A Panorama of Culture in Henan
Henan is the cradle of Chinese civilization. Over the past 5000 years more than 200 emperors in over 20 dynasties have chosen to build their capital cities there. It was used to serve as a political, economic and cultural center of ancient China, which spanned over 3000 years. Among the eight ancient capitals in China four are located in Henan, including Luoyang (an ancient capital of nine dynasties), Kaifeng ( ancient capital of seven dynasties), Anyang (the ancient capital of the Yin and Shang Dynasties), and Zhengzhou (the ancient capital of the Shang Dynasty). Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, the ruins of the ancient capital of the Yin Dynasty in Anyang and the ancient architectural ensemble in Dengfeng have been placed on the list of world cultural heritage sites. Additionally, Henan is the birthplace of martial arts, world-renowned Shaolin martial arts and Chen-style taiji boxing.
A Panorama of Culture in Henan: Luoyang, Dengfeng & Zhengzhou
Day 1: When you step out of the railway station or airport you will see your guide holding a name sign. Your guide will take you to the driver and take you to the hotel. You will make full use of the day by visiting the Longmen Grottoes and White Horse Temple. Longmen Grottoes is famous for being one of the four greatest grottoes in China. The niches and shrines chiseled there are complete and demonstrate spectacular Buddhism artworks from late North Wei Dynasty to Tang Dynasty.
Day 2: In the morning you will visit the Eastern Zhouwangcheng Tianzijialiu Museum. It was built over the original site to display the horses and chariots for emperor and officials in the Eastern Zhou period. After, you will take a stroll around Laochengqu, which means “old district of the city.” It is the first district in Luoyang with many temples, memorial halls and drum towers could be seen. After lunch at a local restaurant you will visit the White Horse Pagoda, which is the first Buddhist temple in China. You will see relics from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Later, you will be escorted to Dengfeng.
Day 3: Wake up early for the Kungfu day tour. It takes about an hour to get to Dengfeng where Shaolin Temple is. Shaolin Temple was built in 495 AD and is well known for Shaolin Kungfu taught in the Temple. There are monks living in the Temple that practice martial arts every day. You will not only see a Kungfu show but also take a look at the environment and way they live. After a vegetarian lunch at a local restaurant you will visit the Pagoda Forest (tombs for famous monks), and Songshan Academy (the cradle of Neo-Confucianism in Song Dynasty). Later, you will take the private vehicle to Zhengzhou.
Day 4: You should not miss the Henan Museum when you are in Zhengzhou. Its large collections rank after the Forbidden City in Beijing and Taipei, due to its prehistoric relics, bronze ware of Shang and Zhou Dynasties, porcelains and jade artworks. It is worth the three hour visit. Lunch will be arranged at a local restaurant and followed by a visit to the Yellow River Scenic Area. Yellow River is the mother river of China and the second longest river in the county and the fifth longest river in the world. Feel free to climb the Jimu Pavilion to have a great view of the roaring yellow water. Later, you will be escorted to Kaifeng for the night.
Day 5: A full day city tour in Kaifeng is arranged to include Millennium City Park/ Qingming Grand-River Park, Dragon Pavilion, Kaifeng House Scenic Resort, and Jewish xx site. Qingming Grand-River Park 、Millennium City Park is made based on the famous picture of Qingming Grand River by Zhang Zeduan, a painter in North Song Dynasty. The Park is themed by daily life, folk customs, imperial gardens and entertainment, and successfully creates a picturesque scene. Walking in the Park is like walking back in time. Your tour guide will advise you on the people living during the Song Dynasty. Dragon Pavilion, despite it sounding like a pavilion, is a palace built high enough to have great views of Pan Lake and Yang Lake. Iron Tower is a wooden building of 13 floors that is 55.88 meters. It also has dark black glass tiles that were embedded on Iron Tower resembling a tower made of iron. The patterns carved on the glass tiles include unicorns, bodhisattva, singing and dancing girls and lions. After lunch in a local restaurant you will visit Kaifeng House Scenic Resort. There, you will learn about Bao Zheng, which is a symbol of justice and a government officer in Song Dynasty. He gave rulings with justice in mind. Besides historical records there are live shows available to experience the ancient courtroom in Song Dynasty. You may also find the Jewish Quarters interesting though Jews in Kaifeng are not recognized by Israel Jews. Many records show that Jews in Kaifeng moved there more than 700 years ago.
Day 6: You’ll ride back to Zhengzhou to catch your flight or train for next destination.
Meals: breakfast included in the hotel, fine local restaurants for lunch or dinner upon your request
- Note: If you visit Luoyang during mid to late April it will be perfect to attend the annual Peony Flower Festival. Thousands of peony flowers bloom and people nationwide rush there to take beautiful pictures.