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Home Travel in Henan Kaifeng - City of Chrysanthemum
Kaifeng - City of Chrysanthemum
Travel in Henan

Beautiful Kaifeng

Located in central Henan Province (hé nán shěng 河南省) , just 9 kilometres (6 miles) south of the Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河), Kaifeng (kāi fēng 开封) has a history lasting more than 2,700 years as the capital of seven dynasties. It is called "Metropolis of Seven Dynasties". As early as in Northern Song Dynasty, Kaifeng has been the political, economic and cultural center of China. It was also one of the most developed and prosperous cities at that time, known as "International Metropolis".

Having survived fire, earthquake, and flooding from the Yellow River, Kaifeng today is a sleepy but charming town not yet overtaken by massive development, though the government's efforts to capitalize on tourism are kicking into high gear.


Kaifeng has a long history of more than 2700 years. Wei State in the period of Three Kingdom, the Later Liang Dynasty (AD 907-923), the Later Jin Dynasty (AD 936-947), the Later Han Dynasty (AD 940-950) and the Later Zhou Dynasty (AD 951-960) in the period of Five Dynasties, Northern Song Dynasty and seven dynasties in Jin all established their capital in Kaifeng. That is why Kaifeng is called "Capital City of Seven Dynasties". Kaifeng, and Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Luoyang, Beijing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Anyang are Eight Famous Ancient Capitals in China. They are all well-known both home and broad.

the Ancient Capital CityKaifeng got its name in the Spring and Autumn Period. Duke Zhuang of Zheng State chose to build a city here to store up grains. So Kaifeng got its first name "Qi Feng (qǐ fēng 启封)" due to the meaning of "Qi Tuo Feng Jiang" (qǐ tuò fēng jiāng 启拓封疆; broaden the country). In 156 BC, during the reign of Emperor Jing in Han Dynasty, in order to avoid using the name of Emperor Jing, Qi Feng changed its name to Kaifeng. Kaifeng was the capital city of Song Dynasty for 168 year and 9 emperors set their capitals here. The circumference of ancient Kaifeng city — Dongjing (dōng jīng 东京) was over 30 kilometers (about 18.64 miles). It consisted of three layers of cities including outer city, inner city and imperial city, with three city moats. The traffic and communication in Kaifeng was quite convenient, with both water transportation and land transportation. In terms of the layout of the city, Kaifeng no longer used the old Fang-and-li Style, on the contrary, it adopted a new style which opened the markets to the living quarters, which means it made the markets and living quarters into one. This, to some extend, expanded the citizen stratum.


Chrysanthemum blossom in KaifengClimate in Kaifeng is warm temperate continental monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons. Here, the climate is moderate, with abundant sunshine and appropriate rainfall. The annual average temperature is 14 ℃ and the average annual rainfall is 670 mm.

Best season for tourists is autumn. Autumn in Kaifeng is the most fascinating season, with moderate weather and rainfall. Besides, people can also appreciate the beautiful chrysanthemum. Furthermore, people can visit the chrysanthemum exhibition here if they come to Kaifeng in the mid-to-late October.


Kaifeng City was established more than 2700 years ago and today is considered one of the seven ancient capitals of China. During the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127), it was the political, economic and cultural center for all of China, and this elevated the city to the stature of an international metropolis. Influences of later dynasties still remain in the various cultural relics and historic sites and the visitor to Kaifeng will have much to see and do.

Dragon Pavilion Park

Dragon Pavilion ParkDragon Pavilion, together with other scenic beauties, makes up the Dragon Pavilion Park (lóng tíng gōng yuán 龙亭公园). This area is the most famous and the largest scenic spot in Kaifeng, with an area of 0.87 square kilometers (214 acres). So it is a must-see when traveling to Kaifeng.

Dragon Pavilion is the main part of Dragon Pavilion Park located in the northwest of Kaifeng City, where six dynasties located their capitals. The site where Dragon Pavilion is located is the site of many dynasties' imperial palaces and reached its height of prosperity in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127). Then, most of the constructions were destroyed through wars. In the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644), the mansion of an emperor's son was established here with a garden. In the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911) a hall was added, a place where the emperors' tablets were placed, thus getting the name of Dragon Pavilion.

Admission Fee: CNY45

Qing Ming Shang He Yuan

Qing Ming Shang He YuanQing Ming Shang He Yuan (Millennium City Park or Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden; qīng míng shàng hé yuán 清明上河园) is a historical and cultural theme park which recreates "Qing Ming Shang He Tu (Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival)" according to the ratio of 1: 1. "Qing Ming Shang He Tu" is a representative work of Zhang Zeduan (张择端 zhāng zé duān), a famous painter in Song Dynasty. It is a great treasure of traditional Chinese art. Qing Ming Shang He Yuan (Millennium City Park or Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden) covers an area of more than 500 mu (about 33.33 hectares), 150 mu (10.00 hectares) are water with over 50 big or small ships in ancient style. Those make up the largest and grandest ancient buildings of Song style. Green grass can be seen everywhere, ancient music heard everywhere, making the park full of ancient charm and elegance.

Main entrance to the park: The opening ceremony of the park is held here every day. Opening ceremony is a routine work. It is also the most ceremonious performance in the park. At 9 a.m. every day, horses stand in queues, drums beaten. Bao Zheng (bāo zhěng 包拯;AD 999-1062, an upright official known for his stressing the dignity of law) steps out of the fence gate quickly, followed by his guards Wang Chao, Ma Han, Zhang Long, Zhao Hu and so on. They clasp their hands to greet the audience sincerely.

Qing Ming Shang He Tu

Address: 5 West Longting Road, Kaifeng City
Tel: 0378-5663819
Transportation: Bus No.1, 15, 20 directly go to Qing Ming Shang He Yuan stop
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (8:10 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. drama performance)
Admission Fee: CNY80 (CNY60 December - Feburary)
                        CNY169 - CNY999 for drama performance
Tip: Best time to visit is from September to October.

Da Xiang Guo Temple

Da Xiang Guo TempleDa Xiang Guo Temple (dà xiàng guó sì 大相国寺) is one of the ten famous temples of Chinese Buddhism. It plays an important role in and has extensive influence on the history of Chinese Buddhism.

First constructed in 555 in the Northern Qi (AD 550-557) of Northern and Southern Dynasties, the temple was rebuilt in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and was bestowed the name Xiangguo Temple by Emperor Ruizong. The temple reached its heyday in the Song Dynasty (AD 960-1279). It became an international Buddhism center, attracting many foreign envoys and great monks. It contributed a lot to the cultural exchanges between China and other countries.

Coming here, you will be surprised at the magnificent architecture and the well-arranged layout of the temple. The existing structures were mainly built in the Qing Dynasty (AD 1644-1911). The buildings include Mountain Gate, Paifang (pái fāng 牌坊; memorial arch), Heavenly Kings Hall, Daxiongbaodian Hall, Arhat Hall and Sutra Hall. They are set on the north-south central axis with some other annexes built symmetrically on both sides.

Address: 36 West of Zi You Road, Kaifeng City
Tel: 0378-5950290
Transportation: Bus No.5, 9, 20 directly go to Da Xiang Guo Temple stop
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY30
Tip: The Lantern Festival is held every year during the New Year.


Kaifeng Dishes

Food culture in Kaifeng has a long history. Kaifeng is the birthplace of Yu Cai (yù cài 豫菜; Henan Dish), which is one of the ten major Chinese cuisines in China. Kaifeng Dish is a representative of Henan Dish for its unique Bianjing (biàn jīng 汴京; another name for Kaifeng) taste. Among those delicious food in Kaifeng, Li Yu Bei Mian (lǐ yú bèi miàn 鲤鱼焙面; Carp with noodles in sweet and sour sauce), Tong Zi Ji (tóng zǐ jī 童子鸡; spring chicken in salt), Tao Si Bao (tào sì bǎo 套四宝; made of duck, chicken, pigeon and quail), etc. are the most attractive.

Li Yu Bei MianTong Zi JiTao Si Bao

Kaifeng Snacks

Snacks in Kaifeng are famous too, with various kinds. Xiao Long Bao (steamed small meat dumpling in basket), Huang Men Fish (huáng mèn yú 黄焖鱼; braised fish with brown sauce), Xing Ren Cha (xìng rén chá 杏仁茶; almond tea), Yang Rou Kang Mo (yáng ròu kǎo mó 羊肉烤馍; thin cake with minced mutton in it), Chao Liang Fen (chǎo liáng fěn 炒凉粉; stirred agar-agar jelly), Ba Bao Fan (bā bǎo fàn 八宝饭; rice pudding) etc. are all representatives.

Xiao Long Bao (Steamed Small Meat Dumpling in Basket) :

Xiao Long BaoThe most well-known Xiao Long Bao (xiǎo lóng bāo 小笼包) shop is called Di Yi Lou (meaning the best restaurant). However, people have to wait for a long time before they get the Xiao Long Bao for there are too many customers there. Most customers are tourists from other places.

Location: Di Yi Lou is at the crossing of Zhong Shan Road and Sheng Fu Qian Street. It is right opposite to Xing Gong. Local people all know it.

Night Fair

Gu Lou Night FairPeople can find most of the snacks of Kaifeng in the night fair. The night fair in Kaifeng begins at 5:00 p.m.. There are several night fairs in the central city like Gu Lou Night Fair (Drum Tower Night Fair) and Xue Yuan Men Night Fair (College Gate Night Fair). In the west, there are Wu Yi Night Fair (Five-city Night Fair) and Xi Si Night Fair. Da Nan Men Night Fair (Big South Gate Night Fair) and Xiao Nan Men Night Fair (Small South Gate Night Fair) are in the south. In the north, there is Bei Men Night Fair (North Gate Night Fair). In Song Men, Song Du Yu Jie (Imperial Street of Song Dynasty) etc., there are night fairs as well.



There is no airport in Kaifeng. However, Xinzheng Airport in Zhengzhou is not far from here.

How to Get To Xinzheng Airport from Kaifeng: Take an inter-city bus in Jinming Square and get off at Deyi Hotel in Zhengzhou. Then, take Bus No.26 to Civil Aviation Hotel, and take an airport bus here. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Zhengzhou Airport.


Located in the Central Plain, transportation is quite convenient. Longhai Railway (Lianyungang-Lanzhou) which runs across China from east to west passes Kaifeng Railway Station. From Kaifeng, people can travel to Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Xi'an and other cities westwards, and go to Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province and other cities eastwards. Kaifeng is 70 kilometers (about 43.50 miles) from Zhengzhou and 150 kilometers (about 93.21 miles) from Shangqiu. From Kaifeng Railways Station, people can go to all parts of China via Jingguang Raiway (Beijing-Guangzhou) and Jingjiu (Beijing-Kowloon) Railway.

Kaifeng Railway Station is in the south of the central city of Kaifeng. People can take Bus No.1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10 in central city to go to Kaifeng Railway Station.


Traffic between different places of interest within the central city of Kaifeng is quite convenient with buses connecting them. Buses are all pay-to-the-driver bus, with the ticket fare of CNY1 per person. Bus No.20 is a tourism line which can go to every places of interest directly.


Starting price for taxis in Kaifeng is CNY5 within 3 kilometers (about 1.86 miles). After that, passengers will be charged CNY1 every kilometer. It will not cost more than CNY7 to travel between different places of interest within the central city of Kaifeng.


1. In Kaifeng city, the traffic is chaotic. Buses, rickshaws, three-wheeled motorcycle, plane, rental car on the road everywhere. But the choice is relatively larger. In general, the number is less than three by bus more cost-effective, more cost-effective taxi more than three.

2. Almost all of the Henan name snacks can be found here. One particularly famous Gu Lou Snack Street. Snack then have been open until 3:00 a.m..

3. Near the train station the traffic is convenient, but environmental chaos. Xiaonanmen is a good environment in the vicinity, it is recommended to live here.

4. Bian Embroidery of Kaifeng (kāi fēng biàn xiù 开封汴绣), Zhuxianzhen Print (zhū xiān zhèn tiē huà 朱仙镇贴画), Italics Official Porcelain (guān zì kuǎn cí qì 官字款瓷器) are nationally renowned, it is worth a buy. Song Du Yu Street, there are several operating Bian embroidery shops.

  Bian Embroidery of KaifengZhuxianzhen Print

Visitor Information

Kaifeng's Tourism Bureau (Tel. 0378/398-8488) can answer basic questions about accommodations and sights. For information on Kaifeng's Jewish history or to see the Jewish stelae in the museum, contact CITS (98 Yingbin Road; Tel. 0378/393-9032), actually a subsidiary of the Tourism Bureau. Tourism Complaints can be reported by calling Tel. 0378/397-2220.

Banks, Foreign Exchange and ATMs — There's a Bank of China (March-May & September-November 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; December-Feburary 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; June-August 8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.), equipped with ATMs, at 32 Zhongshan Road.

Post Office — The main post office (8:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m.) is at 33 Ziyou Road.

Visa Extensions — The PSB is at 86 Zhongshan Road Zhongduan (Tel. 0378/315-5561; Monday Thursday 8:30 a.m.-noon and 3:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m, Friday 8:30 a.m.-noon).