Archive for the ‘Zhengzhou Travel’ Category

Drive from Zhengzhou to Hanzhong

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
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Mr. Chen Weixiang and his wife Chen Ya came up to my hotel early this morning, picking me up and placing my personal luggage onto the trunk of his white High Lander ( 4x4w) and starting off for the long driving journey. Driving up to an overpass leading to G30 Expressway, we are soon leaving the city of Zhengzhou far behind.

Drive from Zhengzhou to Hanzhong

Drive from Zhengzhou to Hanzhong

Situated 136 km to the southwest of Chengdu, Ya’an (雅安) is the launching pad to further explore the West Sichuan Province.  But Ya’an is about a 1330-km drive from Zhengzhou. Tonight we decide to put up at the city of Hanzhong (汉中) in Shaanxi Province, 753 km from Zhengzhou,  approximately 9 hours driving. For the 753 km drive,  we first go west from Zhengzhou to Xian for about 470km along G30 Lianhuo Expressway (连霍高速), then run south along G5 (京昆高速) from Xian to Hanzhong for the rest of the distance.

On the route from Zhengzhou to Xian ( G30 ).

On the route from Zhengzhou to Xian

On the route from Zhengzhou to Xian

Mr. Chen and I drive the white horse in turn. It is my first long-distance self-drive experience, a kind of challenge for me, used to drive slowly in the congested Beijing city. I’m excited with much expectation. It is a 4-lane expressway from Zhengzhou to Xian. The convenient service areas along  the expressways make our self-drive trip much easier. They offer a range of services –  toilet, dining, hot water, local products, gas station, auto repairs and more.

Sanmenxia (三门峡) Service Area is our first stop among plenty of service areas on our 6000km round trip to the West Sichuan Province. A huge signboard points to Sanmenxia Service Area reminding you to drive off the main road to the roadside stop area.

A huge signboard points to Sanmenxia Service

A huge signboard points to Sanmenxia Service Area.

The city of Sanmenxia in Henan Province borders Shaanxi Province on the west. The picture below is the main building of Sanmenxia Service Area.

The main building of Sanmenxia Service Area

The main building of Sanmenxia Service Area

The buffet at Sanmenxia Service Area offers a wide range of food and dishes.

The buffet at Sanmenxia Service Area

The buffet at Sanmenxia Service Area

After Sanmenxia it is my turn to rev the white horse onto the expressway and roll it towards Xian. Pre- and post- my starting  the engine, Mr. Chen takes one stereotyped picture of me to imprint the important moment on my memory.

A stereotyed photo of me by the white horse.

A stereotyed photo of me by the white horse.

A stereotyed photo of me by the white horse.

At Xian we branch off G30 Expressway and diverge to G5 Expressway down to the south running into the northern Sichuan Province.  Between Xian and Hanzhong ( our today’s destination ) lies Qinling Mountain Range ( 秦岭 Qin Mountain ),  a major mountain range located mainly in the southern province of Shaanxi, in China. Qinling Mountain is the most important climate dividing line between northern and southern China. The north side range is prone to cold weather while the south side enjoys a subtropical climate due to the physical barrier of the mountains with the rich and fertile landscape and a wealth of wildlife and vegetation.

I cannot supress my excitement over the physical touch on the mountain range which has been long lingering in my mind  dating back to my high school when I was educated to learn the name of Qinling in China geography lessons for the first time. Qinling Mountain Range looks more vivid and interesting than what we’ve learned from our geography book. Numerous tunnels cut through the mountains in the range extending over 100 km! What a human feat! Salute to the road builders!

Driving through Qinling Mountain Range.

Driving through Qinling Mountain Range.

Driving through Qinling Mountain Range.

Running through numerous tunnels dug through the mountains extending over 100 km.

Running through numerous tunnels

Running through numerous tunnels

Take a break at Qinling Service Area 1311 meters at sea level.

Qinling Service Area

Qinling Service Area

When we get to the city of Hanzhong, it is getting dark. Hanzhong is a small, but clean and pretty city with Han River passing by, one of the tributaries of Yangzte River. Lying on the south side of Qinling Mountain Range, it has a rich and fertile landscape.  Settled down in a nice hotel by the city square where local people sing and dance like other cities in China, we begin to look for something to eat.

Dancing at Hanzhong Square

Dancing at Hanzhong Square

Searching online, we get to know a back street north of the square, where we are supposed to find the local flavors or snacks. “Remianpi”(热面皮) is a local snack, literally meaning “Hot Flour Skin”. Putting a bowl of liqid flour onto a steamed grid, a thin skin of Remianpi is dipped with soy source with hot peppers and bean sprouts, sotft and delicious.

The making of hot flour skin

The making of Remianpi

The making of Remianpi

A bowl of hot flour skin

A bowl of Remianpi

A bowl of Remianpi

The night view of Hanzhong City.

The night view of Hanzhong City.

The night view of Hanzhong City.

Hanjiang River winds past the city of Hanzhong.

Hanjiang River winds past the city of Hanzhong.

Hanjiang River winds past the city of Hanzhong.

Any questions, just drop a line.

West Sichuan Self Drive Trip Starts from Zhengzhou

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
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Our 20-day self drive tour of  the West Sichuan Province (  the historical region of “Kham”) kicks off at Zhengzhou (郑州). A year before I’ve planned this great trip joining one of my former college classmates – Mr. Chen Weixiang’s couple team for a self-guided drive tour from Zhengzhou to the Western Sichuan Province covering such dreamy places as Daocheng, Yading, Kangdi, Danba, Hailuogou, Siguniangshan and more. 

Yesterday afternoon I took the 3-hour high speed train from Beijing West Railway Station to Zhengzhou East Railway Station. The first class cabin was quite spacious with two soft and large seats for one row, quiet and less crowded.

The first class cabin was quite spacious

The first class cabin was quite spacious

Taking advantage of the precious 3 hours to cram up for travel and geographical knowledge for this long trip, I flipped over the related pages of the travel guide book “Lonely Planet” and the newly bought “West Sichuan Tourist Atlas”.

cram up for travel and geographical knowledge

Cram up for travel and geographical knowledge

Arriving at Zhengzhou East Railway Station, I interchanged for Subway Line 1 and got off at the station of Green City Plaza. At the exit I was met expectedly by Mr. Chen Weixiang and Song Yuan, the only two former college mates in the city. My hotel was just a ten-minute walk from the subway station, not far from Mr. Chen’s residential block.

After a quick check-in at our lodging hotel in Zhengzhou, we soon found us at a nearby Sichuan food restaurant, very clean and a bit noisy, a typical Chinese restaurant. Mr. Chen brought a dozen of canned beer from home. Life was so beautiful with two of my former college classmates sitting before me, eating, drinking, talking about the past, present and future. Do we have future as a man over 50? Just forget the question and enjoy the present life!

Cheng Weixuang and Song Yuan

Life was so beautiful with two of my former college classmates sitting before me.

It was a dinner for the former classmate get-together, a dinner for wishing the success and smoothness for our coming self-drive trip starting next day. We hated to part for the night, but  there is no never-ending feast. A little bit dizzy, I walked back to my lodging hotel and fell a sound sleep. 

Waked up by the sunrise glow coming between my hotel hotel window curtains, I feel lucky at the site of the beautiful sunrise in a city often shrouded in smog. The sunrise glow is possibly a good sign for our coming 6000 km round trip to the West Sichuan Province.

the sunrise glow coming between the hotel window curtains

The sunrise glow coming between my hotel room window curtains.

Follow us to explore the West Sichuan Province. Any questions, just drop a line!

Top 10 Attractions in Zhengzhou

Friday, December 24th, 2010
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Plan your Zhengzhou tour? Zhengzhou, located 25 kilometers south of the Yellow River, is the capital of Henan Province. Zhengzhou is considered to be the cradle of China’s civilization.

Zhengzhou is an outstanding tourist city and one of the eight Chinese ancient cities.  Song Mountain is known as one of the Five Mountains of China;  Shaolin Temple is reputed to be “the Number One Temple under Heaven”.

No. 01: Song Mountain (嵩山)
Song Mountain is one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism which is located in Henan province on the south bank of the Yellow River in China. Song Mountain is made up of 72 mountains that rise to 1500 m in the Dengfeng district.

It is home to the Shaolin Temple, traditionally considered the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, and the temple’s collection of stupas is the largest in China. In recent years, Songshan scenery spot has become a good place for sightseeing, mountaineering, adventure, research and recreation.

Entrance Fee: CNY 80 (Saolin Temple is also included)
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 from the downtown area to the Song Mountain.

Song Mountain

Song Mountain

No. 02: Shaolin Temple (少林寺)
Shaolin Temple, or Shaolin Monastery, is in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province. Founded in the 5th century, Shaolin Temple is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and it is the Mahayana Buddhist monastery perhaps best known to the Western world.

The Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng.”

Entrance Fee: CNY 100
Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00
How to get there: take Buses No. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 from the downtown area to the Song Mountain, there are also many buses to the temple from the long-distance bus station of Zhengzhou.

No. 03: Temple of Huang Di’s birthplace (黄帝故里)
60km south of Zhengzhou,  Xinzheng is known as one of the birth places of Chinese nation.  The legendary Yellow Emperor was said to have been born in Xinzheng 5000 years ago.

The Huang Di’s birthplace Area is mainly composed of 5 districts showing the related Huangdi Culture. Every year a grand ceremony is held to commemorate the birth of Huangdi.

Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 09:00-17:30
How to get there: Take a train or bus to Zhengxin, then change for Bus 101 and get off at the site

Temple of Huang Di's birthplace

Temple of Huang Di’s birthplace


No. 04: Henan Museum (河南博物馆)
Henan Museum, located in Zhengzhou, is a newly built-built modern history and art museum. It opened to the public on May 1, 1998. Henan Museum occupies an area of more than 100,000 square meters, with a total floor space of 78,000 square meters.It has a collection of more than 130,000 pieces of cultural relics through the ages. In addition to its collection of human history the museum is also home to many relics of natural history including dinosaur bones and fossils.

Entrance Fee: CNY 20

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
How to get there: Buses No. B1, 83, 32, 39, 42, 61, 69 and 96 can take you to the Henan Museum.

Henan Museum

Henan Museum


No. 05: Yellow River Scenic Area (黄河游览区)
Zhengzhou Yellow River Scenic Area is a National 4A Class tour region which is located at 30 kilometers to the northwest of the Zhengzhou. The scenic area is surprisingly beautiful. As seen from a high point in this scenic area, the mighty Yellow River rushes by and demonstrates tremendous force with rolling and falling of the river’s torrents.The Yellow River Scenic Area includes five scenic spots: Five Dragons Peak, Camel Mountain Range, Yueshan Temple, Stone Figures of Yandi and Huangdi, and Ancient City of Liu Bang and Xiang Yu.Entrance Fee: CNY 60
Opening Hours: 08:10-18:00
How to get there: take shuttle buses at Zhengzhou Railway Station to the Yellow River Scenic Area

No. 06: North Song Dynasty Imperial Tombs 

At the city of Gongyi, 80km east of Zhengzhou,  lies the North Song Dynasty Imperial Tombs. The Mausoleum of Northern Song Dynasty is the burial site for  seven emperors in North Song Dynasty (960-1127), together with their empresses, princes, princesses and ministers. The tomb area resembles an open-air museum with thousands of stone carvings.

Entrance Fee: free of charge
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
How to get there: Take bus from Zhengzhou to Gongyi, then change for bus 1, 2,3 and 6

 North Song Dynasty Imperial Tombs

North Song Dynasty Imperial Tombs


No. 07: Shang City Ruin (郑州商代遗址)

The Shang City Ruin, which was found by Henan cultural work team in the 1950s, is located in the eastern suburbs of Zhengzhou city.

The Shang City Ruin covers an area of 25 square kilometers.Within the city walls, houses and gravesites have been uncovered alongside several workshops that were engaged in smelting, casting and carving, some ancient wells and evidence of silos. Large numbers of relics have been found in the area too, including carved shells, stones and jade.

Entrance Fee: CNY 2
Opening Hours: the whole day
How to get there: Take Bus No.2 from the bus station, and get off at the Dongmenkou Stop, then walk to the park.

Shang City Ruin

Shang City Ruin


No. 08: Erqi Memorial Tower (二七塔)

Erqi Memorial Tower, which is located at the Erqi Square of Zhengzhou, was built in 1971. Erqi Memorial Tower is the memorial of the Erqi Strike, which occurred on February 7, 1923.

The Erqi Memorial Tower has altogether 14 storeys, totaling 63 meters in height, and is also called Twin Tower, because its body is made up of two connected quinquangular parts. A winding stair inside the tower brings you up to the top floor, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the whole city of Zhengzhou.

Entrance Fee: free of charge
Opening Hours: 8:30-18:30
How to get there: take Buses No. 2, 9, 26, 28, 32, 57, 58 to the Erqi Memorial Tower

Erqi Memorial Tower

Erqi Memorial Tower


No. 09: Zhengzhou Dahecun Ruins ( 大河村遗址)
12km north of Zhengzhou, the large scale Zhengzhou Dahecun Ruins  offers a good model  of Yangshao culture with many well preserved building foundations in a unique “Wood & Bone”  architectural style. It also offers an important resource for further research into ancient Chinese constructions methods.

Entrance Fee: RMB10
Opening Hours: 8:30-17:00
How to get there: Bus No.308 for the site

 Zhengzhou Dahecun Ruins

Zhengzhou Dahecun Ruins


No. 10: Fawang Temple  (法王寺)
Fawang Temple is a Chinese Buddhist temple located 5 kilometers northwest of the town of Dengfeng in Henan province, China. The temple is situated at the bottom of the Yuzhu Peak of Mount Song.

The most prominent of these early Tang era pagodas is a 40 meters tall square-based stone tower with eaves, its ground floor measuring 7 meters on each side with 2 meters thick walls. Inside this pagoda is a shrine and a jade statue of the Buddha that was presented to the pagoda in 1409 during the Ming Dynasty.

Entrance Fee: CNY 10
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
How to get there: take the Tourist Bus to Fawang Temple from Zhengzhou
 Bus Station; or take a taxi

Fawang Temple

Fawang Temple

Tip:  Hassle-free Zhengzhou Guided Tours
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Zhengzhou Guided Tours:

Zhengzhou Highlight Day Tour Tour from US$ 75 p/p
Zhengzhou 3 Day Tour from US$ 289 p/p
Zhengzhou Car Rental with Driver  from US$ 89

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Zhengzhou
Top 10 Attractions in Henan