Walking in Mid-Land---Part 2

Written by Mar 27, 2006 21:03
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Well-off Song City

I was a little hungry, and ate Hui Mian(Famous Hennan Noodles) and Baijimo. So delicious! But I missed rice, I haven’t eaten it about two days. The lunch cost 3RMB, and I didn’t finish it, too much.

I went to Kaifeng Government in Song and Baogong(The most incorruptible official in Chinese history) memorial temple on foot. I didn’t visit them either, the same reason as Qing Ming Shang He Yuan. It is expensive for me, but nothing was worth to see. Both of them were man made in modern time. I just sat at the side of lakes near Baogong Memorial Temple, and read my map, find some interesting places.

I decided to go to visit Shanshangan Business Hotel and Iron Tower Park in the afternoon. I also took a jinrikisha, and he was so kind that bargain for the ticket for me. Good job, I only paid 10RMB for the place. The hotel was a rest place for business men and most of them come from Shanxi, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. The most highlights of this place was the architecture and the carve art. Amazing!!! The pictures were so meticulous, and talked about some stories. The hotel wasn’t only a building but also a yard. It wasn’t big, but I stayed in there nearly one hour, just enjoy the sunbathe.

I took the same jinrikisha to visit Iron Tower, he told something to me about Kaifeng, I think everyone in Kaifeng was proud of their history, and can tell you the whole history of Song Dynasty. I paid 3RMB to him, and he told me after my visiting of Iron Tower Park, you can walk around Muslim Area or Jewish Community. Great!!! I just heard that Jew came to China at that period, and lived in Kaifeng with Chinese. They were banished by every country, but Chinese accepted them, and friendly to them. OK, I will think and find it later.

The ticket was 20RMB for entrance, and a further 10RMB for admission into the pagoda. There was nothing in the park, just trees and lake! I decided to climb up the pagoda, I have never done that. The pagoda was built in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD) at a time when Kaifeng was crowned as the capital of the country, and as such the pagoda was one of the most impressive of its time. Historically, the pagoda has suffered many traumas over the years, though, from flooding that buried the base in silt, to earthquakes and cultural revolution antics that tested the building's strength.

This octagonal shaped pagoda presently has 13 floors and rises to a total height of 56 meters. The tiles that line the outside of the building are, despite the name, clay, but coloured and glazed to represent the colour of rusty iron. Many of the tiles also have images carved into them, mainly in the usual Buddhist style. Those who ascend via the spiral staircase to the summit of the pagoda will be rewarded with views of the lake, the ancient walls, and the distant Yellow River that flows, siltily through to the north. It is too narrow to climb, and only one person can pass. For this experience, I will not climb any pagoda from then on.

Jew in Kaifeng

My trip was going on. I saw a Mosque on the opposite of the park. I have never came into a mosque, and how is it inside??? Does muslim was angry when I come into??? I just walked around the mosque, and didn’t come into it because of the locked gate. This area was so different from the others, and every house gate was writer some muslim words, of course I can’t understand. When I thinking about this, a young man asked me if I need help! I smiled to him, and just wanted to know Jew in Kaifeng, and try to ask the question to him. Amazing, he is descendant of Jew!!! WOW!!! I can’t believe!!! Because you can’t make an identification of him. He looks as the same to every Chinese. Yes! I realized that Jew came to China more than 1000 years, and they lived and married with Chinese so long time. He told so much to me, I wallowed in it, and asked so mangy question. He said someone wanted to return Israel, but the Israeli government or legal weren’t allowed. The person’s mother should be Jew. But most Chinese Jew’s mother were Chinese, and their father was Jew at first.

He told me so many and I tried to find some information from internet:
QUOTE:”One of the most interesting things about Kaifeng, besides its position as one of China's seven major capitals, is the Jewish community that have prospered and suffered in the town since ancient times. The presence of a Jewish community in this area of eastern China has long been a mystery, although it seems fairly likely that their presence is related to trade. A Song dynasty (960-1279 AD) stele, now preserved in the Kaifeng museum, states that the immigrants arrived in the city around 3000 years ago. It is known that the population increased with the establishment of the legendary Silkroad, 1000-1500 years ago, the Jews arriving as Persian immigrants and silk merchants. By the late thirteenth century there were about 2,000 Jews in Kaifeng.

Today the community is fairly well integrated into the local population, after centuries of intermarriage, so that although more than two hundred of the Kaifeng population claim Jewish descent, they will not be overly easy to recognise. Thankfully the beliefs and customs of the Jewish community here, that had died out after many centuries of neglect and suppression, is slowly making a comeback, as Kaifeng remembers its colourful, multicultural past.

The Jewish Synagogue of Kaifeng was first built towards the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD) by the Jewish immigrants resident in the city. The earliest record of the synagogue in the west was in the late sixteenth century, when it was discovered that the building contained all five books of Moses, written in scroll form and, at that time, over 500 years old. The Synagogue was repeatedly damaged and rebuilt before it was finally destroyed by a huge Yellow River flood in 1850. The flood did more than just destroy the temple however, since many of the Jewish community themselves were killed. The synagogue was never rebuilt due to a variety of circumstances, all related to the flood, including a lack of funding, a lack of integrated community and a dying out of religious beliefs. The synagogue is now almost unrecognisable, a part of Kaifeng's No.4 hospital. The only relic still in place is an old, iron covered well that still contains water.

Nowadays relics of the Jewish past are few in Kaifeng, since many have been removed abroad for preservation. There are however a few sights worth visiting for the true believer, including a visit to the Museum on Yingbin lu, where a few steles (from 1469, 1512, and 1679), a seventh century drawing of the synagogue and a photographic exhibition are still kept within. Several articles from the synagogue can also still be found in the local Eastern Grand Mosque, including the original blue tile roofing of the building.”

Thanks to him, and goodbye and good luck to him. I hope he can visit Israel in some day.

Too full to walk

I had a splendid day in Kaifeng, and I love the city, I love the person who lived in there. Even I have changed my mind of Henanren. I was also too tired, and returned my hotel. The room was so comfortable, and I decided to lived in there tonight, and went to Shaolin Temple tomorrow morning.

After bathing and rest, I went to the food street for supper. It is a little earlier to go to eat. I planed to go to a church near Daliang Gate. I took a bus, that was only one time for buses in Kaifeng. The city was small ,and easy to get everywhere. It was Saturday, there was a pray in the church, I prayed with them and sung hymn. So nice! I’d like to visit churches in different areas. It was last for one hour, then I went to eat.

The food street was near the Drum Tower, and had huge jollification!!! So many persons, so many sellers!!! Most of the food I haven’t eaten, what should I do??? My stomach was too little!!! I ate Chao Liang Fen, Guan Tang Bao, and some food I can’t remember their names. When I was full, and I heard a huckster who sold his food, smoke-dried rabbits’ legs. It seems so delicious and small! I bough four legs, and finished them. Oh, my god! After the eating, I can’t walk, I was too full. The legs look so small, but you will feel so much when you eating.

How should I do??? How can I return my hotel??? It was only 10mins on foot. I just saw a jinrikisha. I hinted him that I wanted to took his vehicle. But he said: “It is too crowded to pass a jinrikisha, can you come here?”
Tough it was only 3 meters, but I can’t! I can’t move one centimeters, “No, Please come here!” I shamed that I was too full to walk.
“Hi, Man! Really difficult! And……”
“I can’t!” I broke his words.
“OK! Wait a moment”, he felt so strange.
Then, he tried to close to me. Ok! Please!
“Can you help me to get on??” my face turned to red, but he can’t see because the darkness.
He help me to lay down in the jinrikisha, and he asked me “where will you want to go?”
“Song Du Hotel” I answered.
“Hi, Sir! It is so near, you can return there on foot”, he looked so surprise that so short distance.
“I can’t! I want to you earn money, OK?” I hope I can arrive the hotel as soon as possible.
He still felt strange on me, and sent me to my hotel. I help my got off, and I gave him 2RMB.
“Too much! 1RMB is OK”!
How nice of Henanren!!!LOL~~~~~~I can’t think about anything, only want to go to bed for a rest. I moved so slowly, and the desk clerks were both look amazing, they were bug-eyed! Finally, I arrived my bed, and lay down one hour! OK! I can move.

 More Henan Travel Reviews
1. Walking in Mid-Land----Part 1 CALIFORNIA from CN Mar 20, 2006 02:03
2. The Real Thing in Anyang MISHEN from NZ Jun 28, 2005 18:06
Comments (7)


Mar 28, 2006 20:02 Reply

RITA said:

California, you write really well. I can't stop laughing when i finished the "Too full to walk" section.

This is unique California style, and I like it very much!!!

I think I should follow you to write some of my travel experience down.


Mar 28, 2006 19:23 Reply


I am not a glutton,and just want to eat so much good and delicious food!

To Littletree,
I didn't drink in Kaifeng,and just eat too much!Thx!



Mar 28, 2006 07:50 Reply


Hey California,
Another great peice. Are you a bit of a glutton or just too much good food??????

Great information on the Jewish community. I have Kaifeng on my list of places to visit one day for this reason too.


Mar 28, 2006 02:57 Reply


I can not imagine how full you are! You can not even move your steps? Maybe you are drunk, I suppose. I have been to Kaifeng once. Comparatively speaking, it is more peaceful than other cities in Henan. But I did not go to the streets in the evening and it is a pity for me. I like Huimian very much!


Mar 28, 2006 01:16 Reply


Thx!Christine and Pinetree!I will try to write my next story in Shaolin Temple!

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