shandong, Yantai makes more than just great wine. This area produces more gold than any other city in China, quite impressive when you know that China is the world’s leading exporter of gold! Stop by the Gold Exhibition Center and Rush to Gold Village at Zhao Yuan County.
Yantai is also the leading city in China for producing cellophane (clear) noodles, which is a key ingredient in recipes both in and out of the county. Additionally, Yantai is the largest exporter of pears, apples, cherries, and peanuts in the nation. Yantai is also home to China’s first aquarium with the largest display of sharks. This would be perfect for a family trip!
At 38.66 meters high and weighing 660 tons, climb up 400 steps to see this largest statue Buddha in northern China and 9999 small statues of Buddha in the worship hall.
Witness an awe-inspiring statue of the Eight Immortals, legendary men of old, which are revered in Taoist culture.
While no longer producing wine and spirits, the museum acts as a storage facility for the company’s wines and is the best place for visitors to do a bit of taste-testing.
In Zhaoyuan County, the center celebrates Yantai’s position as the largest gold mining and exporting city in China. The museum offers a recreation of the daily life of gold miners and gold traders during Song Dynasty 1000 years ago. Come to see this gold rush village at Zhaoyuan County, Yantai.
Home to six world class 18-hole golf courses that regularly host China PGAs. The club also features a Nanshan tropical botanical garden, a jockey club, a winery, and hot spring tubs.
The largest family estate in northern China, the 1735 home includes 20,000 square meters over three courtyard clusters. Each cluster has two tightly connected family units. Pay attention to mansion’s functional designs, symbols, and craftsmanship. The Mou family saga has been featured in many documentaries and a movie; the last family member, Mouqi Zhong, was imprisoned for tax evasion and is due out soon.
A hiking paradise with trees, canyons, and waterfalls, the forest also features a cave where the Quanzhen School of Taoism was born. Taixu Palace, the home temple of Qianzhen, was built in 1191.
A recreation of 8 immortals crossing the sea. This will be a total shock to you. You will see how Chinese define their image of a “fairyland.”
Come to see this western style Chateau with an 8,000 square-meter underground cellar, the largest in Asia.
45 Fisherman’s Wharf St, Binghaizhong Road, Yantai.
The first smoke tower was built in 1368 to warn the locals of pirates from Japan. The area was developed to include consulates, churches, residences of foreigners from UK, USA, Denmark, Japan, France, Germany, etc. You will see mixed building styles along the 390-meter long street, paved in 1851 when Yantai’s port was opened.
Yantai International Exhibition Center.
Date: June 1st-3rd.
Eight and a half 18-hole courses at Longkou Nanshan International Golf Club, another six 18-hole courses at Nanshan Donghai Golf Club, and one 18-hole course at Yantai Ma Shan Zhai Woos Nam Golf Club.
Kunyu National Forest, April 15-April 30.
Your photo can be on the bottle.
A perfect blend of savory seafood and seasonings wrapped in a light layer of dough. They can be found boiled or fried, but are always delicious.
The name says it all; fresh clams are brought in from the coast, fried with special seasonings, and served to make your mouth water.
The delightful pancakes that are found China, but with a spin of sesame flavor. You’ll wish you had them at home!
These egg noodles are an integral and tasty part of many meals. Expect to see them more than once during your stay.
Missing the taste of home? Yantai is quickly becoming an international hub of edible delicacies. Expect to find foreign restaurants with popular foods from the United States, Ireland, Japan, Korea, India, and more!
If you’re seeking a bit of nightlife and your legs still have energy, head out to one of the many bars and clubs in the city. Had enough wine for the day? You’ll find great selections of domestic and international beers and liquor. A few places cater specifically to foreign visitors, but don’t be shy about walking into a Chinese pub and striking up a conversation. The locals want to show off their town and make sure you have a great time, so make some new friends and explore!
Yantai has built a modern transportation network that has helped draw tourists from around the globe. Its first-class open airport hosts 120 weekly scheduled flights to Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Macao, as well as flights to 20 large and medium-sized cities in the mainland. Yantai has also established a freight transport network with the ports of over 100 countries in the world. Passenger ships travel regularly to Kunsan and Fukuyama in Korea, and express ships navigate to Dalian, Tianjin, Qinhuangdao, Lushun, and Yingkou. Regular trains run directly from Yantai to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing, Jinan, Qinghai, Weifang, Zibo, Jimusi, Xi’an, and other cities. Yantai also has crisscrossed highways and roads, including the first-class Yantai-Qingdao Highway and Yantai-Weihai Expressway.
Yantai City has over 50 public bus lines, which visit all tourist attractions. Visitors may get on the bus or tourism bus at the railway station and travel directly to Penglai, Laizhou, Longkou, and Haiyang. There are over 2,800 taxis in the city. The starting price of the taxi in the city proper is five yuan for the first three kilometers, and 1.3 yuan per kilometer thereafter.
Airline information: 0535-6299138
Plane Ticket Office: 0535-6669777
Train information: 0535-6243917
Bus information: 0535-6242716
Yantai Tourism Center: