The "Cradle of Taoism" - Mount Lao is a mountain located near the East China Sea on the southeastern coastline of the Shandong Peninsula in China. The mountain is culturally significant due to its long affiliation with Taoism. Meanwhile, this tall and majestic mountain is famous for its marvelous mountainous scenery and coastal landscape.
It is the highest coastal mountain in China and the second highest mountain in Shandong, with the highest peak (Jufeng) reaching 1,132.7 metres (3,716 ft). Thrusting from the sea, Mt. Laoshan is linked with the sea, extending in four directions from its center—Jufeng, low, flat with ranges running to far distance in the west; high, steep and towering with fairy caves, stones, deep valleys and spring waterfalls in the east. The coastal line is winding around the mountain with various rocks, islets and bays staggered.The mountain lies about 30 kilometres to the northeast of the downtown area of the City of Qingdao and is protected by the Qingdao Laoshan National Park that covers an area of 446 square kilometers.
Mt. Laoshan bears the name as "No 1 coastal mountain", "land for supernatural being" or "fascinating and blessing place" which makes it a famous scenic spot for sightseeing, spending summer holidays, resting and recuperating. The famous "12 sceneries"—Jufeng Xuzhao (rising sun in the morning on the highest peak), Taiqing Shuiyue (a bright moon in spring water of Taiqing Palace), Haiqiao Xiandun, Longtan Penyu ( the deep linns splashing sprays), Mingxia Sanyi (rays of sunshine), Naluoyanku (rock cave), Yundong Pansong (pine tree on the rock), Yanpu Chaoyin (waterfall with sound of tide), Weizhu Mingquan (spring with sound), Jiushui Mingyi (crystalline ripples in nine rivers), Hualou Dieshi (various stones), make people acclaim as the peak of perfection. Besides, Mount Lao consists of granite.
The featured Laoshan landforms were formed due to the action of glaciers during the Quaternary and erosion by meltwater released from the icecap that covered a large portion of Shandong during the late Pleistocene.
As a famous mountain of Taoism culture, Mt. Laoshan is rich in history. It is also the place where Faxian, a well-known Buddhist in Jin Dynasty landed after getting Buddhist scriptures back from India, serving as the headstream of orthodox Buddhism in eastern part of Shandong.
Therefore it finds favor in refined scholars’ eyes in various Dynasties. The stories "Fragrant Jade" and "Laoshan Taoist" in the book "Liaozai" written by Pu Songling in Qing Dynasty are well known to all. The palaces and temples formally opened to the outside are Taiqing Palace, Shangqing Palace, Mingxia Cave, Taiping Palace, Huayan Temple, weizhu Nunnery and Hualou Palace etc. The largest temple complex on Mount Lao is that of the Temple of Supreme Purity, a Taoist temple that was first built during the Northern Song Dynasty with the present structures dating to the reign of the Ming Emperor
The temple is located near the coast, below Pantao Peak on the southeastern foot of Mount Lao and is hence also known as the Lower Temple.
Natural resources are abundant in Laoshan Mountain area, including well-known Laoshan mineral water and various aquatic products which lead people to endless aftertastes. It also holds significant importance in Taoism. Mt Laoshan is the most recognized mountain of all mountains on the coast of China. Thus it is a must to see when taveling in Qingdao.