After a weekend tour in Qingdao city, the last weekend of my first stay in China was about to end in a visit of Mountain Lao Shan.
The mountain is located a few miles north-east of Qingdao and can be reached via bus. You can also take a taxi, which will cost you around 100RMB (Insist on metering!). The ride takes about an hour and brings you to a small town beneath the mountain. From there you can either take another bus up to the main gate, or you can walk the way.
I was there with a colleague and two of her friends and we decided not to take the bus and walk up the mountain instead. I later found out, that the bus would have cost us something around 1-2$ per person, but then it was too late. Also, there is a cable car that will take you to the mountaintop almost all year round.
Mount Lao is embedded into the Laoshan mountain range and reaches only about 1200m high. The mountain range itself seems massive though and if you stand on top of the mountain, the rocks seem to stretch forever in sight. The whole range consists mainly of granite and has a yellowish color.
The walk up to the top of the mountain starts on solid roads and stays that way, if you like it to. If you want to, you can move away from the streets though and find alternate paths up. Most visitors take the bus anyways and I would suggest to do that too.
Mountain Lao is a magical place and here is where some of the Taoist theories have been created, like Quanzhen – the school of complete perfection – and the area has been home to hundreds of monks at some time in the past. There are various temples around, like the temple of supreme purity, Yakou temple and the temple of great purity.
The chinese tourist board has created a list of scenic spots around mountain Lao.