Tai'an is a city in Shandong.
If you are coming from Qingdao, regular trains run to Tai'an and take 6 hours while costing ¥56-65 one way. Express trains also run from Qingdao and take only 3.5 hours, though the ticket price jumps to ¥148. As of July 2009, express trains only leave from Qingdao at 6AM and 10:30AM. Purchasing your train ticket in advance is a must during busy season, unless you don't mind standing in the aisle for the entire trip. Both the regular and express trains pass through Jinan.
Alternatively, you can also take a bus from Qingdao's Sifang long-distance bus station. The trip takes 6 hours and costs ¥116. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to figure out the bus schedule without going to the bus station (there is no number to call and nobody in town seems to be familiar with the schedule), but Sifang is a short cab ride from town (only about ¥12-15 from the train station).