Mount Lao, The Most Visited Mountain in East Coast of China
Laoshan Mountain or Mount Lao (Shan means mountain) is a the most visited mountain in the east coast of China. Its rocks are shaped by ancient glaciers and it is one of the places that gave birth to Taoism. On the road up to the entrance of the mountain you can see some sculptures and small religious buildings related to this. Unfortunately because of the time that day, the people who came with me and I couldn’t go and take a closer look, we went right to the top.
The climbing has a road with some rest areas and eight “gates”. These gates represent eight symbols or trigrams used in the Taoist cosmology. The flag of South Korea has four of these trigrams. The meaning of these symbols in each of the gates along the way to the top of the mountain and its upper surroundings are heaven, lake, fire, lightening, wind, water, mountain and earth. I must say that the gates were not always necessarily gates but some of them were just passageways through rocks in which the trigram was engraved and painted; and one of the gates was a pagoda with a small store and a roofed area. Nevertheless the hike was a pleasant experience and the view was majestic.
At the top of the mountain was a military base, which obviously tourists cannot take a look inside, but right below there is a viewpoint with some walking areas and a small pagoda. This is a perfect place to greet the sun in the morning or give a farewell in the afternoon.