Tài’ān 泰安

The 17th-century writer Zhang Dai gave a fascinating vision of the Tai’an of the Ming Dynasty, a time when the town’s bustling tourism industry was in its infancy but still roaring. Tour packages for the wealthy included sedan chair rides up the mountain, sets of congratulatory banners for reaching the summit, and a town full of boisterous inns, some with more than 20 kitchens, sets of opera troupes and enough servants to fill the Forbidden City. Though it’s not quite as energetic or musical these days, the town does provide places to bed down the day before or after tackling one of China’s most important mountains.


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