Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zhifu Island

Zhifu Island , or North Island , is an islet with historical significance in Shandong, China. The name of the islet -- Chefoo -- was generalized to mean the entire Yantai region in older western literature.

* Area: 11.5
* Coast line: 22.5 km
* Average temperature: 11.40-13.50°C

Administratively, Zhifu Island is a part of Dàtuǎn Village , Xingfu Sub-district, Zhifu District, Yantai City, Shandong Province. Dàtuǎn has a part on the mainland, where the offices and most residents are.


Located in Bohai Sea, the island is 4 from Downtown Zhifu and is 10 km x 1 km. Part of Public Road No. 26 connects the western end of the island and the north part of the mainland peninsula. Originally, the island was disconnected from the mainland, but for a period of millennium of years, the sand and soil in the ocean floor built up a 600-metre wide pathway. Thus the island is called the "Mainland-connecting Island" in Chinese ; it could even be considered a small peninsula.

The island's largest mountain is Laoye Mountain at 294.1m. The Old Lady Stone is on a cliff, at 43.49 metres above sea level, named because of its resemblance to a woman hugging the ocean waves. The southern part of the island is forested.


Archeological exhibitions discovered over 200 artifacts, including stone axes, and short axes , pottery fragments, bone needles, and bone hairpin. These and Carbon-14 dating indicated that the island has been settled since the Neolithic period.

People were buried here during the Zhou Dynasty, including Lord Kang of Qi State , who died on the island. The ruins of the cemetery still exist today. Lord Yang Temple was built during the early Zhou Dynasty by the State of Qí to worship Lord Yang, the fifth deity of the Eight Divine Generals .

Because of a legend of a Mountain of Immortality, Qin Shi Huang visited the island three times looking for the elixir. He left a couple of stone inscriptions still visible today:
* During his second visit in 218 BC, he left the inscription: "Arrived at Fu, and carved the stone" .
* The last time , "Came to Fu, saw enormous stone, and shot one fish" .
Today, there are places like Shihuang Way , and Fish-shooting Tower named after the emperor. Having failed to discover the elixir, he sent a Xu Fu off the mainland from Yantai, to sail away and find the elixir of life with hundreds of men and women.

After performing a ceremony in the Yangzhu Temple, also left an inscription in 94 BC: "Arrived at Zhifu, which floats on Great Ocean. Mountains call out 'Ten thousand years!" .

Now, the island is mainly a tourist attraction, although clams and abalones can be fished here in abundance.


Possibilities include:
# "A Barrier in the Shape of a Magical Plant"
#* ''Zhi'' is a magical and powerful plant, which the island's shape resembles
#* ''Fu'' a barrier of ocean
# A magical mountain name
#* From Qin Dynasty's Zhifu , officially changed to the present character in late Qing Dynasty.

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