Chengshantou

Last updated by drwi at 2014/10/28

Chengshantou, aka Mount Chengtou, is situated on the easternmost point of Shandong Peninsula, itself known under the alternate name of Jiaodong Peninsula, one of the two peninsulas that embrace, as it were, the Bo Hai Sea (the other is the Liaodong Peninsula farther north, which is contiguous with the Korean Peninsula).

In ancient times, i.e., during the Qin (BCE 221-207) Dynasty, the Cheng Mountain range, which lay at the northwesternmost extremity of what was known as China at the time, was considered the end of the world (there was similarly a southwestern extremity of China that was also considered the end of the world, since the highly socially developed Chinese, who tended to consider others as somewhat barbaric, considered China as the world, or perhaps at least the civilized world). Since tou means "end" in Chinese, Chengshantou translates to "the mountain range at the end of the world", and since shan, which means "mountain", is generally separated from the rest of the name in English and either placed in front ("Mount") or behind ("Mountain") the rest of the name, we get the rather idiosyncratic English form, Mount Chengtou ("Mount Cheng-at-the-end-of-the-world").

Not surprisingly, Mount Chengtou/ Chengshantou was considered in ancient times as "the place from whence the sun rises". Chengshantou still offers stunning views of the sunrise. Here, you can see "undulating" peaks - or peaks that alternate sharply in height, and many with sharp crags - interspersed with green plateaus and valleys, and vast expanses of water as you gaze out to sea, protected by the mountain's height from the tall waves that come crashing in toward you, all of which makes Chengshantou a fascinating place to plan a sightseeing trip of a few days, or an interesting, cool place to retreat from the heat during the summer holidays.

There is an interesting legend about Chengshantou and China's first emperor. From BCE 219-210, during the latter part of the reign (BCE 246-210) of Shi Huangdi, or Emperor Qin, as the emperor of the Qin Dynasty was known (Shi Huang was the first Chinese sovereign to style himself "emperor", though there would be many who would take up that mantle after him), the emperor paid two visits to Chengshantou in search of the elixir of life. To make it easier for him to get around the undulating peaks of Chengshantou, the emperor ordered that long bridges be built connecting many of the lesser peaks of Chengshantou. Thanks therefore to this effort, present-day tourists can betread the same bridges and paths that were trod by Emperor Qin over two millenia ago, places such as Qinling Ridge and Shejiao ("Flood-Dragon Shooting") Platform, as well as Shi Huang Temple, all of which are unique places from their history alone. Emperor Qin's serving premier at the time appended a new distinction to this end-of-the-world place, referring thereafter to Chengshantou as "the end of the world and the eastern entrance of the Qin Empire".

Later, in CE 94, when Emperor Wu of the Han (BCE 206 - CE 220) Dynasty made his annual inspection tour to the Eastern Sea (East China Sea), he had a new temple built on Chengshantou, the Temple of the Sun God (Rizhu Ci), in recognition of this holy mountain where the sun first shines on China every morning. Wudi, or Emperor Wu, spent much time enjoying the sunrises on Chengshantou. Later still, Emperor Wu had a Taoist temple, Chengshan Taoist Temple, erected on the mountain, which he consecrated with an ode.

Major scenic sites on present-day Chengshantou include Hailu Island, Shihuang Temple, Bairitai ("Sun Worshiping") Platform, Wanghaiting ("Sea-Viewing") Pavilion, Guantaoge ("Wave-Enjoying") Pavilion, Zhenlong ("Dragon-Subduing") Stone, and a new safari park as well as a number of stelae and the ruins of a number of bridges that were erected during the Qin Dynasty.

Solo Adventure Tips:

Location:

Chengshantou is located on the peninsula-on-a-peninsula that represents the easternmost point of Shandong Peninsula, about 45 kilometers, as the crow flies, east-southest of the port city of Weihai on the northernmost extremity of Shandong Peninsula.

How to Get There?

From Weihai: You can catch the bus (Weihai – Xixia Kou special bus line) either at the wharf in Weihai, if you arrive by boat, or you can catch the same bus from the center of Weihai at the Weihai Bus Station. Alternatively, you can catch this bus and ask to be dropped at Longxu Island, where you can also get a good view of the mountain in the distance (sometimes the best view of a site is from a different perch, not on the site itself). The fare in all these cases will set you back the princely sum of 10 Yuan per person.

You can also catch a round-trip boat from Weihai (Liugong Island) to Chengshantou which departs from Weihai/ Liugong Island at 11:00 AM and which returns to Weihai/ Liugong Island at 6:00 PM. The fare is 100 Yuan per person, and includes a meal.

You can also take a taxi if you prefer travelling alone or with a small party. The flat-rate fare is roughly 180 Yuan from downtown Weihai to Chengshantou.

Lastly, you can rent a car and drive there yourself. Take Shichang Street to Haibin Road, then on to Daqing Road and Huanhai Road, then follow the signs that guide you to the city of Xixia Kou, which will put you near the foot of Chengshantou.

Ticket Price:

See the "Tips" section below.

Opening Hours:

More Tips:

 

1) The best time period for carefree sightseeing on Chengshantou is May to September.


2) A popular scenic trip for visitors is the Chengshantou–Wildlife Reserve–Hailu Island round trip, which takes in all about a day, though one can also choose only to visit the nature reserve or only Hailu Island in connection with a trip to Chengshantou. One can of course also take a trip to one of the three sites only.

The entrance fees to the three sites are as follows:

Chengshantou only/ Wildlife Reserve only/ Hailu Island only: 50 Yuan per person.

Chengshantou plus Wildlife Reserve: 70 Yuan per person.

Chengshantou plus Hailu Island: 65 Yuan per person.

Chengshantou plus Wildlife Reserve plus Hailu Island: 90 Yuan per person.


4) It is forbidden to swim near any of these three sites due to dangerous undercurrents.


5) You are encouraged to spend at least one night in the area in order to make the most of your visit, and in order to witness the amazing sunrise over Chengshantou (forget about crossing the International Dateline, this beats it by a league!). You might even want to stay a third day (two nights) if it is windy in order to catch the views of the collossal waves here. Be sure to dress layered since it can be misty – and therefore a bit chilly – so close to the northern sea, but the mist, when it is present, creates a diffuse light here that is beautiful in and of itself. If you wish to be out early and watch the sunrise over Chengshantou, you can rent an overcoat for the modest sum of 30 Yuan (less of a hassle than dragging one along for this sole purpose).

 


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