Traveling Tip on the Roads of Shandong:
We encourage you to travel Shandong but we want you to be safe and enjoy your trip. I have traveled extensively throughout this province and I think the following will help you be prepared, enjoy your trip and know what to do if there is an emergency.Traveling during holidays:
Shandong has many popular tourist destinations and there are 95 million people in this province and more and more people are hitting the roads and visiting these historical sites. This means there will be lots of people on the roads and at the popular destinations especially during national holidays.
I personally avoid all major destinations during holidays. As an example a few times I went to Taian to visit Mount Tai during the May Holiday. It is a beautiful spot but I waited over 2.5 hours in line-ups to catch the cable car to go up the mountain. I got to the top only to find a sea of short black haired people swarming every nook and cranny. If you like lots of people then you will fit right in but if you don’t then I suggest you go during the week or off season.
Finally with all the bad drivers especially when getting in and around the destination or in the city you must drive paying full attention as people have bad habits and tend to cross roads without looking, do u-turns anywhere and anytime, and stop without notice in the middle of the road. Pay extra careful attention on the roads and be patient with the craziness you will encounter. You screaming and flipping your finger at every second car will not make for a pleasant trip so understand it is the way it is, keep your cool and focus on the people you're with. Better yet let us do the driving so you can enjoy the scenery. Check out tour packages and services here.Check list:
Call your destination before you travel to confirm they are open and not under renovation or something of the sort, confirm the pricing and address.
Check out the destination on Google or Baidu Maps. Note you can simply put in our GPS coordinates into Google maps and you will see the exact location then you can click “Satellite View” to see the actual terrain and surroundings or click the “Map View” to get a road map and directions.
Print off a series of maps and highlight the roads you will take. Pack some water, snacks or drinks of choice for the trip. (Don’t forget toilet paper because most of the service stations are not equipped with it.)
Leave yourself plenty of extra time for road construction, detours or delays and just plain old getting lost. It is real easy to do in this country so don’t feel bad if you do.Maps and Highways:
You will quickly learn that maps don’t match the roads or signs don’t match the maps or visa-verse. I still encourage you to pick up a road atlas from the local book store and also use a GPS. Most destinations are listed in GPS maps but you may need a Chinese person to help you type in the characters and bookmark for the trip.Emergencies on Shandong Highways:
Although the maps and signage aren’t that good in Shandong the highways are very well constructed.
Every expressway (gaosu - 高速), national highway (guodao - 国道) and provincial roads (shengdao - 省道) all have road markers down one side or the other. If you look just off the pavement you will see little square posts every 100 meters marked with 1 – 9 and the tenth one will be a tomb stone type head stone that tells you the name of the road and the kilometer number. This indicates your exact position. All major roads have a starting point being kilometer one and carries on until the end of the road.
Example: A lid from a Qingdao Beer truck blew off the truck and hit my car one day. I had to call the police to write a report and they asked me where I was. All I had to do was find the nearest Kilometer marker, note the kilometer I was at and the road name, then the 100 meter marker number and they drove to my exact location. (I said I am on the 299 Guodao at kilometer marker 56.3)
So if you need a tow truck, call the police or any other matter all you need to do is tell them the road name, kilometer marker and sub-marker and they will know exactly where you are.
Shandong Highways phone number: 96659Enjoy your Journey:
Travel safe, drive the speed limit or even a little under I always recommend. Don’t be in a hurry! Give yourself extra time so you can drive a little slower, stop once and a while for a snack or to stretch your legs and take in some of the sites and views along your journey.