[Judge Dee] Map of Pénglái

Pénglái (蓬萊) is the city where Judge Dee starts his mandarinal career. Contrary to the districts in the later novels, many of which are fictional, Pénglái is a real port city on the Bóhǎi Sea, on the north-eastern coast of Shāndōng Province.

Close to the wilderness, to the sea, and to the frontier provinces of north-eastern China, Pénglái is an excellent starting point for a role-playing campaign set in Imperial China.

The map below is from Robert van Gulik's novel The Chinese Gold Murders.

1. Tribunal
2. Temple of Confucius
3. Temple of War God
4. Temple of City God
5. Drum Tower
6. Nine Flowers Orchard
7. Hostel
8. Crab Restaurant
9. Wharf
10. River
11. Korean Quarter
12. Creek
13. Rainbow Bridge
14. White Cloud Temple
15. Flower Boats
16. Watergate
17. Town House Dr. Tsao
18. Yee's house
19. Koo's house
20. Restaurant


  1. This got me to start rereading the Judge Dee stories for the first time since 1983 or so. I took an anthro class on Chinese history and culture as an undergrad with maybe 3-5 total students. The prof. assigned the Gold Bell Murders as way to give the class a feel for Tang Dynasty culture (with anachronisms).

    1. Well, the stories are so full of anachronisms [on purpose, of course] that they'd rather function as introductory reading for Míng Dynasty culture!