Zhengzhou
shaolin.jpg - 12668 Bytes Located on the lower reaches of the Yellow River in an area rich in neolithic and bronze age remains, Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province, was one of the cradles of China's civilization. Zhengzhou was one of the first cities built in China, dating from the Shang Dynasty 3,500 years ago.

Today, Zhengzhou can serve as a center from which to visit Anyang, capital of the Shang dynasty (1600BC - 1027BC); Kaifeng , capital of the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127); and Luoyang, capital during the Sui dynasty (581-618). It is also to start the pilgrimage to Shaolin Temple, famous for Da Mo (Bodhidharma), the founder of Zen and Shaolin martial art.
Zhengzhou City Ratings
** The following ratings are based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.
History(8) Art(6) Local Culture/Unique Tour(6)
Nature/Scenic(4) Food/Shopping(3) Night Life(4)
Religion(7) Adventure/Sports(4) Reasonable Cost(7)
Recommended Days of Stay: 2 -3 Zhengzhou City Map

Quick Facts
Population - 1.43 million
People - Han
When to go
Tourist Season - February to May and August to November;
Coldest Month - January with temperature as low as -10 C;
Hottest Months - July with temperature as high as 40C;
Annual Precipitation - 500-900 millimeters (mainly in July through September)
Getting In and Out
By Air - Zhenzhou is about two hour flight from Beijing. It has links with 26 Chinese cities and HK. The airport is 35 km from downtown.
By Train - Zhenzhou is eight hour away from Beijing by train. The train station is 7 km from downtown.

History


Zhengzhou's history traces back to a neolithic village of 3760-3610BC whose remains belonged to the Yangshao or 'painted pottery' culture.

Zhengzhou was also the one of the capitals of Shang Dynasty. Its importance declined when the rulers of Shang finally moved to the city of Anyang.

Zhengzhou regained its importance through the Peking-Hankou railway which was built between 1898 and 1906. It became a major hub. Another famous case of recent history was also related to the same railway. On February 7, 1923, railroad workers went on strike. The local warlord shot 35 workers dead. This event was remembered as one of the first workers' movement in China.

During the Sino-Japan war, Chang Kai-shek blew the dykes of Yellow River to hold back the advancement of Japanese armies. He killed nearly one million people.


Henan Museum * * * * *
This museum has a stunning collection because Henan is one of the provinces richest in archaeological sites. There are rooms devoted to the neolithic, with many of the findings from Dahecun, the neolithic village. Also look for the dinosaur exhibit, a jade burial suit held together with gold thread, gold and silver inlaid in bronze and tomb figures.

Dahecun Village * *
It is a 5,000-year-old site of the Yanagshao and Longshan neolithic cultures. It is not particularly well organized.

Yin Ruins * * * *
These ruins located in Anyang (200 km from Zhengzhou) include the palace foundation from Yin. There are 11 royal tombs, bronze and jade artifacts. You can also purchase reproductions of the palace, hang chariots, and guardian tomb figures. If you are interested in the women's roles in Chinese history, you should also check out the Tomb of Fu Hao, concubine of King Wuding. She was said to be the first woman general in Chinese history.

Temple of the First Lin & Begian Miao Temple * * *
If you have the first name of Lin or Lim, these two temples located in Anyang are must see for you. Legend has it that during Yin Shang Dynasty, Bigan was the son of Emperor Zhou, who was a brutal ruler. Bigan tried to persuade Zhou to change his ways. Zhou was greatly irritated and killed his own son by cutting his heart out. Bigan's son escaped to a place called Chang Lin (Forest Land). He then changed his name to Lin. The temple of the First Lin and Begian Miao Temple were all erected in memory of this change.

Art
Wen Feng Pagoda * * * * *
Built in 952 AD, Wen Feng Pagoda is five stories and 40 meters high. The top is wider above than below and is crowned with a tiny white stupa.

Local Culture/Unique Tour
Shaolin Marshall Art Training School * * *
This school is close to the Shaolin Temple. Come here for exhibitions and classes. There are also many private schools (43) around the temple. The largest is said to hold 7,000 people.

Nature/Scenic
Mangshan / Yellow River Scenic Area
This is a park on the south shore of Yellow River, the second longest river in China. Mangshan has lifts. You can also climb to the top of it to have a good view of the river. For a closer look at the river, take the 45-minute cruise. Yellow River is actually the most heavily silted river in the world. A cruise on this river is like bouncing on a mud flat. It is quite an interesting experience. Also pay attention to the dikes of the river. Due to many years of building, the dikes and the water level are three to ten meters higher than ground level.

Food/ Shopping
Famous Local Restaurants
- Yue Xiu Restaurant
This place has the best Cantonese food in town. Local food is not very tasty. You would have to go to top hotel restaurants for better food.


Antique Shopping
Zhengzhou Jade Carving Factory

Religion
Shaolin Temple * * * * *
Shaolin Temple is 80m km from Zhengzhou, located in Song Shan Mountain. See Mountains for introduction.

Adventure/Sports
Anyang Aerial Sports School
This is the main place in China for hang gliding, sky diving, hot air ballooning and parachuting.

 

 

 
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