Tai’an, Shangdong Province, China

Richard is holding another one of those trade shows that need foreign faces.  Since it is in Tai’an, right next to one of the Five Mountains in China, Mt. Tai, I decided to booty off the free trip.

I was put in a 4 star hotel room the night I have arrived.

First things first, we arrived at the trade show site the next morning.

The exhibition entrance

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“Where are you off to?” I asked.

“Well, we gonna get a head start on booking a factory visit.” They said, “You wanna come?”

Sure.

Some people were actually interested in working in this field, like these importer/exporters.

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Ewww (at Chinese medicine)

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We have to hand in our passports for the trip insurance.  These are all the countries coming to this trade show.

No one found the exhibition interesting, so we decided to do whatever we want.  I just want to chill in somewhere there are trees and water.  And hotel suggested here. It turned out this is the Mt. Tai Park bus entrance.  Since we will be going to Mt. Tai the next day, the couple of us thought this would be a repeat and wanted to go back to the hotel.  The lady at the entrance was pretty nice, she told us the bus won’t stop here tomorrow and it’s just a nice place to hang out.

So I decided to stay and kill my time here…

After 5 minutes walk up the hill we found a water reservoir as the lady had told us.

People were actually chilling on the rocks.

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Behind the dam, there is another section of the park, with picturesque gazebo and plenty of greens.

People swimming around the gazebo.

From the dam, you could see the city of Tai’an.

There is another hill inside the city.

People swimming on the banks across from us.

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Plenty of water grass like these floating around, but it still seemed like an ideal place to swim.

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We found these guys swimming and working out around the gazebo.

Ah.. the water felt sooo nice on this hot, hot day!

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Look, there is a way down to the dam.

People catching fish around the lower part of this dam.

The other side is actually a nice little park.

Plenty of this kind of spiders around the park. Its color warned us, “don’t touch me.”

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Looking at the water reservoir from the top.

Look at these people swimming across from us… I wanna swim too!

Hmmm… I’m not sure now….  was here where we saw those people swimming earlier?

Ahhh, this is NICE!

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We eventually found some local to join us.  He showed us where to dive, and off he went.

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My turn.

Hi!

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A little plaza for people to relax in.

Found someone practicing flute in the woods.

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A little pond by the sunset.

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A sealed up well.

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Found a couple working around a mill. “We are making fertilizers.”  The flowers must be so happy because the fertilizers smelled so good.

A father and son taking up water from a well.

“You don’t have tap water at home?” I was in shock.

“No,” he calmed me down, “we just drink the water out of here. It tastes better.”

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It really does taste better.

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Sunset.

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Someone selling this weird mushroom-looking plant, yunzhi.  Apparently it’s a great Chinese herb.

The bridge in front of the city, Tianwai Bridge, or Outer Sky Bridge

On the bridge in front of the park, we took one last look of the entire park.

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That night we were invited to a local musical at a convention center nearby.

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The story evolved around the “Mt. Tai Shigandang”.  Shi Gandang is a legendary god who is known to cure diseases and dispel evils (http://www.taian.travel/taianweb/eg/list.asp?scid=253&aid=116).  The musical made him the hero of a love triangle.

Since the English translation was horrible, most of the foreigners did not understand the details of this love story.  By the end of the show, the word Shigandang was all they could gather from the musical….  “Shigandang, Shigandang, Shigandang…” they would sing high and low on our way back.

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Closing

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