Zhengzhou Travel Information
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Introduction || History || Climate || Food || Shopping || Attractions || Transportation || Map of Zhengzhou
 
Introduction
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Zhengzhou is the capital city of Henan Province, and an important railway hub on the Beijing-Guangzhou and Xi’an-Shanghai rail lines. It is home to the national grain wholesale market and a new high-tech science park. Along with its modern economic position, Zhengzhou played a key role in China’s early civilization as the site of an early Shang dynasty walled city some 3,500 years ago. Here and at nearby Anyang China’s early bronze industry developed for military and ritual use, and remains of the ancient Shang city foundations and wall are still visible on the outskirts of town.

Situated south of the Yellow River and east of the Songshan River, Zhengzhou was one of China’s earliest cities, thought to have been the second capital of the Shang dynasty some 3,500 years ago. Archaeological sites around Zhengzhou have yielded abundant Neolithic pottery and technologically early forms of the bronze ritual vessels and weaponry that were defining elements of Shang material culture.

With a pleasant climate, Zhengzhou is welcoming all year round. The hottest month is July and the average temperature is about 27C (80.6F) while the coldest month is January with an average temperature of -0.2C (31.64F). Autumn and spring are the best and the peak tourist seasons. You can enjoy a more beautiful Zhengzhou at that time.

Zhengzhou’s status as a transport and economic center has roots as far back as the Sui and Tang periods (late 6th to early 10th century), when canals connected Zhengzhou’s grain markets to the Yellow River. Zhengzhou’s importance declined along with nearby Luoyang after the Song established their capital at Kaifeng to the east. Zhengzhou emerged as a transportation hub again in the 20th century with the building of railroad lines. It played an important role in the railroad “Strike of February 7” in 1923, and has become one of Asia’s most important freight transfer hubs.

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History

Zhengzhou is an old city. As early as 3500 years ago, it had become a major capital city of the Shang Dynasty. With a long history, Zhengzhou boasts one of the origins of the Chinese nation, giving birth to a brilliant culture of the Chinese nation. Zhengzhou had been a capital city for five times, respectively of the dynasties of Xia and Shang and of the states of Guan, Zheng and Han; and a prefecture in the eight dynasties of Sui, Tang, the Five Dynasties, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing.

In Zhengzhou area, the archeological findings made up to now include the ruins of the 8000-year-old Peiligang Culture, 5000-year-old Dahe Village, and the Yangshao Culture and Longshan Culture of various types such as Qinwangzhai. According to the historical records, the Yellow Emperor (Emperor Huangdi), the earliest ancestor of the Chinese nation, was born at the Xuanyuan Hill, which is located in Xinzheng City under Zhengzhou Municipality; the first slavery dynasty in the Chinese history Xia used to build its capital in Yangcheng (today's Dengfeng City under Zhengzhou Municipality), the king of the Shang Dynasty Zhongding used to move the capital to Ao (within the proper of today's Zhengzhou City); and King of Wu of the Zhou Dynasty conferred the land of Guan (part of today's Zhengzhou city proper) to Shuxian - All such historical facts indicate that Zhengzhou had been for a long period of time in the central area of the national politics.

During the Spring and Warring States Period, both the states of Zheng and Han had successively built their capitals in Xinzheng for more than 500 years. During the dynasties of Qin and Han, the Zhengzhou area started to have the establishment of the counties of Xingyang, Gong, Jing, Xinzheng, etc., and Xingyang used to gain a nationwide reputation with its wealth ranking first in the whole country. The following dynasties established in succession the Xingyang County, North Yuzhou Prefecture, Xingzhou Prefecture and so on in the Zhengzhou area.

In the Third Year (A.D. 583) of Kaihuang of the Sui Dynasty, Xingzhou Prefecture was changed to Zhengzhou Prefecture. In the Sixteenth Year of Kaihuang (A.D. 596), Guanzhouzhi was set up, Guancheng as the seat of the authority having jurisdiction over Zhengzhou and Guanzhou became the political and economical center of the Zhengzhou area. After Emperor Yang of Sui opened the Grand Canal and Tongji Channel to traffic, Zhengzhou once evolved into an important hub of land and waterway communications with numerous business people and boats and ships coming and going in the area. After the Northern Song Dynasty built its capital in Bianjing, Zhengzhou was put under Jingjilu; in the Fourth Year of Chongning (A.D. 1105) it became Xifu, one of the four prefectures attached to the capital of Song. In the early Ming Dynasty, Zhengzhou was brought under Kaifengfu. During the Qing Dynasty, Zhengzhou became a prefecture directly under the central government twice.

In the early 20th century, thanks to the crossing of the railways of Pinghan and Longhai in Zhengzhou, the local industry, handicraft industry and commerce had been growing quite fast. In 1923, it was in Zhengzhou that the world-shocking February 7 Great Strike broke out, the event wrote a glorious chapter in the history of China's worker movement. From 1929 to 1931, Zhengzhou was changed from a county to a city. On October 22, 1948, Zhengzhou City was officially established. In 1954, it became the provincial capital of Henan.

In 1983, Zhengzhou introduced the administrative system of municipality having jurisdiction over counties (and county-level cities), and now has the 6 districts of Jinshui, Erqi, Zhongyuan, Guancheng, Mangshan and Shangjie, the 5 cities of Gongyi, Dengfeng, Xingyang, Xinmi and Xinzheng, and 1 county, i.e. Zhongmu.

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Climate


Zhengzhou has four distinct seasons, with an annual average temperature of 14.3 degrees and annual rainfall of around 640mm, mainly falling in July, August and September. July is the hottest month of the year, with a monthly average temperature of 27.3 degrees. January is the coldest, when the temperature drops to just below freezing. The best times to visit here are Spring and Autumn, when it is neither too cold nor too hot.

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Food
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With its long history, Henan Province is a cradle of ancient Chinese culture. This has resulted in an abundance of historical sites and a rich culture, one of which is Yu (short for Henan Province) Cuisine. As the capital of Henan Province, Zhengzhou undoubtedly takes Yu Cuisine as its main menu.

Traditional Dishes

Liyu Sanchi (Three cooking methods of Cyprinoid) is the famous Zhengzhou traditional dish. The Cyprinoid, a type of Carp from The Yellow River is soaked in fresh water for two or three days prior to cooking to remove the earthy smell. A Cyprinoid is cut into three, with one fillet being fried; the other cooked with Sweet and Sour Sauce. The rest of fish, its head and tail are boiled together with radish slices to make a tasteful and nutrient soup. After you have enjoyed the fish, you can mix some noodles with the remaining sweet and sour sauce, which is flavorful.

Besides, gourmets have chances to try other Yu traditional dishes in Zhengzhou like Tong Zi Ji (Bittern Chicken), Si Tao Bao (Four-Boxed Birds of Duck, Chicken, Pigeon and Partridge), etc.

Local Snacks

Hui Mian (Cook noodles with mutton and vegetables) is a popular snack among local people. Cook the noodles in the fresh mutton soup, and then put deep cooked mutton, Citron Daylily and Agaric (A variety of Mushroom) into the soup to braise for several minutes. Scatter some coriander and chili oil onto Hui Mian before serving, for added flavour.

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Shopping
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Zhengzhou is not one of China's larger cities, but you can find a good selection of markets and department stores within the city zone. Zhengzhou has been a commercial city for centuries and today, it is the business center of Middle China due to its transportation advantages. The city's commercial streets include Er' qi Lu, Taikang Lu, Renmin Lu and Jiefang Lu and these are mainly located in the northeastern area adjacent to the railway station. Currently, Er' qi Commercial area is the most prosperous and popular commercial location in Zhengzhou.

Local Products

Jade Sculpture art has more than a three-thousand-year history in Zhengzhou. Such jade articles from Xinmi, Zhengzhou, are regarded as the most famous in China. Additionally, the jade sculptures are sold throughout Southeastern Asia, Western Europe and Northern America, etc. These jade items are emerald green and translucent with a hard quality, features that are considered to be necessary for classical jade ware by experts.

Honeysuckle is another local product from Xinmi, Zhengzhou. It is a kind of common and efficient Chinese herb used to allay sunstroke.

The area also produces fruits such as dates, persimmons, pomegranates, watermelon and cherries etc. All these succulent fruits are worth trying for their flavor and quality.

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Attractions
yellow rive park songshan museum Henan Province Museum

Yellow River Park

The Yellow River Park is located near Zhengzhou city, about 28km northwest, and is backed by a beautiful mound called the Yue Hill. The park is composed of four parts: Wanglongfeng Scenic Spot where the Water Conservancy Project to divert the Yellow River water to Zhengzhou was built in 1972; Yueshan Temple Scenic Spot where the Zijin Tower and Iron Chain Bridge are found; Luotuo (Camel) Bridge with its 10-meter-tall statue of Emperor Yu the Great and nearby, the Stele Forest of the Yellow River with some 570 pieces inscribed by famous contemporary calligraphers; Hanba Erwangcheng Scenic Spot, which is made up of East and West Guangwu cities, two royal cities built in 203 BC by Liu Bang, first Han emperor and Xiangyu, ruler of the State of Chu when the two pitted their forces against each other there.

Song Mountain

Located in the northwest of Dengfeng County and reputed as the Central Sacred Mountain among China's five sacred mountains, Mt. Songshan Stretches more than 60 km across from east to west. It consists of two mountains-Taishi and Shaoshi,with 36 Deaks alto ether. It is about 70 Km from Zhengzhou and the trip takes about 2 hours. Its highest peak is 1440 meter. Mt. Songshan got its fame from being the place where the Indian monk Batuo founded the Shaolin temple in 495 A.D. Few years later in 527 A.D. another Indian monk, Damo (or Bodhidharma) moved to the temple to teach the Chan sect of Buddhism, best known as Zen Buddhism (Zen is the way Japanese read the Chinese ideogram for Chan).

Shaolin Temple

The Shaolin temple has many legends and mysteries surround it. The origin of martial arts, the origin of kung fu surround the vague mysteries of the Shaolin Temple and the shaolin monks. Shaolin Temple is probably the most famous temple in China, not only because of its long history and its role in Chinese Buddhism, but also because of its martial arts or Wushu Chan. Shaolin Temple is situated in the beautiful Songshan Mountains, which is only eight miles of Dengfeng and about 50 miles southwest of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.

Founded in 496 during the period of the Northern Wei (386-534), the temple is full of history. Batuo, an Indian monk, came to Luoyang, the ancient capital, for spreading Buddhism at that period.

Shang City Ruin

As an ancient city with a history of over 3,000 years, Zhengzhou City is abundant in cultural relics. Among countless relics underground, the site of Zhengzhou Shang City is one of the important excavations in Chinese archaeological history. Discovered by Henan cultural work team in 1950, the site is of great significance to the cultural study of the Shang Dynasty (17th- 11th century BC). Excavated data proved that the existing period of the Shang City is earlier than that of Yin Ruin in Anyang, the site of the capital city of the late Shang Dynasty.

The Shang City Ruins are located in the eastern suburbs of Zhengzhou city. The Shang dynasty is one of the earliest recorded dynasties in Chinese history, and evidence points to the existence of an ancient city here as early as 1600B.C and 1100B.C. Most famous for mysterious pictographic, colorful bronze culture and several brutal kings, this is one of the earliest examples of early Chinese urban life.

Henan Province Museum

One of the major 3 national museums of China, as famous as Shaan'xi History Museum and Shanghai Museum. The Henan Museum is one of China's oldest museums. It is a 'key' museum, with modern displays and exhibitions, modernized equipment, and a unique architecture. Located on Middle Nongye Road in Zhengzhou urban districts, it covers an area of over 100,000 square meters, and has a built area of 78,000 square meters and an exhibition floor area of 40,000 square meters. The exhibition hall space is more than 10,000 square meters. The building uses a combination of both traditional architecture and new technology.

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Transportation

By plane
The airport is about 30 km outside of town. A public bus runs from the airport to to city center.

By train
Zhengzhou is China's biggest train hub; you can get here from nearly every major metropolitian area in China. There are several arrivals each day from Beijing (about 11 hours), Guangzhou (about 18 hours), Xi'an (about 5 hours) and Shanghai (about 14 hours). Trains arrive from other places less often. The Hanoi to Beijing train also stops here.

By bus
Across from the train station, you will find a long-distance bus station. Buses arrive regularly from almost anywhere in Henan province.

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Map of Zhengzhou


map

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