Walking in Mid-Land----Part 1

Written by Mar 20, 2006 02:03
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Crazy Train Ticket

This article was about traveling around in Henan province in 2004, my itinerary is Beijing---Zhengzhou---Kaifeng---Dengfeng---Luoyang---Jiyuan---Zhengzhou---Beijing. It cost 1400RMB.

I decided to travel in Henan only reason that it is near Beijing,and only 6 hours from my place to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province. I have done my plans for the traveling 7 days ago, and including more interesting and “MUST SEE” places of Henan.It is a May Holiday trip, I have to snatch train tickets from railway station. Zhengzhou was in the middle of China, and many persons went to there for transmitting. I only got a temporary train ticket for Beijing---Zhengzhou, I don’t know how long it would be taken, because the train will stop in every cities, even every towns, even every villages……I had no good expection of that train, It was only 46RMB for a hardseat from Beijing to Zhengzhou. Who know when I can arrive Zhengzhou, only my god!

Worst Train

I have never been to that worst train like this L41 from Beijing to Zhengzhou!!! It is a green train, and no air condition, dirty, crowded……I got on the train nearly the midnight from Bejing West Railway Station. The largest asian railway station was full on 30th April, Splendid:-)

I found my seat finally, and there were also persons sat on the aisle ,even under the seat, one the rack, so terrible that someone lay down or sat on the racks, I have never seen that before, even in during the Spring Festival. What will be happened???

There was no trainmen came out for service, I only breath hardly in the dreggy air, most of the passengers were Henan natives. They were talking about their hometown or Beijing life, using their dialect. Luckily, I can understandJ They told me some interesting places for visiting, and they also admired me that I traveled alone, I felt so happy:-)

In Beijing, there was a saying that Henanren wasn’t good, they usually thief, robber and cutpurse! I don’t think so before, but worry about this! You know, so many persons said that! Even,I took a Mongolian sword in my bag……

The night was quietly in the train after leaving Beijing 3 hours, I can’t sleep, and read Bible. It is may way to relax during traveling. Suddenly, there was a man cry! Oh, Trainman! I think he will tidy the carriage and service for the passengers, just like gave water. But everything was not as my mind, he wanted to sell socks, very solid socks! He done three things for prove how solid of this sock. Oh, my god!!! I hated this, just like a performance.

After 10 hours, I was closed to Zhengzhou, it is a hard, long, indelible train for me, L41~~~~~~

Dealer City---Zhengzhou

It was 10:30 when I arrived Zhengzhou, and came out from the railway station. The station is huge, because of the position of Zhengzhou. The city was in the middle of China, it is a hinge. So many persons, especially business men and women. They all took the large black plastic bags, looks a busy. I just heard that Zhengzhou is a dearler city, and there were many wholesale markets! Yes, it is true!

I bought a map of this city, and found my way to Yellow River Park. But now, I felt a bit hungry, and need to eat meat!There were two California Beef Noodles near the railway station,I like this restaurant,because it is my business:-)But not free for me---its boss:-(

After my breakfast, I tried to find bud NO.16 to go to Yellow River Park. Some native told me the right way and also mentioned me to be careful. It seems dangerous in somewhere. I arrived Erqi Square in 5 mins from the station, and found a Mcd. Exciting! I’d like to eat chicken for my lunch, Haha! Erqi Square isn’t as large as Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, but it is a most important place in the city Zhengzhou. There was a tower and fountain. But the fountain was not opened, it was only a “vase”~~~~~~This phenomenon was around the whole China, they built so many projects, no matter is useful or not. When I think about this on the square, the fountain was run, Oh!!! My god!!! Many water columns were filled with the square, and I ran out as soon as possible, some kids went into the central of the square, playing with water. Maybe I was wrong right now.I took some photos by the other’s help, and ate some chicken in Mcd. Then, took NO.16 to Yellow River Park, about 4RMB.

Aged Yellow River

Introduce from its website: The Yellow River Park (Huanghe youlan qu) is located not far from Zhengzhou city, about 28km northwest, and is backed by a beautiful mound called the Yue Hill (Yue shan). Today this region has been set up as a leisure park, centered around the hill's Wulong Peak (Wulong feng), and is dotted with Chinese pavilions and terraces. The peak itself is the best place to view the river, as it slows up in the last valley before running into the vast East China plain. The slowing down of the current here has led, over many thousands of years, to the deposition of silt and mud and the rising of the river bed, so that today the river flows at a level much higher that the area around, on built up (some artificially) banks. This is quite a view.

The park is also littered with statues and memorials to the heroes and legends of the river region, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of the river as both a nurturer of Chinese civilisation, and also its frequent destroyer. At the foot of the hill is a statue of a mother and son that is meant to represent the great mutual affection that the river and the people of China hold. The Yueshan temple is probably the best of the sights here, within which there is a statue of the "Great Yu", the legendary king of ancient China. Most prominent of the statues, however, has to be the 100m tall statue of the emperor's Yan and Huang, who were both believed to be of Henan origin.

In this park, you can view our mother rive---Yellow River, she is old enough, looks so tired. When I stood at the side of her, I am so sad that the river was so wildly, but flat!!! I have seen it from the train in the morning, and also felt too bad! I was born in a seaside city, and lived in Beijing, and I have never seen such large river like Yellow River and Chang Jiang. I thought I would be excited when it was in my sight. But no, I felt lumbersome, and not happy or excited. What should we do for our mother river???

In the park, you can see big water wheel, and a girl played it, and her shoes were fell down to the water, Haha! There were some strange bridges, likes wave, so interesting. You can find your animal in the park, and practice Gongfu in there……

I took a cable car alone, it seems a little fear. Because the car was so rough, only a seat! Maybe I have acrophobia. Though the wind was comfortable, the scenery was beautiful, I can’t pay attention to it. I only thought about if I fell down from the seat, what would be happened, If……

I wanted to visit the division of the middle and back of Yellow River. It was a little for away from the foot of the mountain. I decided to take a jeep, and bargain with the man, about 10 yuan for three places. It is cheap! When I stood on a tower to view Yellow River, I really sad for this, so large river, but nearly death, no vigor……I didn’t want to see it more, and went to the downstairs quickly, next station is Chu & Han War place.

When I got on the jeep and said the next place to the driver, he said to me: ”if you wanna go there, you should pay 110RMB”.
“Why??? We have discussed and decided the price for my visiting!”
“It is only for one place, you can read the price list”! He looks so complacent.
“Impossible!!! Ok! I don’t want to visit the other two places, pls return!!” I was so angry, and really wanted to pick out my Mongolian sword.
“And you should pay……”
“Pay for what??? Impossible!!!” I spoke this words by my deeply northeast accent.”GO!!”
He looked a little fear, and return the foot of the mountain. At that moment, I am sure I hated Henanren. Yes, it is true! They all like this.

But I didn’t be effected by this episode, I forgot it at once, and going on my trip. I was walking around the park, and also saw some folks performance for marriage and life in the old time in this area. So interesting and fresh for me! I had to leave there, and went to Kaifeng tonight.

Golden Week is Crowded

It seems that the highway is so popular in Henan, you can go to any cities from Zhengzhou by highway. I bought a bus ticket in the coach station which in the opposite of the railway station. It would leave Zhengzhou 18:30, about 1.5 hours, 19RMB. Yes, it isn’t expensive.

I waited my bus in the station, and read my books. When the time was near 18:30, and I didn’t hear that someone called us for checking in. I went to the exit and asked the teller about the bus to Kaifeng. She told me there were no buses now, and you should wait more time. It was delayed. I was so boring of this condition, it seems normal during the Golden Week. Did everyone go out for traveling??? No!!!

I bakced to my seat, and had no feeling to read books ,just looking around. And now, a boy said to me who was my neighbor. All the questions are common and popular during the trip. “Where are you come from?”, ”Do you have friend in Kaifeng?” “What’s the time of your bus?”……I answered him. He mentioned me keep alert and don’t speak to the strangers in Henan. Oh, he also doesn’t like Henanren. It is not a good thing for this province. Of course I agreed with him because of the episode in the Yellow River Park in afternoon. And we talked with each other, and said some bad words to Henan. His bus was run from 19:00, it meant that he would wait more time than me. I really was happy to chat with him, you know, I haven’t spoke nearly the whole day except when I wanted to get a photo.

Suddenly, the teller said that bus has arrived ,and all the persons rush to the exit ,and get on the bus crazy, you can image that moment what would be happened. Exclaiming, Crying ,Shouting, Singing, scream……So many sounds came out at the same time. I can’t run fast because of my heavy bag, but the boy who chatted with me ran so fast, and covered a seat for me. Thank goodness. Some persons was still standing in the bus, and the teller said they had to get off, and waiting another bus. Of course they disagree! And someone wanted to negotiate with their leader, and someone asked for hotels……Every kinds of require came out. Luckily, another bus arrived! All the standing persons like the flood, rush out!!!

Peaceful now, and it was 20:00. I felt a bit tired, and called my mother to say safety. And then chatted with the boy a few minutes. We were both slept in the bus. When I woke up, and just can see the night lights, Henan University! Yes, I arrived Kaifeng on 22:00!!!

I had to say good bye to the boy, and took a taxi to my hotel was booked in Beijing, it was called Dong Du Hotel. They gave my a comfortable room, and luxury for me, cost 150RMB. After bathing, I wrote a log of Zhengzhou, and then went to bed.

Simple Six Dynasties Capital---Kaifeng

I felt very comfortable of Kaifeng, because of the hotel. It was near the food street and Song Emperor’s street. Though I arrived Kaifeng very late last night, I still got up earlier. After the breakfast in the hotel, and I went to Longting Park firstly.

The city wasn’t big, I loved to walk around. I bought a map and found my way to the park. Kaifeng is one of Six Chinese ancient capitals, it was as capital for six dynasties. And the most important one is Song. In my opinion, Song is the weakest dynasties in Chinese history. It was only cover a half size of China, in the south of the yellow river. In its north was Qidan and the northeast was Manchurian, in the southwest was Nation Dali which was established up by Baichu, in the northwest was Xixia which was belongs to Dangxiangchu. So Song dynasty was only a small one. I don’t like that period, and Han usually called us Jin Dogs, not only in the common’s life, but also in the novels.

There was a street named Song Emperor’s Road, at the end of that road was Longting Park. The ticket was 35RMB, so expensive!!! In Beijing, the Summer Palace was only 40RMB! Besides, most of that park was built in modern time. Because of the May holiday, there were many persons. I walked on the middle road, and read the introduce. There were two lakes, one is clear and the other is muddiness. They stand by two famous families in Song Dynasty, one is Yang, the other is Pan. Yang is a loyal family, and he is good at battling, and usually won the war between Song and Liao. He also lost his six sons in a war (in fact, four sons) But Pan is a quisling, he did so many deals with Liao ,and made circumvention to Yang. So the clear lake is Yang, and the muddiness is Pan. So ironical. Under the lakes, there was three Song Cities because of the frequent floods in the history, we can’t dig now, like Pangbe!

A temple with 99 steps in the end of the road, maybe the emperor would feel too tired when he went to upstairs. There was a dragon in the middle of the steps, every person touched it, why??? I don’t know! Did the emperor do this in Song?? The palace was common, just a Buddha place, I don’t like it. From this park, you can come into Yang Yard, it cost 20RMB. Because a friendly Henanren told me there were nothing in that yard, all were built recently. How nice he is! I love Kaifeng.

The next destination is Stele Park. It is near Longting park, you can go there on foot, about 18RMB, I think. It is a college in old China, and like most of these schools, there was a statue of Confucius. In the park, you can watch a dancing performance by Wa Folks. The minority was lived in Yunnan province, and there was a famous music equipment in their life, named Hu Lu Si. You can also see acrobatics in here, the player were so little, about 4 or 6 years old, actually, I don’t want to them to play this and earn money. The park was nice, some man-made mountains, waterfalls, lakes……It is summer now, and colorful. Of course in every stele parks, there were Chinese handwriting works, I like to see them, and spend more time to check them, try to learn sth from others, because I write it nearly everyday.

When I went out from the park, and some persons recommend me to visit Qing Ming Shang He Yuan. There was a famous picture named Qing Ming Shang He Tu. It shows that the well-off life in Kaifeng in Song Dynasty. You can put on Song clothes, and change your RMB to Song currency, it sounds interesting. But the ticket about 40RMB, I don’t wan to pay this for a man made park. So I decided to give up it.

I walking along the street, and think about the Song Dynasty. During that time, the political was weak, but the economy was developed. The first Paper Currency came out, and Chinese economic center moved from north to the south, from Yellow River to Yangtze River.

I took a jinrikisha and went to Xiangguo Temple. Introduce from internet: The Xiangguo Temple has had one of the most turbulent histories in China, having been destroyed, rebuilt, sacked, renovated and commercialised beyond recognition. The temple was first built in 555 AD, during the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577 AD), when Chinese Buddhism was at one of its peaks in history. Since then, the temple has had its ups and downs, in close relation to the fortunes of the city that surrounds it. The temple has all along retained, however, great significance as an academic institution with the people in central China. Nowadays, the temple layout is still strictly in the Chinese style, and is composed of, from south to north, the Shanmen Gate, the Heavenly King Hall, the Grand Hall, the Drum & Bell Towers and the Sutra Library.

The temple developed its role as one of the main Buddhist centers in China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), when the temple was bestowed with its present name by the emperor of the day. But true greatness here was found during the beginning of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD): as Kaifeng became the capital, so the temple grew to its largest size, with expansion and renovation. It was during this time that the temple was home to over 1000 monks and 64 Buddhist colleges.

But fate is a fickle goddess and the temple, and city, were soon to be abandoned. The next several centuries saw repeated wars and destructive floods. The most brutal of these was caused by a retreating Ming Dynasty army in 1644, who, in an attempt to halt the approach of the marauding Manchu invasion decided to open the Yellow River floodgates. The decision proved a rash one, killing the majority of the population in Kaifeng...and destroying the temple.

Nowadays the temple resembles the rebuilding that was made during the Qing Dynasty, 1976, although restoration has taken place many times since then. The temple has also been affected by modern commercialism, and the entertainments center in the front courtyard is the worst of this. The temple is certainly still worth visiting though, with some interesting Buddhist articles hidden about including a beautiful Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) bronze Buddha in the Great Treasure House , a 3 meter high gold leaf statue of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, in the final octagonal hall, and an old cast iron bell within the Bell tower.

The temple was small, and I can’t believe it can be as the National Temple in that time, maybe it was large in history. It cost 15RMB.

 More Henan Travel Reviews
1. The Real Thing in Anyang MISHEN from NZ Jun 28, 2005 18:06
Comments (13)


Mar 28, 2006 05:23 Reply


The advantage of a local Chinese writing a review is their knowledge of Chinese history. Armed with this as background info, a tour is definitely more colourful & interesting.
Now, I have read both your reviews. It is quite distinctive - definitely written by a local. Looking forward to more.


Mar 22, 2006 19:19 Reply

MAY001 said:

I've never visited Henan. But I think this kind of experience can be happened in every city. Cheer up, California!


Mar 22, 2006 19:18 Reply


Actually, I have met several times of robbery on my way from Henan to Xi'an. The thieves are rather rampant during the short-distance bus. Even the driver know they are thieves, they dare not to remind clients. Some buses have ever met with the breakage from the thieves. Oh, my god! So please do remeber, please do not go to sleep during short-distance coaches in Henan!


Mar 22, 2006 04:07 Reply


You did a pretty good job. Good writting. I laughs all over from the beginning to the ending although I have experienced a lot. I am a Henanren and I have been to Zhengzhou several times. This is quite usual in my life. But actually, this situation happens everywhere besides Henan. So be careful when you go outside. Maybe education in Henan should really improve a little bit


Mar 22, 2006 02:16 Reply



I don't hate you,haha!!!And waiting my next story......

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