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Yantai-the hidden gem of China

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Yantai -the hidden gem of China

Formerly known as Zhifu or Chefoohe, the city of Yantai and its surrounding area located in Shandong province of eastern China. The city is a port and a true coastal gem, also known as “Fairyland on Earth” and “The City of Wine”. You will enjoy the blue skies and golden beaches, crystal seas rich in seafood and off-shore islands… The city is surrounded by mountains and sea  – a landscape which offers picturesque vistas during all four seasons. In the north there is a Penglai Pavilion, a centuries-old clifftop pagoda overlooking the Bohai Strait. Farther east, connected to the mainland, Zhifu Island is the site of Neolithic artifacts. 
Yantai is famous for the legendary story “Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea”, which has been included in the list of National Intangible Cultural Heritages.
The area is famous for top producers of apples and grapes. Nearby, Changyu Wine Culture Museum offers insight into the region’s wine production and Fisherman’s Wharf is home to restaurants and bars.

Changyu Wine Culture Museum

56 Dama Rd, Zhifu Qu, Yantai Shi, Shandong Sheng, China, 264001
山东省烟台市芝罘区大马路56号 邮政编码: 264001   
phone:+86 535 663 2892

Changyu Wine Culture Museum  (56 Dama Rd.) located at the formal site of Chongyu Wine Company. The  history of the winery can be traced back to  18th century. Changyu was founded in 1892 as a small wine maker and is now the oldest and largest grape winery . It has developed into a brand producing the large variety of spirits including brandy, red wine, vermouth and Riesling white wine. A display area showcases the development through pictures and videos. An underground cellar covers an area of over 2,600 square meters, and contains eight interlocked arches.  The cellar that contains over 600 barrels was  the first underground one in Asia when completed in 1903. Three King-Barrels, each with the capacity of housing 15 tones of wine, are the largest wine barrels in Asia and estimated to be over 100 years old. There is a bar inside the cellar, where travelers can taste a variety of wine. 

Polaris Horology Culture Museum

Binhai N Rd, Zhifu Qu, Yantai Shi, Shandong Sheng, China, 264000 
山东省烟台市芝罘区滨海北路 邮政编码: 264000    phone:
+86 535 661 1259

Polaris Museum of Watch Culture. Opened in 2009, this museum is based on the old Watch factory of Old Chefoo/Zhifu.

Polaris Horology Culture Museum in Yantai

There are many interesting and unique clock on display…

Yantai Hill Park

Chaoyang St, Zhifu Qu, Yantai Shi, Shandong Sheng, China, 264000   
山东省烟台市芝罘区朝阳街 邮政编码: 264000

Yantai Hill Park (Yantai Shan) contains the former colonial consulates. It is a really pretty area with great architecture and a lighthouse with breath taking views on top. There are exhibits and small museums. The best part is that it’s quiet and peaceful, which is a rare find in China. 50 RMB.

Bars and Restaurants Area near Chaoyan Jie

Between these two museums there is a large area populated with Bars and Restaurants. The local creativity is unlimited…

Blues Bar (布鲁撕), Chaoyang Jie. Specializing in cocktails and live music (jazz and blues).

The old hutong area is quickly transforming from slam into posh area, full of quirky shops, night bars and restaurants with roof top patios.

Sinergy of New and Old

The downtown touristic area filled up with mixture of New Sky Scrapers with old buildings….

Other places of interest in Yantai

  • Temple Islands (Chinese: Miaodao Qundao).  One of the most visited is  Xianying Palace which was built during the Northern Song Dynasty, starting in 1122. It was originally a Taoist temple  featuring the sea goddess Matsu and later it became Buddhist. The local government has restored the temple to its Ming Dynasty appearance, although many additions had been made during the Qing Dynasty period. Avoid during Chinese holidays, or make sure you get to the ferry at 6am, as it will become impossibly crowded later. 
  • Mu Family Manor. Traditional Chinese architecture of mid-late Qing Dynasty style. It’s associated with a popular TV series aired in China:”Mu shi zhuang yuan” (牟氏庄园), literally “The Mu’s Manor”.
  • Nanshan Park. Nanshan park is a perfect place for family time that offers many attractions. There is a zoo which has Pandas among its  collection of wildlife, a small lake with paddle boats for hire, and an amusement park with a variety of roller coasters.  Climbing the mountain gives you an opportunity to observe people practicing Tai Chi, singing traditional Chinese songs… and sometimes you might even find older couples dancing.
  • Tashan Park. Has several attractions – tropical rainforest tent, a peacock zoo and a tower on top of the mountain. The lift will take you 400 meter up or you can hike up there. On a clear day the entire city can be observed from the top. 
  • Yangma Island. Although the name means Horse-breeding Island, it is now just a great place for beachcombing.  As per legend, the first emperor Qin shihuang bred horses here for his army. Nowadays it’s well know among Yantainese for the seafood restaurants along its beach. 
  • Mount Kunyu. The birth place of Taoism in Yantai city. There is a mountain cave not far from Kunyu mountain (called Yan Xia cave) where it is said the founder of Taoism meditated for many years. There are eight statues, “The Eight Immortals,” of important Taoists inside this cave today as a mark of respect. 

When to travel

The peak travel season is May – October due to many taking time off for the beach vacation; if you are for the sightseeing going later in November will give you cooler days or early  in April a chance of rains… 

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