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Home Travel in Henan Zhengzhou - One of the Eight Chinese Ancient Capitals
Zhengzhou - One of the Eight Chinese Ancient Capitals
Travel in Henan

Zhengzhou's Nightview




















The capital city of Henan Province (hé nán shěng 河南省) since 1949, Zhengzhou (zhèng zhōu 郑州) is located in the middle of China, about 689km (413 miles) southwest of Beijing, 998km (599 miles) northwest of Shanghai. After the Longhai Railway (lǒng hǎi tiě lù 陇海铁路; Lanzhou to Lianyungang) and the Jingjiu Railway (jīng jiǔ tiě lù 京九铁路; Beijing to Kowloon) were completed, their intersection, Zhengzhou, became a vital transportation hub. Thanks to this important position, the city has prospered.

As sprawling industrial city of six million and a major railway stop on the Beijing-Guangzhou rail lines, Zhengzhou was once a former ancient Shang Dynasty (1700-1100 BC) capital, though few traces of its 3,000-year history remain. Many travelers simply overnight here en route to Kaifeng (kāi fēng 开封) and Luoyang (luò yáng 洛阳), but the quickly modernizing town is not unattractive – with clean, wide boulevards lined with numerous upmarket boutiques and shops branching off around the train station – but its role as a major rail transport junction in the region is the real reason it's the capital city. Zhengzhou's proximity to the Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河; 30km/18 miles to the north) also makes it a convenient base from which to explore the river.


History

Remains of Shang Dynasty in ZhengzhouThe Shang Dynasty established Aodu (áo dū 隞都) or Bodu (bó dū 亳都) in Zhengzhou. The pre-historical city had been long lost even before the time of the First Emperor of China. Since 1950 archaeological finds have shown that there were Neolithic settlements in the area and that the Shang Bronze Age culture, which flourished there from about 1500 BC, was centered on a walled city. Outside this city, in addition to remains of large public buildings, a complex of small settlements has been discovered. The site is generally identified with the Shang capital of Ao. It is preserved in the Shang Dynasty Ruins monument in Guanchen District. The Shang, who continually moved their capital, left Ao, perhaps in the 13th century BC. The site, nevertheless, remained occupied; Zhou (post-1050 BC) tombs have also been discovered. Traditionally it is held that in the Western Zhou period (1111-771 BC) it became the fief of a family named Guan. From this derives the name borne by the county (xiàn 县) since the late 6th century BC — Guancheng (guǎn chéng 管城; City of the Guan). The city first became the seat of a prefectural administration in AD 587, when it was named Guanzhou. In 605 it was first called Zhengzhou — a name by which it has been known virtually ever since.

The name of Zhengzhou came from the Sui Dynasty (AD 581), even though it was located in Chenggao, another town. The government moved to the contemporary city during the Tang Dynasty. It achieved its greatest importance under the Sui (AD 581-618), Tang (AD 618-907), and early Song (AD 960-1127) dynasties, when it was the terminus of the New Bian Canal, which joined the Yellow River to the northwest. There, at a place called Heyin, a vast granary complex was established to supply the capitals at Luoyang and Chang'an to the west and the frontier armies to the north. In the Song period, however, the transfer of the capital eastward to Kaifeng robbed Zhengzhou of much of its importance. It was a capital during the five dynasties of Xia, Shang, Guan, Zheng, and Han, and a prefecture during the eight dynasties of Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing.

Map of ZhengzhouWhen the Communist government came to power in 1949, Zhengzhou was a commercial and administrative center, but it had virtually no industry. Because it was the center of a densely populated cotton-growing district, it was developed into an industrial city, with industry concentrated on the west side so that the prevailing northeast winds would blow fumes away from the city. There are cotton-textile plants, spinning mills, textile-machinery works, flour mills, tobacco and cigarette factories, and various food-processing plants; coal is mined nearby.

Now, the prefecture-level city of Zhengzhou administers 12 county-level divisions, including 6 districts, 5 county-level cities and 1 county.


Climate

Beautiful ZhengzhouWith a pleasant climate, Zhengzhou is welcoming all year round. The hottest month is July and the average temperature is about 27 ℃ (80.6 ℉) while the coldest month is January with an average temperature of -0.2 ℃ (31.64 ℉).

Autumn and spring are the best and the peak tourist seasons. You can enjoy a more beautiful Zhengzhou at that time.



Attractions

Erqi Memorial TowerAs an ancient Chinese capital and a traditional trading center, Zhengzhou maintains abundant cultural heritage that reflects its glorious history as well as the culture of Henan Province. Zhengzhou Confucius Temple (zhèng zhōu kǒng miào 郑州孔庙), initially Zhengzhou Confucius Templesbuilt in the Eastern Han Dynasty, is one of the oldest Confucius Temples in China. Other important architectural heritage in the city includes the Remains of the Shang Dynasty, Town God Temple (chéng huáng miào 城隍庙), and Erqi Memorial Tower (èr qī jì niàn tǎ 二七纪念塔). There are the remains of the Shang Dynasty capital city in Zhengzhou's east side located around Shangcheng Road.
 

Mount Songshan

Mount Songshan
(sōng shān 嵩山), one of the Five Sacred Mountains of China, is of great historical and cultural significance. It was long being an important venue for the ancient Chinese emperors, kings and ministers to hold grand ceremony of worship of heaven to pray and say thanks for peace and prosperity. Also, poets, men of letters came here to propagate doctrines of the ancient sages; princes, dukes, ministers came here to deliver Mount Songshana sermon; Chinese and foreign tourists have been coming to admire the wonderful views.

In recent years, there are many new tour activities, such as, mountaineering, Wushu, archaeological studies, religion tour, astronomy tour, geological tour, forest tour, and customs tour, forming a comprehensive tourist system and the Songshan scenery spot has become a good place for sightseeing, mountaineering, adventure, research and recreation.


Shaolin Temple

Shaolin TempleWhile it is not a tourist city, it is an example of a remarkably fast-changing city in China (without minor tourism clutter). The best known tourist attraction is the Shaolin Temple (Shào lín sì 少林寺), which is more than 50 miles southwest of downtown Zhengzhou. The Shaolin Temple is not only known as one of China's important Buddhist shrines, but also as the ancient center of Chinese kung-fu. When the temple was built in 495, the temple was originally designed to house Batuo (bá tuó 跋陀), a celebrated Indian monk, who, after many years of spreading Buddhism, was later known as Fo Tuo (fó tuó 佛陀), or Grand Monk. In 537, another famous Indian monk, named Boddhidharma (pú tí dá mó 菩提达摩), settled in the temple. According to legend, he created a primitive bare-hand combat routine called " xingyi boxing " (xíng yì quán 形意拳) after he had sat meditating in a cave for nine years. That started the kung-fu tradition at the temple.

Admission Fee: CNY100


Yellow River scenic spot

Yellow RiverYellow River scenic spot (huáng hé fēng jǐng qū 黄河风景区) is located in Zhengzhou city northwest 30 kilometers place, yellow river of flood of its north Lin Tao (lín táo 临洮), hill of lofty high mountain is depended on south. Here greenery full hill, booth cabinet set each other off, picturesque scenery, attractive scenery. Uprise north looks, yellow River water is not had border without limit, vast and mighty.

Attracting tourist of about a hundred 10 thousand China and foreign countries every year, it is known as the bright phearl of a bright.


Henan Museum

Zhengzhou's most notable cultural institution is the Henan Museum (hé nán bó wù guǎn 河南博物馆), one of China's most important museums. The provincial museum in particular requires at least a half day visit to do justice to the many impressive exhibits, which range from prehistoric times, including dinosaur bones, up through the Qing Dynasty. The museum is one of the three key museums in China along with one in Beijing. If you are Henan Museuminto modern art, this is not the place for you. It generally has acceptable squat toilets on the first floor. There is an English audio tour you can rent, and there are cheapish lockers to store your stuff. Come to see old pottery from the Song dynasty, old bells, bronzes, things like that, but anything more recent does not have English captions. Across the street is a coffee house that makes ok tea and coffee for about ¥30 and has comfortable chairs.

Address: 8 Nongye Road, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Tel: 0371-63511237/63511239 (Reservation 2 days in advance for group visit )
Transportation: Bus No.32、39、42、61、69、96、251 directly go to Henan Museum Stop (Fee starts at CNY1, but an additional CNY1 for air-conditioned bus).
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Entrance shut at 3:30 p.m., Monday closed)
Admission Fee: Free (Tourguide Service: CNY60 - CNY100) 


Food

Braised noodles

Henan braised noodles (huì miàn 烩面; "huì" means "braised" and "miàn" means "noodles") are a traditional Henan style of hand-pulled noodles dating back more than 800 years.

Mutton noodleHenan braised noodles can be divided into three kinds: noodles with beef, noodles with mutton and noodles with seafood. Noodles with mutton is the most common variety. First, prepare a ball of wet wheat powder containing salt and oil and pull it into 2cm wide slices by hand, then boil them. After 3 minutes, pull them out and put them into a big bowl, add beef (mutton, or seafood), Chinese onion, a little kelp, and a little vermicelli made from starch. Finally, add some hot soup (traditionally made from the bones of goats).

Noodles, especially the mutton noodle (yáng ròu huì miàn 羊肉烩面) and beef noodle (níu ròu lā miàn 牛肉拉面) are must-eat in Zhengzhou. There are three good mutton noodle restaurants ("Heji", "Xiaoji", "Jufengyuan") with many locations, ask a taxi driver to take you the nearest one, and you will taste the best delicilous huimian in Zhengzhou.


Hulatang

HulatangHulatang (hú là tāng 胡辣汤), is a kind of Chinese traditional soup, which is an important part of Chinese people's daily diet. Hulatang can also be found in the United States, where it is known as Spicy Soup. It was introduced by Chinese American immigrants.

Hulatang was invented by people in Henan Province. It can be divided into two different genres. The one is Xiaoyao Zhen (xiāo yáo zhèn 逍遥镇), the other is Beiwudu (běi wǔ dù 北舞渡). As the name implies, capsicum and black pepper are put into the broth made by beef soup.


Transportation

Air

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC; zhōng guó mín háng 中国民航; Tel: 0371-65991111; 3 Jinshui Road) sells tickets. Airport shuttle buses (CNY15, 40 minutes, hourly from 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) leave from the CAAC office for the airport, 30km south of the city centre. A taxi to the airport costs around CNY100 (40 minutes).

There are daily flights to Beijing (CNY690), Shanghai (CNY790), Guilin (CNY1130) and Hong Kong (CNY2200). Less frequent services fly to Wuhan (CNY500) and Xi'an (CNY510).

Railway

Zhengzhou is a major rail hub with trains to virtually every conceivable destination, including the Beijing-Kowloon express.

Tickets are easy to buy at the advance booking office (Tel: 0371-68356666; Zhengxing Street & Fushou Street; 8:00 a.m. - noon, 2:00-5:00 p.m.)

Hard-seat prices include anyang (CNY29, three hours), Beijing West (CNY46 to CNY94, seven hours), Hankou (CNY36 to CNY73, five hours), Kaifeng (CNY 5.5 to CNY13, 1.5 hours), Luoyang (CNY10 to CNY20, 2.5 hours), Shanghai (CNY64 to CNY130, 10 hours), Taiyuan (CNY45, 10 hours) and Xinxiang (CNY13, 1.5 hours). For Xi'an take the faster, two-tiered "tourist train" (CNY78 hard seat, 7.5 hours) that leaves Zhengzhou at 9 a.m. and arrives in Xi'an around 4:30 p.m.

Bus

The most useful long-distance bus station is opposite the train station.

Buses run between approximately 6.30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. to Luoyang (CNY35, 2 hours, every 20 minutes), Kaifeng (CNY19, 1 hour, every 25 minutes), Xinxiang (CNY24, 1 hour), Dengfeng (CNY19, 1 hour, every 35 minutes) and anyang (CNY50, every 40 minutes). Slow buses to Luoyang make a stop in Gongyi (CNY20) or you can take a direct bus.

Buses to the Shaolin Temple (CNY21, 1.5 to 2.5 hours) leave every 20 to 30 minutes between 6:00 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. Other destinations include Beijing (CNY170 to CNY190, eight hours, every 40 minutes) between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Bus No.2 runs near the Shang City Walls. Bus No.39 runs from the train station to the Henan Museum, and bus No.26 runs from the train station past 7 February Square and along Jinshui Road to the CAAC office.

Taxi

Taxis start at CNY7, but an additional CNY1 fuel charge is levied per trip.


Tips:

1. Zhengzhou is the transportation hub of Henan province. It is very convenient to reach any part of Henan Province from Zhengzhou, such as Luoyang and Kaifeng. Some attractions around Zhengzhou are very famous and worth a tour, such as Yinxu of Anyang city and Yuntai Mountain and Chenjiagou of Jiaozuo city.

2. The best time to travel to Zhengzhou is autumn. It is the best time to climb Mount Songshan when waterfalls, streams and forests are in their best season. Summer is rainy, while spring and autumn are too dry. From late August to October, some interesting activities will be held at Zhengzhou, such as the International Shaolin Kung Fu Festival, and some big trade fairs.

3. Some schedules of the tourist sites are changeble. It would be better to book tickets or make an inquiry in advance.

4. There is the usual assortment of dumpling shops and noodle joints on every street and back alley. You should not miss the speciality.

Post and Telecommunication

Post Offices
Zhengzhou Post Office
Address: 166 Datong Road, Erqi District, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-66962001
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Hospitals
Zhengzhou Fifth People's Hospital
Address: 33 Huanghe Road, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-63933151
Henan Provincial Chinese Medical Hospital
Address: 6 Dongfeng Road, zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-63932562

Banks
Zhengzhou Branch Agricultural Bank of China
Address: 57 North Erqi Road, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-66220211
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Zhengzhou Branch Bank of China
Address: 267 Shangcheng Road, Guancheng District, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-66225721
Business Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Zhengzhou Branch Guangdong Development Bank
Address: 19 Eastern Weisi Road, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-65618573
Business Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Zhengzhou Branch China Merchants Bank

Address: 66 Weiwu Road, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou City
Tel: 0371-65688080
Business Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Other Useful Numbers
Police: 110
Fire: 119
Medical Emergency Telephone: 120
Directory Assistance: 114
Time Assistance: 117
Price Tip-off Hotline: 12358
Zhengzhou Tourist Complaint: 0371-67181200/67181000

Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 21:16