So excited to get to tell you about my favourite place in Jinan, but before that, I’ll tell you a little bit on how did I even got myself to China: In 2011 I was living my dream: I was a cabin crew member at TUIfly Nordic and I was flying around the world. I loved every minute of my work and this had been a big dream of mine that I had reached. Only thing was that the dream had an expiry date. My winter contract was coming to an end and many of my collegues decided to apply for small Finnish companies that would fly around Finland. I wasn’t sure if that would make me happy so I decided to look for something mind blowing that would distract me from the fact that I wasn’t flying. At the time I had friends all over the world which I had gathered from from different online platforms and one of them was a good friend from Canada. He was constantly posting stories and going on about China. It got me thinking and I sent him a half ass ”Do you think a Finnish woman could teach English in China?”-message. He quickly replied: ”Yes!” and before I knew it my CV was going around in China for schools looking for English teachers. I was keen on Hubei province, since my friend had worked there, but ended up in the capital of Shandong. I had no idea what I had signed myself up for: I didn’t know anyone and the school contract was just an email promise. I spent all my last money to buy tickets to China and off I went. A journey I would never regret but often wonder how did I not research or prepare better.
Very quickly I was introduced to mountain climbing/hiking. It’s an activity Chinese do fairly often. There’s five great holy mountains in China and I’ve written about visiting Taishan before. But there’s also these smaller hills/mountains that are somewhat sacred too and have loads of fun activities. Before I knew it my favourite place would be up on Thousand Buddha Mountain viewing my home city: A dirty, crazy, polluted city that stole my heart. Jinan is a very industrial city that’s surrounded by hills and mountains. It’s very similar to Athens for example where all the pollution stays in the city like a hot pot because of the mountain range around the city. Jinan isn’t just a city with bad air. It’s got loads of parks, natural springs, activities etc to do. But Thousand Buddha Mountain is for sure one of the must sees of Jinan and most likely one of the most visited places in the city.
Thousand Buddha Mountain has loads of statues of Buddha that can be somewhat fun to pose with. Loads of different positions and it’s nice to climb up but constantly have something to see as well. The climb isn’t too hard and can be done for example with a massive hangover (been there, done that). The mountain is surprisingly calm and quiet compared to the rush of the city. Loads of people come there to reflect on their life and leave a symbol behind (like a love lock or the red ribbons). The most fun part of the mountain is most likely the slide down. There’s also a possibility of taking a gondola up and down the mountain, so even if you’re feeling tired and lazy, you can head out to this mountain.
I would take absolutely everyone and anyone visiting me to this mountain. We’d have picnics there, birthdays, dates etc.. This mountain became a second home. Some of my absolute best memories in Jinan are on this mountain. So I have no other option than to totally recommend this mountain for a walk, prayer, rest away from the city chaos.
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