Category: Henan

Jan 30 2010

Luoyang, China

Luoyang is bigger than I thought. The city has a population of around 3 millions. Luoyang is one of ancient Chinese capital just like Xian. It was the capital for 13 dynasties, 96 emperors over a period of 1,529 years until the Northern Song dynasty moved its capital to Kaifeng in the 10th century.

Took bus 81 to LongMenShiKu, LongMen Grottoes which is listed under the UNESCO heritage site. The bus ride took around 40 minutes to the southern part of the city, 16 km away from the city center.

LongMen Grottoes (60 Yuan~USD$9, student price)
Entrance

There are around 100,000 statues of Buddhas in caves along the banks of Yi river.

Met a Chinese family and a Canadian lady in the Grottoes and I sort of became the translator for the Canadian lady.

Buddha statue

Small buddha carving on the wall

The main statues to see

Caves

Across the banks

The family then drove me to BaiMaSi, white horse temple.

BaiMasi has a history of 1900 years old and is the first Buddhist temple built with the sanction of the government then during the Han Dynasty. There are also myths saying that the temple was built for XuanZeng, the famous monk from the story journey to the east during 600AD but it’s not true.

There are around 100 monks living in the temple and to be a monk nowadays, a university degree is required.

If I remembered correctly, these 3 statues are 2 meters high and weight only 15kg. There is a unique way of making these statues by emptying the inside of the statues after it’s made, the statue is only 2cm thick on the outside.

The family whom I spent the afternoon with.

Took bus 56 back to the city.

A busy street vertical to ZhongZhou street with many street food.

Took bus 58 and 25 just to tour around the city new district, south of the river. Sometimes I just like taking public bus to places far outside the city for no reason and just to look around.

Xian is around 5 hours train ride away from Luoyang. Was deciding if I should take the overnight train to XiAn or wait until tomorrow morning, picked the later option because I was a little tired and decided to take a rest. There is a LiangZiZuLiao branch in Luoyang. LiangZi is a popular franchise brand for massage and there are almost 600 stores all around China. For 68 Yuan~USD$10, you can get a 100 minutes massage, drinks and fruits. With another 10 Yuan to stay overnight.
Overnight for 78 Yuan~USD$12.

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Jan 29 2010

Zhengzhou to Dengfeng, Shaolin Temple, China

The bath house where I stayed

Took the 9am bus (27 Yuan~USD$4, 2 hours) to Dengfeng.

Arrived at Dengfeng at 11am after 2 hours

Dengfeng is not far away from where the famous Shaolin Temple is located.

Shaolin Temple which is located on SongShan mountain is around 15km from Dengfeng. Got to Dengfeng bus station at 11am and took bus 1 and then switched to bus 8 to get to Shaolin Temple.
Shaolin temple was founded around the 5th century by an Indian monk. Shaolin boxing style incorporated some of the natural motions of birds and animals. The temple was burned a few times and because Shaolin monks had also intervened in some of China’s fightings, most recently in 1928 the temple was burned by the local warlord.

There are many KungFu schools around Shaolin Temple. Someone mentioned there are around 90-100 schools with an average of 1000 thousands or more students in each school.
One of the KungFu school.

Foreigners can train there for 3000 Yuan a month including food and lodging. However, locals only pay 300 Yuan.

Ticket to get in into Shaolin Temple cost 100 Yuan~USD14.

Shaolin students taking a break

Student dorm

Shaolin kids

Lunch at Shaolin canteen (5 Yuan).

I was kind of disappointed visiting the place because everything is so touristy and commercialized. I was hoping to see some older, experienced monks living in the temple but instead everything in the temple was made very businesslike.

Student dorm, the tuition is 7000 Yuan~USD$1100 a year including food and lodging.

Shaolin sports shoe which is not cheap.

Shaolin cookies

Shaolin Temple

10 Yuan to snap a picture with the monks and abbot.

There are monks selling all kinds of products around the temple, cookies, medicine, writings….

The Shaolin abbot, Shi YongXin even tried to make Shaolin temple a public company and had a plan to raise capital in US capital market. The current abbott has a mba and had a lot of criticism from the past for being too money minded.

Shaolin Temple going public

Pagoda forest. Cemetry of 248 Pagodas.

Shaolin Kungfu performance

Shaolin soccer, just like the movie

Kids acrobat training

Went back to the bus station and took another bus (17 Yuan~USD$2.5, 2 hours ride) to Luoyang at 5pm. Luoyang is one of China’s ancient city. The city was the capital of 13 dynasties until the Northern Song dynasty moved its capital to Kaifeng.

Got to the bus station at 7pm. There is a hostel recommended in the city, it’s actually a hotel but with a Hosteling International sign. I was kind of lazy to look for the place and stayed at a hotel close to the train station (60 Yuan~USD$9).

Since it’s Friday night, walked around and visited a JiuBa in the city.

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Jan 28 2010

Zhengzhou Day 2, China

Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan province and is one of the transport hub in China because it’s quite center to the country. The city is just situated south of the Yellow River and agriculture plays a big role in the economy of Henan province. Zhengzhou commodity exchange is one of the 3 futures exchange in China.

Took a public bus to Henan provincial museum.

Henan provincial museum is one of the more famous one in China because many old Chinese cities was in Henan province and many old artifacts were found at the surrounding area.

Writings on the shell of a turtle, JiaGuWen. Used to historical and divine records before the invention of paper.

Ding, used to store food and for sacrificial ceremony during ancient times. This ding is used during the Shang dynasty, around 3500 years old.

There are exhibits from different dynasties in the museum starting from the Neolithic period, then Xia (around 2010-1600BC, is even older than Egyption history and civilization.)

Then came Shang, Zhou, Warring Period, Qin, Han, Tang, Song and was pretty educational to me.

Bronze mirror (TongJing), before the invention of mirror.

Han style architecture, more than 2000 years ago.

There is also a section about the 4 great invention of ancient China,
Compass, Gunpowder, Papermaking and Printing.

Walked to Zhengzhou new district which is at the east part of the city.

View Zhengzhou in a larger map
The new district was designed by a Japanese architect and the planning for the new city had won some awards for the city planning design.

A paper about Zhengzhou new district by KPMG.

An old chinese game, a guy whipping the top.

Don’t do your laundry in the river.

The CBD (Central business district) is built in a circular shape

with a lake in the middle

Stayed at a bath house (30 Yuan~USD4.5) since it’s cheaper than the hotel I was staying at.

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Jan 27 2010

Kaifeng and Zhengzhou, China

Arrived at Kaifeng train station at 6.45am in the morning.

Breakfast (1.5 Yuan~USD$0.20)

Kaifeng is in Henan province. Henan is the most populous province in China with a population of almost 100 million people. Stored my bag for 8 Yuan, walked around the city and went to the museum. Since the museum only opens at 9am, I visited KaiFengFu first (25 Yuan with student discount ~USD$4). KaiFengFu is something like a municipal government center during the Northern Song dynasty. Everything is rebuilt since the city was buried deep underground.

There are some traditional performances in front of the entrance of KaiFengFu at 9am.

Inside KaiFengFu

The prefecture of Kaifeng was first built in AD 907. Kaifeng is the capital of Northern Song dynasty for 168 years and was one of the biggest metropolis in the world then with a population of around 1.5 million. Some famous individuals in Chinese history such as BaoQingTian and Su DongPo held their post in the city.

Taoism was the national religion then.

One of the few lakes within the city

Kaifeng Museum

Kaifeng lies just 10km south of the yellow river and was flooded hundreds of times during history. The city of Northern Song was actually buried 9m deep under the earth. There aren’t many high rise buildings because buildings that require strong foundation weren’t allowed by the government to protect the old artifacts buried underground.

There are 6 layers of cities in Kaifeng.

Kaifeng is enclosed by a city wall around the city.
City northern gate

Tieta Park (15 Yuan with student discount ~USD2).

Tieta is one of the oldest and tallest pagoda in China. It’s around 55 meters tall and is around 1000 years old. This is only one of the 2 historical structures still remain above the surface in Kaifeng.

LongTing palace, a rebuilt version of the emperor’s residence

Walked to GuLou, an area with many kinds of food.
Fried LiangPi (3.5 Yuan ~USD$0.50)

I noticed that people love eating outside in Kaifeng. I ate all 3 meals today outdoor.

Took train K31 at 2.48pm towards Zhengzhou (13 Yuan~USD$2, 45 minutes ride). Zhengzhou is the capital of Henan with a population of almost 8 million.

Zhengzhou train station

There isn’t any youth hostel in Zhengzhou so stayed at a hotel around the train station (80 Yuan~USD$12).

View across the train station

The weather here wasn’t too cold. Some homeless people sleeping on the street.

Workers from a bakery singing on the street, one of Chinese team building activities

Sticks from fried stuffs

The February 7 Tower was built to mark the great strike by the workers on the Beijing-Hankou (Wuhan) railway in 1923.
February Seven square, ErQi GuangChang.

HuiMian is famous in Zhengzhou, fat noodles with mutton (8 Yuan~USD$1.2)

Walked around and visited a bar/club at WenHua street.

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