Penglai, a fairyland-like prefecture in Yantai City of Shandong Province, is located at the northern extremity of Shandong Peninsula. Due to its charming landscape, Penglai has long been famed as the “Heaven on earth” and the “Habitat of immortals” since ancient times. Penglai Mountain (an imaginary mountain) is one of the three holy mountains in China according to traditional Chinese mythology, and the other two are “Fangzhang” and “Yingzhou”. Penglai has become a popular tourist destination because of the mysterious Penglai Mountain, which can only be seen in form of the frequent mirages at sea, and it is said to be the base for the Eight Immortals in Chinese mythology. The Penglai Pavilion is also a very popular destination, which is considered as one of the four greatest ancient pavilions in China ( the other three pavilions being the Yallow Crane Pavilion in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Yueyang Pavilion in Yueyang City, Hunan Province and Tengwang Pavilion in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province).
Legend about Penglai Mountain
According to legend, Qin Shi Huang (First Emperor of Qin, 259-210BC), in search of the elixir of life, made several attempts to find the island where the Penglai mountain is located, but did not succeed. Legends tells that Xu Fu, one servant of Qin Shi Huang successfully found the island, and found Japan at the same time. People describe Penglai Mountain as the place with no pain and no winter. There are rice bowls and wine glasses that never become empty no matter how much people eat or drink from them. The magical fruits growing in Penglai can heal any disease, grant eternal youth, and even raise the dead.
Built in 1061, during the reign of the sixth year of the Emperor Jiayou of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the Penglai Pavilion is a famous coastal tourist site in eastern China’s Shandong Province. It is seated on the cliff of Danya Mountain close to the sea in the north of Penglai City. It became well known because of the legend that the Eight Immortals got drunk here at the castle and crossed the sea using magic, without ships.
Penglai Pavilion is a very good place to witness a magical mirage because it often occurs here, and it’s also a good place to appreciate the magnificent scene of the sun rising in the morning.
What to do in Penglai
Penglai is a distant costal place where you can escape from the noisy and stressful big cities. It is a dream place for young or elderly couples to spend their holidays.
Taste some delicious seafood. Foreign tourists to China will usually know how delicious Chinese food is. Although Penglai is a small coastal prefecture, its food is very delicious indeed. The food offered in Penglai is usually made from the fresh seafood and cooked in a unique cooking style. If you have a taste of some food in Penglai, I bet you will never forget that amazing experience.
Visit seafood market. If you are interested, you can go to a seafood market in the morning to buy some favorite fresh seafood. In case of you don’t how to cook, you can ask a local resident to help you.
Learning Chinese and tai chi. If you are a long holiday tour to Penglai, you can ask a retired English teacher in Penglai to teach you some Chinese. It would also be an interesting experience to learn some tai chi in the gardens.
How to get to Penglai
There are five flights which take off every day from Shanghai Pudong International Airport to Yantai Airport. The flight takes about one hour. Tourists can also take train No. 2582 departing from Shanghai Railway Station at 9:40am and arriving at Yantai at 7:00am. In Yantai, tourists can take a bus which departs every 15 minutes to Penglai, and the fare is about 10 yuan.