Information of Jinan
Jinan is the capital of Shandong Province in the People's Republic of China. Located in the mid-western part of Shandong Province, Jinan, also called " the city of springs" , is a beautiful city famous for a large number of springs, full of vigor and vitality, is marching towards modernization.
Jinan abounds with historic relics and sites dating back 6000 years. Two of China's greatest philosophers were born just a few hours away from Jinan and they still have great influence. They were Confucius and Mencius. There is also a sizable group of Hui people who settled in Jinan.
Jinan is known as an agricultural center. It is one of the top producers in China of cotton, peanuts, and fruit. The city tree of Jinan is the willow, and the city flower is the lotus. Also it has mineral resources mainly coal, oil, natural gas, iron and others of less importance. It has a considerable reserve volume of water and has biological resources: 149 families of plants with 1.175 species and variations besides 211 kinds of terrestrial wild animals.
Its primary language is Mandarin Chinese and its ethnic composition is Han Chinese. Its people speak some dialects by minority groups such as Hui, Manchu, Mongol, and Zhuang. Jinan is a well-known education center. It is home to 15 universities and colleges, including Shandong University and Jinan University.
After gaining prosperity, Jinan people attach great importance to improving their quality of life. Traditional Chinese festivals, such as Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival, make the living of Jinan people varied and colorful. In recent years, some western celebrations, such as Christmas, Valentine's Day, and April fool's Day, have become popular in Jinan, adding even greater variety to local lifestyles. Jinan has a variety of Chinese, Asian, and Western cuisine restaurants, pubs, discos, karaoke and other entertainments, all thriving prosperously in Jinan.
Climate: Coming up is the “golden” season. It will stay warm and “summery” right through until October. Winter arrives suddenly – literally overnight. Winter is short and sharp and in most years spring starts at the end of February.
Eating out: There must be more restaurants per square kilometer here than in any other city on earth. You can eat a 5-star western meal at a posh hotel for US$12 or eat on the street for about 80 cents – and everything else in between. Eating on the street is safe and hygienic; they put a plastic bag on your plate. Barbeque pork and lamb on skewers are a local specialty. Then you've got Pizza Hut (expensive), MacDonald's and KFC (everywhere). If you want to splash out the Brazilian buffets at the 5-star hotels are great value.
Shopping: Clothes are very cheap and most electronic goods much cheaper than in the west. All the famous brand names Samsung, Panasonic etc make their stuff in China but the quality is the same – they offer cheap prices through economy of scale. When you've got a billion consumers you can cut your prices and still make a profit. Stick with famous names and you'll be OK. This doesn't apply to fake Rolex watches sold on the street. If you want a real Rolex you can get one in Guiha store but you'll pay the business. Best place for all electronic goods is Sanlian store at the western end of QuanCheng Lu.
Mobile phones are almost essential, you can pick one up from 700-1000 Yuan in Sanlian, then get registered at China Mobile in the same building for 50 Yuan and off you go. Mobile phone rates are also much cheaper than all western countries.
Getting Around: Taxis in Jinan are much cheaper than in Beijing or Shanghai. A good bicycle will set you back about $60 and is a great way to get around the city. Contrary to appearances cycling is quite safe – there are so many cyclists that everybody else has to give way to them.
Trips and sightseeing: Be adventurous. Shandong means East Mountains, and south of Jinan is the most incredible mountain scenery. Highlight (at least for Chinese people) is Mount Tai (Taishan) – buses from opposite the main railway station. You can walk up accompanied by millions of geriatric pilgrims or take the cable car (95 Yuan each way).
They charge you for taking photos at the prime scenic spots and soft drinks get progressively more expensive the higher you go, so once you've done Taishan head away from the crowds. Don't forget it is the ambition of every Chinese person to “do” Taishan once in their lives and there are 1.3 billion of them – but there is plenty of unspoiled scenery waiting for you all around.
Check out the Great Wall of Qi. It's older than the Great Wall of China and totally unspoiled. Not a geriatric pilgrim in sight and nobody selling anything. Just lonely atmosphere and crumbling walls. No bus access. Persuade a friend with a car or do a deal with a taxi driver for the day.
Jinan Wildlife World. 45 km south of Jinan on top of a mountain. Awesome scenery on the way up and man-eating lions roaming wild at the top. A great day out. According to local legend two keepers got eaten by wolves after they hit the bottle a couple of years ago. Stay off the Tsingtao and don't get off the bus. You can stroke the baby tigers, that's Ok.
Bus 67; get a minibus in the village at the end of the route to take you up to the summit (10 Yuan). Or wait in Wei Er Lu and flag down a bus with a giraffe painted on the side – it will take you all the way.
Four Gates Pagoda – also bus 67. Worth a visit. Peaceful.
Lingyan Temple. Turning off left on the road to Taian. No bus access arrange your own transport. Well worth a visit. Hardcore true-believer Buddhist action and peaceful walks.
On the night of the autumn full moon mingle with the crowds on QuanCheng Square, look at the moon and watch the dancing fountains. If you're lucky you'll see the moon goddess Chang Er, who overdosed on immortality pills and ended up on the moon where she lives with a white rabbit. If you've got a telescope you can even see the rabbit. Gorge yourself on Moon Cakes, and if you're lucky you'll get invited to a moon-meal with your Chinese friends.