Jinan, the provincial capital of Shandong, China, is a sprawling city known for its many natural springs and is even nicknamed "City of Springs". The water from these springs flows north towards the main landmark, Daming Lake and onwards to the Yellow River, which passes north of the city. Jinan is an ideal destination for travelers of all ages with its beautiful parks, enriching culture and amazing shopping.
Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport was opened in 1992 and is now the largest civil airport in the Shandong Province. The Airport is approximately 33 km northeast of Jinan city centre and directly north of the town of Yaoqiang. Travelers can choose to take the taxi or shuttle bus to get to and from the airport. By taxi, it will take around 45 minutes to the city centre and costs around PHP775 per car. By shuttle bus, it will take around 1 hour to the city centre but will only cost PHP155 to Yuquan Simpson Hotel in downtown Jinan.
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The best time to visit Jinan would be during autumn, especially from September to November. Autumn in Jinan offers more sunny days with cool weather, with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius. Summer in Jinan is hot and the winters are cold. Spring is dry and windy with some rain. However, spring would be the best time to visit the Baotu springs and winter is the best time to see the beautiful snowscape of Daming Lake. Jinan becomes most crowded during the Chinese New Year (usually in January or February), International Labour Day (May 1st to 3rd) and National Day (October 1st to 7th). The Chinese New Year period and the National Day golden week are the most crowded for traveling thus travelers might want to avoid these times.
Jinan four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter are well defined due to lying between a humid subtropical and humid continental climate. Jinan experiences much more rain in the summer than winter. The average annual temperature in Jinan is 14 degrees Celsius, with January being the coldest and driest month. During winter, the average low is -5.4 degrees Celsius and the average high is 4 degrees Celsius. Snow occasionally falls during winter but not in heavy bouts. July, however, is the hottest and wettest month, with an average low temperature of 23 degrees Celsius and an average high of 33 degrees Celsius.
Jinan has many different festivals all year round. Recently one of the most famous festivals is the International Martial Arts Festival held in either August or September every year. Martial arts enthusiasts from all over the world gather in Jinan to practice their skills and exchange views on martial arts. Another famous festival is the Lotus Festival which happens twice each year, on 24th June and 30th July. According to folklore, this day is the Lotus' birthday and many newly-wed couples, middle-aged couples and old ladies will bring their kids to Daminghu Lake to view the lotus that bloom.
Though not as popular as Beijing or Shanghai, Jinan too has wonders to offer its travelers.
1. Thousand Buddha Mountain – The Thousand Buddha Mountain is known as the number one mountain in Jinan. It encloses hundreds of Buddha statues carved into the rocks of the mountain which began in the Sui Dynasty (581-681 AD). Visitors can also visit the park around the Thousand Buddha Mountain which features a small amusement park, beautiful gardens, souvenir shops, a chair lift and the Myriad Buddha Cave.
2. Baoto Spring – Jinan is most famously known for its spring, thus not visiting one would be such a waste. The Baotu springs are the most renowned among more than 70 artesian springs in downtown Jinan and was declared the "Number One Spring under the Heaven" by the Qianlong Emperor in the Qing dynasty.
3. Daming Lake – With more than one hundred springs in Jinan, the water from the springs converge and form the picturesque Daming Lake. Daming Lake not only offers beautiful views but also features a variety of cultural and historical buildings. Travelers can find a plethora of pavilions, gardens and temples around Daming Lake. Beiji Temple, the largest Taoist temple in Jinan and Tie Xuan Temple, a temple built in the 18th century featuring traditional architecture are not to be missed.