As the eastern-most of China’s five great mountains, emperors, scholars, and pilgrims have been summiting Mount Tai’s 1,545m peak for over 3,000 years. In dynastic China, the emperor would pay homage to heaven at the summit and foot of Mount Tai. In addition to its sacred importance, Mount Tai is said to have four natural wonders: the sea of clouds, the heavenly aura (caused by light diffracting off clouds and mist), the glowing sunset, and the sun rising in the east the earliest. If you would like to see the sunrise, you will need to either hike up before dawn or camp overnight on the summit. Furthermore, Mount Tai experiences four distinctive seasons and no matter what time of the year you visit, expect to see seasonal beauties from the white snow in winter, the flowery spring, the warm summer sun on the mountain, all the way to being showered by autumn leaves.
Mt. Tai is nothing short of an encyclopedia of China’s history and literacy. Set foot onto the 6,666 steps beaten path towards the South Heaven’s Gate, a pilgrimage that everyone dreams of in China. You will find poetic remarks hanging from the cliffs on both sides of your walking path. For the Chinese leaving his name in history means that a piece of writing is carved on the cliffs of Mt. Tai. Many of these writings have been inscribed thousands of years ago. Whenever you stop to catch a breath, you will feel the calligraphies jumping into your eyes. What a treat to go through those steps. All writings have been elegantly autographed by emperors, fine scholars and ranking officials. Of course, we never run out of fables and stories during our “historical” climbs. Mt. Tai is truly a sacred land from which Chinese culture and literature mushroomed.
The most popular route to reach the summit is called the “East Route” with lengths of more than 7,200 steps. The route starts from the Dai Temple, travelling through the Midway Gate of Heaven, and up to the top reaching the South Gate of Heaven. Atop the South Gate, there are hundreds of well-known calligraphers who have their work kept on the stones. The journey to reach could take anywhere from 2.5 to 8 hours to climb. If you are unable to climb to the summit, you can take a bus to the Midway Gate to Heaven and then change to a cable car to the South Gate of Heaven. From the South Gate of Heaven, it is another short walk to the highest peak of the mountain, known as Jade Emperor Peak. People come here to pray to the God of Mount Tai for luck and good fortune.
Location: No. 7, Chaoyang Street, Tai’an City
- Tickets: Adults (100-125 RMB); Children (50-60 RMB)
Children under 1.2m is free
- Hours: 24 hours
- Average time spent: Varies by hiking time (typically 8-12 hours)
- Transportation: Refer to transportation tab for route options
Don’t miss – sunrise schedule
山东省文化和旅游厅 Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism
美国友康科技有限公司 U-Combination Technology (USA) Inc.
Authorized agency for Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism in the U.S. (山东省文化和旅游厅在美授权机构)
150 E Swedesford Rd, Suite 101,
Wayne, PA 19087