Jinan - City of Springs
Jinan is the capital city of the eastern province of Shandong. The city is located in north-western Shandong about 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of the national capital of Beijing. I came here, initially for a couple of days, from Tai'an but stayed only one night before heading on to Qingdao on the east coast. And I'll tell you why I only stayed here one night instead of two. When I arrived I found the hotel I had intended on staying at in Lonely Planet (called the Jinan Hotel) to be closed which wasn't a good start. I then got taken by a nice chap in his 4x4 to a Home Inn just down the road which was fine. However, the area I stayed in was a bit grotty with lots of rubbish everywhere and people sitting on the streets eating at barbeques. The city itself is a bit dull with a very so-so museum in the far south of the city, a nice central square and a few uninteresting spring parks for which the city is famous. Apart from that, that's your lot. I was going to visit the village of Zhujiayu, about 45km east of the city, on the second day but got a bit fed up and decided to move on instead. A lot more could be done with the city as it has potential but it's not got that "come and visit me" factor.