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Home Travel in Henan Let's Enjoy the Mountains(Mt.Song)
Let's Enjoy the Mountains(Mt.Song)
Travel in Henan

China's spectacular mountain landscapes attract the professional climber and wide-eyed adventurer alike. Serious climbers are drawn to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau to scale the challenging summit of Mt. Everest -known as Mt. Qomolongma in China- the tallest peak in the world. And others naturally gravitate to China's Five Sacred Mountain Peaks, which Han Emperor Wu Di declared sacred in the 2nd century BC.
Given the weather, May is one of the best seasons for climbing up the mountains. So do not hesitate, follow us and let’s enjoy the mountain.


General introduction
Located in Dengfeng (登封) County of Henan Province, Mount Song (嵩山) is called the Central Mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains. It has 36 peaks and stretches 60 kilometers, composed of Mount. Taishi(太室) and Mount. Shaoshi(少室).The highest peak is 1494 meters above sea level.
Mount Song has fine natural scenery. Its 72 mountains, grouped around the peaks of Mount Shaoshi and Mount Taishi, extend for about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from east to west. Besides these mountains, there are many valleys, caves, pools and waterfalls, each of which provides the visitor with a unique and wonderful experience. The landscape is so unique that it has been given the title of 'International Geological Park' by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (UNESCO).
The history of Mount Song is as rich and interesting as its landscape. Mount Song is on the south bank of the Yellow River in China. The nearby Shaolin Temple(少林寺) is the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, and even today the temple's Forest of Pagodas named Ta Lin(塔林)is the largest in China. The Zhongyue Temple (中岳寺)is also located here, one of the earliest Taoist temples in the country. The Songyang Academy(嵩阳书院) nearby was one of the four great academies of ancient China. The mountain and its vicinity are populated with Taoist and especially Buddhist monasteries. The 6th century Songyue Pagoda(嵩岳塔寺) is also located here, as well as Tang Dynasty (618–907) pagodas within the Fawang Temple(法王寺).

How to get to Mt.Song
Dengfeng is located in the middle of Mt.Song, you can first reach Dengfeng, then go to the tourist attractions you would like to go.
Dengfeng is not far from Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province. You can take a bus to Dengfeng in any bus stations in Zhengzhou.

What to see in Mt.Song
Mt.Song stretches for 64km between the cities of Luoyang and Zhengzhou. The mountain range is covered in walking paths and there is no single designated route (unlike other Chinese sacred mountains). The slopes are populated with various Taoist and Buddhist temples, pagodas and guard towers.
There are several options for exploring Song Shan. The best way is to stay at Dengfeng, a town at the center of the Mt.Song range. From here you can occupy several days wandering the paths around the valleys, which pass various temples and pagodas and provide some wonderful views along the way. The slopes up here are not steep and the undergrowth is sparse, so you can set out in pretty much any direction.

Here we have two ways for you to choose.

The line of Mt.Shaoshi
The Sanhuang Geopark, Shaolin Temple and Forest of Pagodas are all in the Mt.Shaoshi. So you can enjoy them together.
You can start your journey from the Sanhuang Geopark, and then go to the Erzu Nunnery, at last reach the Forest of Pagodas and Shaolin Temple, in which you can enjoy the Wushu show.

Sanhuang Geopark
The scenery in the Sanhuang Geopark is beyond any description and your vivid imagination. So let’s the picture tell you the truth.

Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Temple is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. The temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts such as Shaolin Cudgel. The temple was built in 495, the 19th year of the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty. Shaolin Temple is known in and outside of China for Shaolin wushu (martial arts).

Shaolin kongfu

Forest of Pagodas
About 300 meters west of the Shaolin Temple is the Forest of Pagodas. In accordance with the Buddhist system, pagodas were built there to keep the remains of the deceased abbots and other eminent monks, and stone table inscribed with the merits and virtues of the dead were erected. It has 231 Pagodas built during the 1,200 years after 791, the eleventh year of the reign (780-805) of Emperor Dezong of the Tang Dynasty. The form and size of the pagodas bear the influences of the times and show the ranks of the dead during their lifetimes and the economic situation at the temple. The pagodas vary in appearance and are from one to seven stories high, the highest being 15 meters.


1. How to get to the Sanhuang Geopark? You can take the NO3.Bus to the Gengzhuang(耿庄), and then transfer to a pedicab(the fee is about RMB2 per person) to the Sanhuang Geopark; or you can take a taxi, but do not forget to bargain with driver(about RMB40).

2. Admission Fee is RMB100 (including Shanghuang Geopark, Shaolin Templ and Forest of Pagodas).

3. There is Cable way between Wangluo Peak in Sanhuang Geopark and Forest of Pagodas, and the Erzu Nunnery is transferring station. But you had better go down to the Forest of Pagodas on foot, as the scenery along the way is very beautiful. The fee of the Cable way: RMB 50 (From Wangluo Peak to Forest of Pagodas); RMB10 (From to Erzu Nunnery to Forest of Pagodas).

4. You have to take enough food and water with you. Maybe you can not get the food and water in the Sanhuang Geopark. And it will take 3~4 hours for you to travel in the Sanhuang Geopark.

5. If it is very late when you finish your journey, you can find a family inn near Shaolin Temple.

The line of Mt.Taishi
This line combines the landscape and history perfectly. You can start from Zhongyue Temple, and then reach Songyang Academy along the road. When you arrive at the Laomu Cave(老姆洞), you really begin to climb Mt.Taishi. Finally you can get to the Junji Peak(峻极峰) pass through Junji Temple, Tower of Songyue Temple, Xanadu(行宫) and White Cane Taoist Temple(白鹤观). After having a rest, you can go down the mountain to enjoy the Luya Waterfalls(卢崖瀑布), which is the end of this line.

Zhongyue Temple
The Zhongyue Temple is nicknamed the Little Palace. The temple is one of the oldest of its kind in China, originally built in the Qin Dynasty over 2,200 years ago, and moved to its present site in the Tang (618-907). Along the center line of the temple lie about 400 constructions of various kinds including archways, pavilions, terraces, gates, halls, and towers, as well as many (over 300) tall, gnarled and weather-beaten cypresses, mostly in the large courtyard. It covers an area of 370,000 square meters.

Songyang Academy
The Songyang Academy, one of the most famous ancient academies, is also located here. Celebrities of ancient times like Sima Guang, Cheng Yi and Fan Zhongyan all gave lectures here. The building of the academy is old and elegant, but mostly broken. At the west side, there are two high and old cypresses named Great General and Second General, they are the oldest cypresses with over 4,000 years of history.

Songyue Pagoda

Songyue Pagoda is the earliest Buddhist tower existing in China. It was built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (520). It has 15 storeys and a height of over 40 meters. With superb craft, it is the oldest polygonal tower in China.

Junji Peak
Luya Waterfalls

Luya Waterfalls is one of the eight greatest sights in Mt.Song. The most famous attractions in Luya Waterfall are Yi Xiantian, which is a 170-meter gap between two hills, its width is less than 1 meter, but the height is about 15ometers and Luya Temple, Luya Waterfalls, etc.

1. Admission Fee
Zhongyue Temple: RMB 25
Songyang Academy: RMB 25
Mt.Taishi: RMB 25. But you can bargain with the people who sell the tickets.
Luya Waterfalls: RMB 25
Fawang Temple: RMB20

2. The distance between Songyang Academy and the entrance of Mt.Taishi is a little long, so you’d better take a bus (NO2), or taxi. As it is a tiring job to climb the Mt.Taishi.

3. It is a tiring job to climb the Mt.Taishi, it will take about 5 hours to climb the mountain, especially the road between the Xanadu and Junji Peak. What’s more, there’s no cable way in Mt. Taishi, so those people who are not often exercising had better don’t have a try. You can get down to the Luya Waterfalls after you visit the Xanadu.

4. You have to take enough food and water with you. Maybe you can not get the food and water in the Mt.Taishi.

Hotels in Mt. Song
There are three kinds of hotels in the Mt. Song, the one in the mountain, the one at the foot of the mountain and the on in the city. Which one is suitable is depends on your own situation.

Hotels in the mountain
The Hotels in the mountain is more expensive
1. Shaolin International Hotel(少林国际大酒店), 3 stars, Tel: 0371-62866188
The only four-star hotel in the mountain and it is near the Shaolin Temple.
Price: two-bed room: RMB680(see the picture
2. Songyang Hotel(嵩阳宾馆), Tel:0371-62881558
It is not far from Songyang Academy
Price: two-bed room: RMB 168, one-bed room: RMB 88(see the picture
3. There are lots of family inns near Shaolin Temple; you can choose the one you like. But you have to make sure the price with the owner before you lodge in.

At the foot of the mountain

The price is much lower than that in the mountain, and it is very convenient to get into the mountain.
1. LuMing Villa Hotel(鹿鸣山庄), Tel:0371-62890666
Price: two-bed room: RMB 438. (see the picture
2. Shaolin Hotel(少林宾馆),Tel:0371-60167777
Price: two-bed room: RMB 228(see the picture
3. Tianzhong Hotel (天中大酒店)
Price: two-bed room: RMB 688(see the picture

Hotels in the Dengfeng
There are lots of hotels in different levers in Dengfeng. And it takes about half an hour by bus for you to get into the mountain.
1. Fengyuan Hotel(丰源大酒店): Tel: 0371-62867090
Price: two-bed room: RMB200(see the picture
2. Xilaideng Hotel(登封市喜来登快捷酒店),Tel:0371-62811555
Price: two-bed room: RMB128(see the picture

1. The price is very different according to different season and the gap may be very large, you had better make sure before.

2. If you book on the internet, it will be much cheaper. Here are some useful website(has English version)

Local food
Bake cake with sesame(芝麻焦盖烧饼)

Niu Sheto(牛舌头)

It is made of flour, and is backed in the pan by slow fire. The length of it is about half an inch.

Differ from the other noodle, Dengfeng noodle is made from mung bean and wheat.

The local people will put meat powder, vermicelli and some spices into the soup prepared from bones of pig, and boil it down. The caky mass is Menzi.

It is good to health. For example, anti-decrepitude, anti-canker, lowering blood sugar and so on.

Other tips
1. Things you need to prepare before climbing up the mountain:
Thick sweater or overcoat and Sport shoes
Medicine (according to your own situation)
Suntan oil, topee and sunglasses: the sunlight is very strong in the mountain
Raincoat: Remember don’t take umbrella; there is often strong wind in mountain when it is raining, so it is very dangerous if you are holding an umbrella.

2. There are lots of monks and nuns in the mountain, so you have to pay attention to the manners.
When you see the monks or nuns, you can put the palms together and slightly lower your head, in order to show your respect. Do not embrace or shake hands with them.
When you talk with the monks or nuns, please do not mention the kill and marriage.
When you come to the Buddhist ceremony, please keep quiet or leave away.

3. The local food in Dengfeng is very delicious, but you’d better not eat street food, as it is not so healthy.