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About Yantai

Yantai (Simplified Chinese: 烟台; Traditional Chinese: 煙臺; Pinyin: Yāntái) is a prefecture-level city in northeastern Shandong province, People's Republic of China. Located on the southern coast of the Bohai Sea and the eastern coast of the Bohai Bay, Yantai borders the cities of Qingdao and Weihai to the southwest and east respectively.

The largest fishing seaport in Shandong and a robust economic center today, Yantai used to be known to the West as Chefoo, a misnomer which refers, in Chinese, solely to Zhifu Island, which is historically governed by Yantai.

The contemporary name of Yantai came from the watchtowers constructed on Mount Qi in 1398, during the reign of the Hongwu Emperor, founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty (yan—smoke; tai—tower). The towers served to raise alarms against invasions of Japanese pirates.


The prefecture-level city of Yantai administers 12 county-level divisions, including 4 districts, 7 county-level cities, 1 county and one development zone.

These are further divided into 148 township-level divisions, including 94 towns, 6 townships and 48 subdistricts.


The region was inhabited by the non-Han people of the Eastern Yi (東夷), who were believed to have established a small state during the Xia Dynasty on the site of present-day Laizhou City. It became a feudal state called Lai (萊國) until the Warring States Period, when it was annexed by the State of Qi. During the Qin Dynasty, Yantai belonged to the Qi Prefecture, later renamed Donglai Prefecture (東萊郡) during the Han Dynasty. The area was known as the Donglai Kingdom during the Jin Dynasty (265-420) but later returned to prefecture status (first jùn, then zhōu). In the Tang Dynasty and following it was known as the Teng-chou prefecture, part of Henan Circuit. Next, the city became the Laizhou Subprefecture (萊州府) and, eventually, the Dengzhou Subprefecture (登州府) in the time of the Qing Dynasty.

In July 1858 the Chinese empire signed the Treaty of Tianjin and Dengzhou was renamed for the last time. Yantai opened its harbor for business in May 1861, but was not officially designated an international trading port until later that year on August 22. This decree was accompanied by the construction of the Donghai Pass (東海關). 17 nations, including Britain, established embassies in Yantai. The Chefoo Convention was signed there in 1876.

Yantai literally means "smoky mound". In the Ming Dynasty, locals used wolf dung to light fires (Langyan) to warn the whole village of approaching Japanese Pirates (Wokou). The city was nothing but a small fishing village until the late 19th century when it became a treaty port for the British, handed over by the falling Qing Dynasty, which had been defeated in the Opium War. Then with the Germans' power over the whole Shandong peninsula in early 20th century, Yantai was also controlled by Germans for about 20 years. After the Americans won World War I, they turned Yantai into a summer station for their entire Asian fleet. Then the Japanese set up a trading establishment in the town. You may be able to get an idea of the different influences at the western style Yantai Museum, which used to be a guild hall. However, the colourful history has not left a distinctive architectural mark, there has never been a foreign concession, and though you will see an occasional nineteenth-century grand European building, most of the town is of much more recent origin. After liberation, the town's name was changed from the original, Chefoo, to Yantai and was opened to the world as an ice-free trade port in 1984.

On November 12, 1911, the eastern division of Tongmeng Hui declared itself a part of the revolutionary movement. The next day, it established the Shandong Military Government (山東軍政府) and, the day after that, renamed itself the Yantai Division of the Shandong Military Government (山東煙台軍政分府). In 1914, Jiaodong Circuit (膠東道) was established with Yantai as the capital. Jiaodong Circuit was renamed Donghai Circuit (東海道) in 1925. On January 19, 1938, Yantai participated as part of an anti-Japanese revolutionary committee.

After the creation of the People's Republic of China, in 1950, Yantai was officially awarded city status with the outer lying towns of Laiyang and Wendeng (文登) tacked on as "Special Regions" (专区). Wendeng was merged into Laiyang six years later, and this larger Laiyang Special Region was combined with Yantai City to become simply Yantai Region (烟台地区). In November 1983, the region became a prefecture-level city. Since then, Yantai has worked its way into becoming a modernized economic center in Shandong Province.


Yantai Region is located north-central on the Shandong Peninsula, south of the Bohai Sea, and parallel to the southern tip of Korea. It has a coast line of 909 km. The topographical breakdown consists of:

  • 36.62% mountain
  • 39.7% hill
  • 20.78% plains
  • 2.90% basins

Average mountain height is 500 meters, with the highest point at 922.8 meters on Mount Kunyu (昆崳山). Hills range from 100 to 300 meters.

There are 121 rivers over 5 kilometer in length, the largest being:

  • Wulong River (五龍河)
  • Dagu River (大沽河)
  • Dagujia River (大沽夾河)
  • Wang River (王河)
  • Jie River (界河)
  • Huangshui River (黃水河)
  • Xin'an River (辛安河)

2643.60 km² is urbanized.

Only Qixia County is located entirely inland, all other county-level entities are coastal, with Changdao consisting entirely of islands.

The annual mean temperature in Yantai is 12 oC. The annual rainfall is 20 mm.


Yantai is currently the second largest industrial city in Shandong, next only to Qingdao.

Two sub-county special economic zones also exist, the Yantai Economy and Technology Development Area (YEDA), created in 1984 in northern Fushan District, and the Yantai Export Processing Area, formed in 2000 in north Zhifu District.

The county-level city of Longkou is well known throughout China for its production of cellophane noodles.


The following are a list of prominent Yantai higher education institutions.


Because of its fair weather and extensive coasts Yantai is a popular summer retreat. It is also home to Asia's first bowling alley, which is no longer in operation. But there is the haunted house on the fourth floor of Parksons, a highly exhilarating tourist attraction.

Penglai City's Dan Cliffs (丹崖) is said to be the departure point of the Eight Immortals on their trip to the Conference of the Magical Peach.

Sister cities

Yantai is a sister city of the following cities around the world.

See Also

Chefoo School

Notable people



Pueblo, Colorado is one of Yantai's sister cities.

External links


Useful Links


Yāntái Shì
Yantai is highlighted on this map
Administration Type Prefecture-level city
City Seat Zhifu District
(37°24′N, 121°16′E)
Area 13,739.9 km²
Coastline 702.5 km
Population 6,468,200 (2003)
- Total
- Per Capita

¥163.9 billion (2003)
¥25,183 (2003)
Major Nationalities Han: 99.80%
Korean: 0.049%
Manchu: 0.048%
Va: 0.020%
Mongol: 0.016%
County-level divisions 12
Township-level divisions 148
CPC Committee Secretary Sun Yongchun 孙永春
Mayor Zhang Jiangting 张江汀
Area code 535
Postal Code 264000-265800
License Plate Prefix 鲁F
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