Lao Shan (Láo Shān, 崂山) is an important Taoist mountain which, while not very high compared to other Chinese mountains, is rather imposing as its 1,100 m (3,606 ft) height seems to emerge straight from the sea. Only 40 km (25 mi) from Qingdao, Lao Shan is a wonderful and also accessible place to explore. Its scenery is as famous as its mythology, characterized by clear streams (once used to make Tsingtao beer), waterfalls, rock formations, giant flowering shrubs and hidden temple ruins.
Lao Shan was once a busy Taoist mountain, home to thousands of nuns and monks. The religious activity was stifled by the Cultural Revolution and now the Great Purity Palace remains the only architectural relic worth visiting on the mountain. Today, it bustles with tourists from all around the Middle Kingdom, which can make for a crowd on national holidays.
Like most of China's important mountains, a cable car is on hand to help you reach the summit quickly. Nice hiking trails are an alternative way to experience Lao Shan, and can be quite secluded at times.
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