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Home Travel in Henan Nanyang - Water City of Central China
Nanyang - Water City of Central China
Travel in Henan

Bai River of Nanyang

(nán yáng 南阳) , located in the west of Henan Province (hé nán shěng 河南省), is a Water City. Bai River (bái hé 白河), the mother river of Nanyang, crosses the Nanyang center city. Bai River, together with Meixi River (méi xī hé 梅溪河), Sanli River (sān lǐ hé 三里河), and Wenliang River (wēn liáng hé 温良河) constitutes a network of rivers and lakes and also forms a unique city landscape.


Wan (wǎn 宛) is the abbreviation for Nanyang which in ancient times was known as Wancheng (wǎn chéng 宛城), meaning "Wan City".

Nanyang NightviewNanyang is located in southwestern Henan, bordering Hubei (hú běi 湖北) to the south, Shanxi (shān xī 山西) to the west. The city lies within the Nanyang Basin, which is part of a region in Central China that lies in the gap between the eastern end of the Qinling (qín lǐng 秦岭) and the source of the Huai River (huái hé 淮河). Thus using the standard division, it is difficult to classify the city into northern or southern China.

To the north of the town, there is a mountain called Dushan (dú shān 独山; meaning Lonely Hill in Chinese), which is famous for its jade. The Dushan Jade is one of the four famous jades in China, which is very rare nowadays.

To the southwest is Neixiang County (nèi xiāng xiàn 内乡县) with the newly developing Baotianman Biosphere Reserve (bǎo tiān màn zì rán bǎo hù qū 宝天曼自然保护区) - an area of extremely high biodiversity in China, with 65 rare and endangered species. A new Visitor Centre in Neixiang County chronicles the natural history of the area and is well worth visiting.

The whole of Nanyang is surrounded by mountains where cattle are raised. The fields are fertile and the agriculture is well-developed.


Nanyang is one of birthplaces of the Chinese civilization with a long history. As early as four or five hundred thousand years ago, the Nanzhao apeman had multiplied his descendants here. In the Warring States period, it has already become the famous smelting center in China. During the Western HanAncient Nanyang City Dynasty, business was omnipresent and property ranked first in the whole country. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, it was the place for Emperor Guangwu to gain his fame and fortune. So it is called Nandu or Dixiang (the home of emperors). The place raised and brought up Fanli who was an outstanding strategist and business saint; the great scientist Zhang Heng and the Medical Saint Zhang Zhongjing from whom the people benefited from generations to generations in the Eastern Han Dynasty. The Military Marquise Zhuge Liang was a famous statesman and strategist in the Three Kingdoms, etc. These historical personages attract worldwide attention. Nanyang is one of the first opened historical cities. It is also the Han culture gathering place and the main tourist resort in Central Plains.


The climate is generally moderate and is a four-season humid subtropical climate, with strong monsoon influences: winters are cool but dry, and hot, humid summers. Spring and autumn provide transitions of reasonable length.

Main Attractions

At present, there are about 40 world famous places of historical interest and charming natural sights with high aesthetic and cultural value. Among them, Wuhou Temple, the Temple of Medical Sage, Zhang Heng Tomb, The Gallery of Han Paintings and the Magistrate Office of Neixiang County all have a fascinating appeal to tens of thousands of tourists every year.

Dinosaur egg fossilsThe best rest resorts are Baotianman and Taibaiding National nature reserves and Danjiang Reservoir (dān jiāng shuǐ kù 丹江水库), Shirenshan Mountain (southern foot of Shirenshan Mountain), Laojieling, Baihe scenic spot and such natural spots.

In 1933, the fossils of dinosaur eggs discovered in Nanyang basin have been praised as "the World Cultural Heritage" by the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. And the protective development of Dinosaur egg fossils (kǒng lóng dàn huà shí; 恐龙蛋化石) is listed as the 21st century world project.

Wuhou Temple

Nanyang Wuhou Temple (wǔ hóu cí 武侯祠) is the place where Zhuge Liang (zhū gě liàng 诸葛亮) lived who was the famous statesman and strategist in the Three Kingdoms period, and also the place for people to memorize him from generation to generation.

Zhuge Liang was also known as Zhuge Kongming. He was born in the Langya County in Eastern Han Dynasty and was the most renowned statesman and strategist in ancient times. Zhuge Liang was conferred with the title of "Wuhou" after his death. Zhuge Liang had built a hut and tilled there in Nanyang personally. Therefore, the Nanyang Wuhou Temple people of Nanyang built the temple and repaired the courtyard on the Wolong Mound in the memory of Zhuge Liang. Later, it went through much warfare and was damaged to certain extent, but it was repaired based on the original structure in the reign of Emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty (AD 1712). Recently, for many times the government allocated a great sum of money for its repair, Wuhou Temple has a complete new look and becomes a famous tourism resort in China.

The golden stele "the eternity dragon" hung on the top of the mountain gate which is the entrance of Wuhou Temple. Ascending from the ladder, you pass through the stele workplace where engraved Zhaolie Temple of Han Dynasty (Zhaolie is the posthumous title of Liu Bei) and Xianren Bridge. You will see the main building — Dapai Palace in front of you. In the palace, there is a statue of Zhuge Liang who wears two leaves of black silk ribbon scarf and a cloak of crane feathers. On each sides of his statue, there are the statues of his son — Zhuge Zhan and his grandson — Zhuge Shang. The steles and the couplets in the outside of the hut are a feast for your eyes. There are also some handwriting carved on the stone which were written by scholars and personages in the past dynasties. The kinds of calligraphy are regular script, cursive script, seal character, official script which have different features. Passed the main hall, you can see the Zhuge Liang Hut. It is simple and unsophisticated but handsome and Surrounded by old cypresses. This is the place for Zhuge Liang to live in seclusion and study assiduously.

Zhuge HutZhuge Hut (zhū gě lú 诸葛庐), together with Old Cypress Pavilion, Liangfu Rock, Laolong Cave, Paoxi Stone, Yeyun Nunnery, Ninyuan Building, Banyue Platform, Sangu Hall, Xiaohong Bridge which are in the out of hut, is called the ten scenic spots in Wolong (wò lóng 卧龙). And there are also elegant environment and vivid and different kinds of statues here.

There are more than 300 inscriptions which are carved on each wall of the corridor of Wuhou Temple. And there are also innumerable steles and couplets which are hung on the columns of a hall. The skill of carving stele is exquisite. In the Wuhou Temple, there are many steles which are hung under the eave or on the girder. The skillful craftsman engraves the calligraphy of celebrities on the wooden plaque with alternate convex and concave surface and bold and generous writings of indictments. The steles, couplets and plaques in the Wuhou Temple integrate the literature, the calligraphy, and the drawing into one system. So Wuhou Temple is a rare artistic treasury.

Address: 766 Wolong Road, Wolong Mound, southwest of Nanyang city
Tel: 0377-63512907/63529689
Transportation: Bus No. 9 at the Nanyang train station goes directly. (CNY1)
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY60

Baotianman Biosphere Reserve

Baotianman Biosphere Reserve Mysterious Baotianman (bǎo tiān màn 宝天曼) is full of power and grandeur with a vast territory. Covered with primitive forests and inhabited by a variety of animals and plants, the park is famous in Central Plains. And it is also the best-preserved eco-system of all the areas along the same latitudes around the globe. As one of the eco-centers of lives in Henan province, the park is honored as the crude species treasure-house and a bright pearl of Central Plains. Baotianman has unique location. It is situated in transitional region of variable zone and northern subtropical zone and the transitional zone of the second rundle to the third one. It is sole watershed of Yangtze River, Yellow River and the Huaihe River. And it is also the most well-preserved natural integrated gene bank. The park protects the integrated forest ecosystem of transitional zone. It is also the nicer home of 31 kinds of rare plants under state protection, 50 species of rare animals under state protection, 2.879 kinds of high plants, 213 kinds of Aves, 62 kinds of beasts, 14 kinds of amphibians, 31 kinds of reptiles, 67 kinds of fishes, and 936 kinds of insects.

Location: 60 kilometres away from Neixiang County, Nanyang City
Tel: 0377-65317969
Transportation: The shuttle bus at Nanyang bus station between Nanyang and Neixiang goes directly.
Opening Hours: Full-day
Admission Fee: CNY60

Temple of Medical Sage

Gate of The Temple of Medical SageThe Temple of Medical Sage (yī shèng cí 医圣祠) is built in the memory of Zhang Zhongjing (zhāng zhòng jǐng 张仲景) who was a well-known medical scientist in the Eastern Han Dynasty.

The gate of the Temple of Medical Sage has the architectural style of Han Dynasty. Its layout is religious which assumes grand and magnificent. The golden glazed tile of the roof is brilliant. The Temple of Medical Sage, located to the bank of Wenliang in eastern suburb, Nanyang City, is the graveyard and commemorative place of Zhang Zhongjing who was an outstanding medical scientist in the Eastern Han Dynasty.

There are imitated Chinese characters in front of the Temple of Medical Sage. The three large brush-written Chinese characters "Temple of Medical Sage" are inscribed by Guo Moruo (guō mò ruò 郭沫若) on the top of the main entrance. There are some historical paintings about the story of Zhang Zhongjing which are enchased on the eastern porch of the courtyard. The paintings vividly reappear the whole life of the medical scientist who industriously obeyed the ancient precept and abundantly gained the numerous methods and then became the medical ancestor for thousands of years. There are 117 stone carved portraits including famous doctors in the past dynasties since Fu Xi (fú xī 伏羲) The Temple of Medical Sagewhich encased on west porch. The portraits have different forms. At present, The Temple of Medical Sage is one of treasure houses, which has the largest number of stone carved portraits. Passing through the corridor and crossing the entrance, you will see the grave pavilion of Zhongjing. There are Guodian (palace), the Main Hall where has the sculpture of Zhang Zhongjing and Piandian in the east and west.

Location: Along the bank of Wenliang River in Dongguan, Nanyang City
Tel: 0377-63037149
Transportation: Bus No. 19, 26 at Nanyang Bus Station goes directly to the destination.
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY26



SheqisanfenSheqisanfen (shè qí sān fěn 社旗三粉) is the name of bean noodles, Fenpi (sheet jelly made from been or sweet potato starch) and bean powder which are made in Sheqi County. Therefore, Sheqi County is honored as the home of Sanfen. The bean noodles here are as thin as threads; the Fenpi is as thin as paper-sheet and the bean powder is white and smooth. They are widely accepted by people.

Xuanmiaoguan Zhaicai (dishes given to Buddhist monks as alms)

Nanyang Xuanmiaoguan (xuán miào guān 玄妙观) is a Taoism temple. It is founded in the forth reign of Hongwu in Ming Dynasty (AD 1371). In Qing Dynasty and Kuomintang times, there were a large number of devout people going on pilgrimages to Xuanmiaoguan and it together with Baiyunguan (bái yún guān 白云观) in Beijing, Changqingguan (cháng qīng guān 长清观) in Shanxi, Baxian Hut (bā xiān ān 八仙庵) in Xi'an was named the four Taoism temples in China. The Taoists in the temple are vegetarians for religious reasons and they also invite some local famous people to go sightseeing and have dinner here when there is an important festival Xuanmiaoguanor when the flowers are all in full bloom. The vegetable dishes in the temple are particularly cooked and they carefully choose different materials. The main and the complemented materials are all vegetables. The name of dish sounds like meat dish but actually is made by vegetables such as Vegetable Chicken, Vegetable Fin and so on which are mysteriously cooked. So they are really ravishing and excellent tonics in the Xuanmiaoguan.


Dushan Jade

Dushan JadeThe Jade, produced in Dushan which is in the north of Nanyang City, is also called Dushan Jade (dú shān yù 独山玉) or South Jade whose yield is at the top of the list of the 4 famous kinds of jade in China. The texture of Dushan Jade is solid and dense, exquisite and glossy. And it has bright reflet and variegated color and luster. There are 77 kinds of color style and six kinds of colors: green, white, yellow, purple, red and blue. Dushan Jade is the raw material. There is grand international Jade Carving Festival held in Zhengping County every year which attracts large number of traveling merchants from home and abroad. Nanyang Jade Carving enjoys high reputation in the world.

Nanyang Horn Carving

Nanyang Horn CarvingNanyang Horn Carving (nán yáng jiǎo shū 南阳角梳) is a kind of ancient folk artistic carving. Horn Carving has exquisite texture, natural color and luster and fine carving. It is mysterious and natural. You will feel it unique and original. The carving technique has the plane relief, the three-dimensional relief, Tongdiao relief, Chendiao relief and so on.



Nanyang Airport is located in Jiangying area and around 12 kilometers to Wancheng District in the right east of Nanyang City. It covers 1,300,000 square kilometers (more than 1.960 mu). Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, there is scheduled flight flying to Guangzhou from which the scheduled flight passes through Luoyang to Nanyang every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition, every Thursday and Saturday, there is the scheduled flight in Nanyang passing through Zhengzhou to Beijing where the scheduled flight passes through Zhengzhou to Nanyang.

The Ticket Office of Nanyang Airline Company is located on the first floor of Nanyang Airline Company, Renmin Northern Road.

Telephone of the Ticket office: 0377-63223872/6380345


There is express train between Nanyang and the western railway station of Beijing. Besides the trains from Chongqing, Yichang, Huaihua, Shiyan and Hanzhong to Beijing will stop at Nanyang station; the trains from Qingdao and Shanghai to Chengdu will also stop here, so do the trains from Xian, Wuxi and Taiyuan to Yichang and the trains from Guangzhou, Dongzhou and Xiangfan to Luoyang.

Tel: 0377-3083333


Long-distance Buses are direct to some cities such as: Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. And they also run to some provinces such as: Zhejiang province, Shandong Province, Anhui Province, Guangdong Province, Hubei Province, Shaanxi Province, Shanxi Province, Hebei Province, Jiangxi Province and Liaoning Province, besides they are also to some other places in Henan province.