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MT. Tai

Mt. Tai, located close to Taian of Shandong Province and in south of the capital city Jinan, is the most popular tourist scenic spot in China. Since ancient times, Mt. Tai has been hailed as the "most sublime of the five mountains". Apart from its impressive height and ancient culture, the reason is probably that men have deliberately deified it. Historical records show that a total of 72 emperors of bygone dynasties, from the first Emperor Qin Shihuang onward, have made sacrifices to Mt. Tai. It lies in the civilized land of the ancient states of Qi and Lu, with the Yellow River on the north and the sea on the east. A famous saying goes, "Scaling Mt. Tai makes one feel superior to the whole world", as it creates a feeling of regal dignity and imperial majesty. Many romantic scholars of old considered it a great treat to express their sentiments on top of Mt. Tai. Men today take an even greater interest in climbing Mt. Tai.

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Mt. Tai is approximately 10 km in distance from the base to the Jade Emperor Peak. 6,700 steps lead up to a spot where hills overlap and where you find beautiful waterfalls and oddly-shaped pines and cypresses. The scenery changes with each step. Yet even more elevating is the Shi Ba Pan, or 18 Curves, consisting of 1,580 steps. Many young people come here, including those in love. To see the sunrise, they climb to the summit at first light. When darkness recedes and day breaking, a ball of fire appears over the horizon. One mountain after another catches the sun's beams, until every thing comes alive. The people sing and dance and cheer, bathed in the glorious sun and embraced in the bosom of nature. Also among the climbers are old people and children.

Mt. Tai is 2.5 billion years old. Here the old can recapture their youth while the children can steel themselves against the weather and the exertion involved in climbing. It looks just like a ladder shooting up to the heaven. Rain or shine all year round mountaineers. Somewhere near the Shi Ba Pan there is an inscription carved on the face of a precipice, "The Spirit of China", by which, I think, is meant the pioneering spirit of the Chinese people forging ahead and scaling the heights of modernization. In order to make it easier to get up the top for all of the visitors of old and young, there are two ways of cable cars have been built in front and at the back of the mountains for people to go up or get down. On both sides of the long stone steps leading up to the mountain peak, it has been installed with numerous bright lights for those people who would like to climb up in the evening. When all the lights are turned on, it really looks like a great Dragon flying in the dark sky.

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