Jining, located in southwestern Shandong province, is a city steeped in Chinese history and culture. With a population of over 8 million people, Jining is the northernmost city reachable by navigation on the Grand Canal of China, making it an important inland port. The city borders Heze to the southwest, Zaozhuang to the southeast, Taian to the northeast, and the provinces of Henan and Jiangsu to the northwest and south respectively. Jining’s history dates back to the Song dynasty when the name Jining was first given to the region in the year 1271. This city has several distinctive associations in Chinese history and culture, as it was the birthplace and home of Confucius, along with many of his more famous disciples, including Mencius. Temples to a number of these philosophers still exist in various parts of the prefecture. Liangshan, a county of Jining, is also famous as the principal setting of the Chinese literary classic, Water Margin.
While Jining may not be as popular as other Chinese cities, it is certainly worth a visit. With its rich history and culture, there are plenty of things to see and do in Jining. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Jining is the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is dedicated to the memory of Confucius and it is believed that he was born, taught, and buried on the site. The Kong Family Mansion was the residence of Confucius’ descendants and is a great example of traditional Chinese architecture.
Another must-see attraction in Jining is Lake Nanyang, the largest freshwater lake in Shandong province. The lake is surrounded by beautiful scenery and is a great place to relax and take in the natural beauty of the area. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, there are plenty of hiking trails and fishing spots around the lake.
Jining is also known for its delicious cuisine. Some of the local specialties include braised chicken, sesame cakes, and Jining pancakes. These dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and are a great way to experience the local culture.
In terms of accommodation, there are plenty of options available in Jining, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels. The city is also easily accessible, with Jining Qufu Airport and several high-speed railway stations in the area.
Overall, Jining is a hidden gem in China, boasting a rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a new travel destination, Jining is definitely worth a visit.