Facing the Yellow River to the north and bordering Mount Tai to the south, Ji'nan, the provincial capital of Shandong province, is located in the central west area of Shandong province. Lying in a basin surrounded by mountains, the city has a population of 5.49 million people. As the capital of Shandong Province, Ji'nan is the main transit point for travelers to all points of Shandong and beyond and most travelers in the province inevitably find themselves holed up here for a night or two.
With a long history, Ji'nan is considered most famous for its proximity to Longshan town, some 30 kilometers to the east. The Longshan people, one of China's prehistoric cultures, are noted for their production of black ceramic pottery dating back more than 4,000 years. During the Warring States Period, 2,600 years ago, Ji'nan was also a key frontier stronghold of the Qi State.
Embraced in the arms of Mount Tai and the Yellow River, Ji'nan is transitionally located between a zone of upland and plain, giving it a variety of natural resources and beauty. It is also commonly known as"the spring city" due to its profusion of natural springs. Most of the sights within the city itself, however, are a little uninspiring, as are the springs themselves. But a walk around the many city parks or a visit to the Thousand Buddha Mountain in the south can be a nice way to spend the day.