Dengfeng Tour

If you are planning Luoyang tour, you are highly recommended to make a full day Dengfeng tour from Luoyang. Maybe Dengfeng sounds a little unfamiliar to you, but you definitely have some basic knowledge of Shaolin Temple, which is the cradle of Chinese kung fu and Chinese Zen Buddhism. In fact, Shaolin Temple is under the jurisdiction of Dengfeng City in Henan Province in central China.

Thare are to more to see in Dengfeng than Shaolin Temple. Dengfeng is located at the foot of Mt.Songshan between Luoyang (80km) and Zhengzhou (80km). It is a nationally famous tourist city including such famous attractions as Zhongyue Temple and Songyang Academy in addition to the world famous Shaolin Temple.

The combination of 11 of the most famous sites across Dengfeng was listed on UNESCO World Heritage List under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”.” The World Heritage Site includes Zhongyue Temple (Buddhism) and Songyang Academy (and Shaolin Temple and more.

Dengfeng literally means “Ascend Mt.Songshan and give Mt.Songshan a title of Middle Heaven King”. Dengfeng was named by Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).  Different from the other ancient emperors, who always conferred titles on Mt. Taishan. Empress Wu Zetian visited Mt. Songshan and gave it the title of “Holy Mountain”. Emperess Wu Zetian had ascended Mt.Songshan for 10 times.

Travel to Shaolin Temple overland is the only choice of transportation at the moment. You may prebook a taxi or rent a private car from local travel agency in Luoyang, which costs you around RMB 600 for a round trip.

For money saving and more interactive contact with the locals as well, you may go to Shaolin Temple by taking the long-distance bus from Luoyang Long-distance Station which is located across Luoyang Railway Station in the city center. Plentiful buses pass by Shaolin Temple. Just get up early and buy your bus ticket on the spot from Luoyang to Shaolin Temple.

Most of the Shaolin Temple bound buses run on National Highway No.207 and Shaolin Temple is just located by the highway 80km from Luoyang. Actually many long-distance buses work as shuttle buses along the highway passing numerous villages. Don’t be surprised when your bus will stop when there are people waving hands by the roadside if your bus still have some vacancies which your bus driver definetely wants to fill in for maximizing the profit.

Chinese are “noisy” people. On your bus, the passengers around you will talk loudly, even shout and eat, making the bus like their homes and ignoring the existence of others on the bus. So just keep your patience, be tolerant and “enjoy” your travel experience on a long-distance bus in China!

On the way to Shaolin Temple from Luoyang

On the way to Shaolin Temple from Luoyang
The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway with a huge rock in its front carved with the words “Shaolin Culture, People’s Heritage” by former Chinese president Jiang Zeming.

The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway

The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway
See my travel blog – Shaolin Temple Tour for more detailed travel information.

After visiting Shaolin Temple, I walk across the national highway No.207 passing by the entrance to Shaolin Temple aboard the Public Bus No.8 running from Shaolin Temple to the city center of Dengfeng. Now it is late February, still a low tourist season and there are not so many passengers on the bus.

There are not so many passengers on the bus from Shaolin Temple to Dengfeng. 

I soon arrive at Dengfeng, which is located at the southern foot of Mount Song with a population of 640,000 (2010). It has a total area of 1220 Square kilometers, 56km long from east to west and 35.5km from north to south. Dengfeng City is regarded as a city of China’s Martial Arts as well as a city where three Chinese religions are converged including Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.
This is the largest hall in Zhongyue Temple – Junji Palace dedicated to the God of Mount Song
Junji Palace dedicated to the God of Mount Song
See my travel blogZhongyue Temple Tour for more travel information.

Songyang Shuyuan is known in English as Songyang Academy, which was a type of private school in ancient China. Different from national-level academy and district-level schools, shuyuan (academies) were usually private establishments constructed away from towns and cities, offering a quiet environment where scholars and students could pursue learning, studies and thinking without outside distractions.

The shuyuan (academies) originated in the Tang Dynasty ( 618-907) and further developed in the successive dynasties of Song, Ming, Qing. They were places where scholars could teach and study the classics.

Songyang Academy was named “Songyang Temple” when it was originally built in Beiwai Dynasty (484AD). In Sui Dynasty, it was renamed “Songyang Taoist Temple”.  In 1035, it was rebuilt and renamed “Songyang Academy”. Many famous confucian scholars  came here lecturing and studying. Songyang Academy was known as one of the Four Great Academies of the Northern Song (960–1127‎) almost in the same period when University of Oxford 1096 was founded in the UK.

Songyang Academy was listed as World Culture Heritage together with other famous sites including Shaolin Temple and Zhongyue Temple under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng” in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth” in 2010.

Classrooms at Songyang Academy

Classrooms at Songyang Academy
See my travel blog – Songyang Academy Tour for more travel information.

Tip:  Hassle-free Shaolin Temple and Luoyang Guided Tours

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

Luoyang One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang- Shaolin One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang – Shaolin 2 Day Private Tour Packages  Starting US$ 150 per person

Beijing Luoyang 2 Day Round Trip Tour       Starting US$ 280 per person
Beijing Luoyang Shaolin Temple 2 Day Round Trip Tour  Starting US$ 290
Beijing Luoyang ( Shaolin ) 3 Day Tour – Round Trip by Flight Starting US$ 610 per person

Further Readings

Dengfeng City
Zhongyue Temple
Songyang Academy
Shaolin Temple
Kung Fu Show at Shaolin Temple

Top 10 Attractions in Luoyang
Where to Stay in Luoyang
Luoyang Museum Guide
Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits
How to visit White Horse Temple
How to Visit Shaolin Temple
Longmen Grottoes Travel Tips
Kung Fu Show at Shaolin Temple

 Any questions,  just drop a line.

4 thoughts on “Dengfeng Tour

  1. Dear Arlen,

    Basically, no, you don’t need to reserve your entrance ticket beforehand.

  2. is there a self-guided tour at Shaolin Temple, for English speakers? Such as the audio self-guided tours in many places in Europe, where you rent the device and it guides you around at your own pace? If not, are there English speaking guides available at the temple? I’m concerned about understanding what I am seeing, to better enjoy the temple. Thank you.

  3. Dear Cheryl C,

    Not sure about the audio. But basically no worry! There are English signs posted on the most of the places and buildings you are going to visit in Shaolin temple.

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