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It may be Shandong's provincial capital, but Ji'nan is overshadowed in almost every way by its coastal rival, Qingdao. However, this modern and easygoing place is an enjoyable transit point to other destinations. A good place to stay if you are going to visit the nearby Qufu, Taishan, or Qingdao, Ji'nan can be enjoyed in its own right, particularly for its many springs, which have earned the city the nickname "Spring City."
In 1901 Ji'nan was hauled into the 20th century by the construction of a railway line linking it to Qingdao. German, English, and Japanese companies found Ji'nan to be a convenient place to do business. A few buildings they had built are still in the downtown area (although they are increasingly overshadowed by new shopping centers and hotels).
Ji'nan's three main sights are Thousand Buddha Mountain, Big Bright Lake, and Gushing from the Ground Spring. These and a handful of other attractions easily occupy visitors for a day or so.
Ji'nan at a Glance
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