Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, is located in the heart of China. Tourists have long been coming here to enjoy the fantastic subtropical nature and rich cultural heritage. Zhengzhou is the cradle of Chinese civilization. It is here that the legendary Shaolin Monastery is located, where thousands of lovers of martial arts flock every day. Check liuxers for customs and traditions of China.
And in Zhengzhou there is the largest manufacturing hub, where, among other things, iPhones are produced.
The city was built by the Shang and Xia dynasties as the capital from which the spread of ancient Chinese culture and art began throughout the country. Today Zhengzhou is a famous industrial and historical center, one of the most ancient, and, according to the Chinese, the best place to live in the central part of the state.
How to get to Zhengzhou
There are no direct flights from Moscow to Zhengzhou. But there are convenient transfers in Guangzhou and Shanghai. A Moscow-Beijing-Zhengzhou ticket from Air China costs from 730 USD. Travel time, taking into account a 2-hour transfer, is more than 11 hours.
The airport is located 37 km from the city. The shuttle departs from the Zhengzhou Hotel in front of the train station and costs 15 CNY.
You should beware of taxi drivers who are on duty next to bus ticket offices both in the city and at the airport. They will convince you that the buses are full and the only option to get to your destination is to take a taxi from 80 CNY. In fact, tickets are always available, you need to contact the box office.
What to watch
You can start with the Henan Provincial Museum, founded in 1927. This is one of the oldest and largest museums in China. Its location has changed many times, and today it is located on Nongye Road in Jinshui District. The exposition consists of 3 parts: main, specialized and temporary.
The main exposition is presented by historical and cultural monuments of the period of the Ming and Qing dynasties, found in the province of Henan. The age of the finds and their characteristics once again convince that this region is rightfully considered the cradle of Chinese civilization. The specialized exposition is represented by bronze vessels of the Shang and Zhou eras, as well as ceramics and porcelain, stone carvings from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The museum also organizes regular exchanges of exhibits with Chinese and foreign museums – they are presented within the walls of the temporary exhibition hall.
The Divine Temple, located on the north side of Shancheng Road, is considered the largest and most complete ancient architectural complex in Henan Province. The temple complex dedicated to the Taoist god was built in the 15th century, after which it was rebuilt more than once. In the end, it was still seriously destroyed by the earthquake and is now used as a venue for a handicraft fair. Its main buildings, including the Mountain Gate, the Front Pavilion, the House of Happiness, the Main Temple and the Emperor’s Rest Square, are today used for exhibitions of handicrafts and food sales. The largest fair is held annually on the 18th day of the 3rd moon.
The Temple of Confucius is dedicated, as you might guess, to the great Chinese philosopher. It was built about 2000 years ago, when the capital of the Eastern Han Empire was the city of Luoyang located near Zhengzhou. Today the temple consists of several buildings. The center of the complex is the Dacheng Pavilion. It is covered with glazed tiles with ornaments. The multicolor paintings depict the Jade Emperor, the supreme deity in Taoism and a character in Chinese legends of the Three Kingdoms. These kingdoms emerged after the fall of the Eastern Han Empire in 220 BC. Every spring and autumn, sacrificial ceremonies are held in the temple.
After the release of many films about the Shaolin masters in the 1970s, this small and peaceful monastery in Henan has become a real Mecca for fans of kung fu movies.
Meanwhile, Shaolin has a long and complicated history. It closed and opened, collapsed and rebuilt. Shaolin is the main monastery of the followers of the Buddhism of the same name, based on the interaction of martial arts and Zen philosophy. Today it is actively supported by the state, which understands the huge tourist and cultural opportunities of this place. Since 2010, Shaolin has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The monastery is located near the city of Dengfeng. It is only 2 hours from Zhengzhou by bus departing from the Central Station.
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Zhengzhou has a wonderful climate, making it possible to travel here at any time of the year. The hottest month is July (+27 °C), the coldest is January (0 °C). The main influx of travelers occurs in spring and late summer.
Accommodation in Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou offers a variety of accommodation options from hostels to luxury hotels at generally affordable prices. A night in a five-star Hilton will cost about 600 CNY. A standard room in a three-star hotel in the city center costs around 280 CNY. A bed in a hostel is offered for 111 CNY, and a stylish apartment – for 150 CNY.