Henan province

Updated: Apr 3, 2019 chinadaily.com.cn Print


Located on the alluvial plains on the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, Kaifeng, a key tourism city along the banks of the river, is under the direct jurisdiction of the Henan provincial government. It is 70 kilometers from Zhengzhou in the west, 10 kilometers away from the Yellow River in the north and Longhai Railroad in the south. The No.310 Tianshui-Lianyungang Expressway, the No.106 Beijing-Shenzhen National Highway and the Zhengzhou-Bianliang Road all run through it. Five counties and five districts are under the jurisdiction of Kaifeng City. The five districts are Gulou District, Longting District, Shunhe District, Nanguan District, and the suburb district; the five counties are Kaifeng County, lankao County, Tongxu County, Qixian County, Weishi County. With a population of 4.3 million, Kaifeng covers an area of 6,444 square kilometers in total, 359 square kilometers of which are urban area. The major nationalities here are the Han, Hui, Manchu, Mongolian, Tibet, Korean, and Zhuang, of which the Han accounts for 95% of the total population.

Kaifeng, known as "the Capital of Seven Dynasties", is a famous city with a long history, splendid traditions, and a great number of cultural relics and historic sites. It was proclaimed as one of the 24 famous historic and cultural cities by the State Council. Kaifeng was once called Daliang and Bianliang in history. According to the records of the ancient times, people started to inhabit here as early as in the Neolithic Era. The establishment of Kaifeng City dates back to more than 2,700 years ago in the Xia and Zhou dynasties. The prosperity of Kaifeng begun in 364BC with the establishment of the Wei Kingdom, which chose the city, then known as Daliang, as the capital. From then on, the Houliang, Houjin, Houhan and Houzhou all had their capitals in Kaifeng. Of the seven dynasties that have had their capitals here, it was not until the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) that the city really took off. This was Kaifeng's finest period of history, when the city boomed to become the cultural, economic and political center of the country with a population of more than one million. Trade during this time especially came to the fore. Kaifeng became an unrivaled metropolis even in the whole world. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Kaifeng was the capital city of Henan Province, and the economic, political and cultural center of the Central Plains. In the Republic of China Period (1912-1949), Kaifeng remained as the capital city of Henan Province. In October 1948, Kaifeng welcomed its liberation and was designated as a special city. In 1954 when the capital city of Henan Province was moved to Zhengzhou, Kaifeng became a city directly under the jurisdiction of the provincial government. In 1983, there were no more districts in Kaifeng, as districts were all changed into counties and under the administration of the city.

Kaifeng retains a lot of the traditional architectural features with the favor of all the dynasties of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Besides the many historic sites like the Dragon Pavilion, the Iron Pagoda, the Xiangguo Temple, the newly built Imperial Song Street with a feature of the capital of the Song Dynasty. Kaifeng also won fame for its paintings and opera. The founders of "Su Huang Mi Cai" (family names of the four most famous calligraphists in the Chinese history) representing four styles of calligraphy were all from Kaifeng. The well-known Hebei cuisine is originated in Kaifeng. The steamed stuffed bun of the No.1 Restaurant, the lightly fried dumpling of the Daoxiang Store, and the steamed dumpling of the Youyixin Restaurant are listed as excellent snaps of China.


Located in the central plain of China, Luoyang City is the pivot of the Chinese economic strategy that connects the East and the West. As the gateway for entering China's Mid-West, it faces the Yellow River in the north and backs against onto Luoshui River in the south. With a history of nearly 5,000 years, Luoyang is one of the first batch historical cultural cities in China, as well as an emerging industrialized city with rich resources, advanced culture, convenient transportation and competitive technological strength. It now governs one city, eight counties and six districts, with a total area of 15,208 square kilometers, including an urban area of 544 square kilometers. It has a population of 6,150,000, of which 140,000 live in the city.

Luoyang is a famous historical and cultural city and key tourist destination. The rise of the city can trace back to over 4,000 years ago, beginning from the establishment of the Xia Dynasty (21st – 17th century BC). After that, altogether 13 dynasties built their capitals here. Luoyang got the fame of "capital of poems", for it has been the gathering place for poets and literators; it is also known as "capital of flowers", for peonies prosper here.

Luoyang abounds in human culture sites. The Longmen Grottoes is one of China's big-three grottoes; the Baima Temple is China's first Buddhist temple set up by government; and the Luoyang Museum of Ancient Tombs is the largest group of ancient tombs in the world. In addition, there are a number of historical relics such as the Ercheng Tomb, the Baiyuan Garden and the Guanlin Forest. Natural scenery of Luoyang is equally attractive: the eight spots of Luoyang including the Tianjin Morning's Moon, the scenery of Longmen Mountain and the bell ring of the Masi Temple, differentiate in styles and get visitors on the scoop.


Lying in the northmost of Henan Province, Anyang connects three provinces namely Shanxi, Hebei and Henan with the Taihang Mountain Range in its west, the Zhanghe River in its north and the North China Plain in the southeast. Anyang is a famous cultural city with a history of more than 7,000 years. The caves of the primitive man of the Little South Sea in the western part of Anyang are the relics of the Old Stone Age 25,000 years ago. Over 7,000 stone tools used by the primitive men and some animal fossils have been unearthed. All of these won it the fame of the Little South Sea Culture. About 4,000 years ago, the two kings, Zhuan Xu and Di Ku, who stayed in power for more than 70 years separately and won the worship of the Chinese people, set up their capitals in Anyang. Today, in the area of the South Sanyang Village of Huangxian County are the tombs of the two kings.

Pangeng, King of the Shang Dynasty (17th – 11th century BC), moved his capital to Yin (today's Xiaotun Village) in the 14th century BC. This is the first stable capital in the Chinese history. In the past century, over 150,000 oracle bones with inscriptions, tens of thousands of bronze wares and 54 relics of the old palaces were unearthed. Areas of the palace, of the imperial tombs, of the civilians, relics of the bronze production, handicraft workshops and large sized sacrificial sites were found, among which the most famous one was the Simuwu Rectangle Ding weighing 875 kilograms. It is the biggest and heaviest bronze vessel up to now.

Belonging to the typical monsoon zone, Anyang has a pleasant climate with an average annual temperature of 14.9 °C. It is warm in spring and autumn, hot in summer and cold and dry in winter.


Lying in the southwest of Henan Province, Nanyang is a famous historical and cultural city. Ever since the primitive time, the Nanshao Ape-man started to inhabit here. Nanyang was the iron smelting and founding center of the nation in the Warring States Period (475-221BC), and one of the six capitals of China in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). Nanyang is the birthplace of many famous persons, such as Fan Li, the well-known business sage; Zhang Heng, the great scientist; Zhang Zhongjing, the medical sage; Zhuge Liang, the outstanding politician and military scientist.

The fame of Nanyang is attributed to the splendid culture as well as the remarkable natural beauty. Now, the typical Nanyang landscape mainly includes the two mountains, the two rivers and the one city.

The two mountains are Funiu Mountain and Tongbai Mountain. Funiu Mountain is famous for the Baodaman Natural Reserve with various birds and animals, while Shiren Mountain is surrounded by many peculiar peaks. The Longtangou Waterfall is unique with both stones and water. Tongbai Mountain is where the Huaihe River originates. On the top of the Taibai Peak, one can listen to the whisper of the forests and appreciate the view of both the hills and the river.

The two rivers are the South-North Water Diversion Project and the Danjiang River. The former is one of the big four projects of China in the 21st century. The Danjiang River runs through vast areas. When night comes, songs are blowing out from the fishing boats. With the glory of the sunset, it is a wonderful picture one can ever imagine. About 40 kilometers north of Nanyang is the Yahe Reservoir, which has become a good choice for people to spend their holiday.

The one city refers to Nanyang, one of the 62 historical and cultural cities of China. Lots of relics of historical interest can be found here. The over 2,000 portrayal stone carvings of the Han Dynasty clearly reflect the lives of that time; the memorial temple in the northern city is the tomb of the medical sage Zhang Zhongjing; 20 kilometers away the city is the tomb and museum of the paramount scientist Zhang Heng; on Wolong Hill in the west of the city is the memorial temple for Zhuge Liang. In addition, Nanyang is the hometown of many famous writers, and the birthplace of Chinese folk vocal art. The Baihe Scenic Spot, surrounded by green river and colorful flowers, is as beautiful as the on-water city of Europe and watery regions south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.


Lying in the easternmost of Henan Province, Shangqiu is one of the birthplaces of the Chinese people.

Shangqiu is the hometown of Confucius' forefathers, Zhuang Zhou and Hua Mulan. It is the origin of the Shang Culture and trade. In the antiquity, the ancestor of the Chinese people, the Suiren, Gaoxin, Zhuan Xu, and Di Ku all lived here. It is the capital since the King Daijie first set up the Shang Dynasty (17th – 11th century BC); it is the capital of the Song Kingdom in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476), the Kingdom of Liang in the Han Dynasty (206BC-200AD). Yuan Hao of the Southern Dynasty (420-589) and Zhao Gou of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) ascended to the throne in Shangqiu. In the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), it was the temporary capital named Nanjing. There were town, prefecture and city in the seat of Shangqiu with ancient names of Songzhou, Suiyang, Yingtian and Guide. Its time-honored history and splendid culture has left Shangqiu a rich reserve of historic sites.

There are altogether over 200 cultural relics sites under special protection, among which 39 are at the provincial level, 2 at the state level, namely the Ancient City and the Han Tombs of Mangdang Mountain in Yongcheng. The Han Tombs of Mangdang Mountain in Yongcheng is a large group of imperial tombs of King Liang, it is rare in the world with so long a history and so abundant antiques. The Jade Clothes Sewn With Gold Threads inside it is one of the Ten New Discoveries nationwide in 1991, and the mural was claimed as the Dunhuang in the pre-Dunhuang period.

The inner city is in the shape of square and the outer round. With unique architecture in the city, Shangqiu is one of the top four ancient cities kept intact. Here also has the E'bo Observatory, which is the oldest observatory; the Yingtian Academy, which is the largest in the Song Dynasty; Cang Jie, the earliest character inventor; the Guide City, a city with most Siheyuan (single-story houses with rows of rooms around the four sides of a courtyard) in China; the Han Tombs of Mangdang Mountain, the biggest tomb group of the Han Dynasty in China; the Mural in the Tomb of King Liang, which is the earliest mural in tombs, the former Dam of the Yellow River of the Ming and Qing dynasties which is the longest and intact dam of the Yellow River, so on and so forth. With so many historic sites and scenic spots, Shangqiu is an inseparable part of the tourist route with Luoyang, Zhengzhou and Kaifeng in the west, Qufu, the Taishan Mountain in the north and Xuzhou and Lianyungang in the east.


Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province, is an important inland open city and historical and cultural city in China, and also a growing modern city of trade and commerce in eastern China.

It leans on the southern bank of the Yellow River and the east side of Songshan Mountain, and borders Kaifeng, the ancient capital of seven dynasties, and Luoyang, the ancient capital of nine dynasties, to its east and west respectively, and faces the Huanghuai Plain to its southeast. It has five cities, one county and six districts under its jurisdiction. Zhengzhou is 760 km from Beijing in the north, 514 km from Wuhan in the south, 570 km from Lianyungang in the east, and 480 km from Xi'an in the west.

Zhengzhou boasts a long history, splendid culture and abundant tourism resources. The Hometown of the legendary Yellow Emperor, the Cultural Site of Pei Ligang, the Site of Dahe Village, the Site of the Shang City and so on record the more than 8,000 years of its civilization. The cultural tourist spots with Chinese characteristics centering on the Yellow River Scenic Area and the Site of Dahe Village, and the Songhan Mountain Scenic Area centering on the Shaolin Temple and the Songhan Mountain National Forest Park add infinite charm to Zhengzhou.

Zhengzhou, in temperate continental climate, has a clearly demarcated four seasons, mild temperature, plenty of sunshine and no season limitation of tourist activities. Especially in severe winter and early spring, tourists can both experience the pleasure of flying snow and congelation as well as cold spell in spring, and enjoy discounts in low seasons. However, it is cold and dry in winter in Zhengzhou, and tourists need to put on eider down coat or overcoat. It is mild in spring and autumn, and tourists just put on sweater or dustcoat. In summer, it is torrid and rainy.


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