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Entries about henan province

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 13-14)

Trip to Henan Province and Luoyang


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Luoyang, Henan Province

The bus left Pujiu at around 6 a.m. so we had to get up really early and check out. The girl behind the counter actually was sleeping on a cot when we woke her up to check out.

We had an uneventful trip to Luoyang of about five hours. Upon arrival, we caught a taxi who took us to a business hotel in downtown Luoyang. For the price of 175 Yuan, it was totally unimpressive. We decided to stay one night and then move to a cheaper hotel if we decide to stay another night.

After checking in at around noon, we set out to explore the area within walking distance of or hotel after we had a Luoyang lunch of baodz and jaodz. These are the same all over China.

Local Baodz

Local Baodz

Local Jaodz

Local Jaodz

After lunch, we walked to what appeared to be the center of Luoyang. Here we saw an underground museum of the original inhabitants of the location. Based on the pictures, we decided to pass as it looked to be a strictly bones display. On top of this underground facility was a statue with a team of horses. Apparently a lot of horse bones were on display in the museum.

The Horse Park

The Horse Park

We asked a passerby for directions to the largest and most beautiful park in Luoyang. Without hesitation she gave directions via bus to the this park. Although the day was overcast with the occasional shower, the park was magnificent. No peonies this time of year but in April, it must be something special. Do a Google search on Peony Park Luoyang and it is the only park of its kind in all of China. We were happy we found it.

Peony Park of Luoyang

Entry way into the Peony Park

Entry way into the Peony Park

Pagoda on the left as one enters

Pagoda on the left as one enters

Another "for rest" Pagoda

Another "for rest" Pagoda

The Centerpiece of the Park: The Peony Fairy

The Centerpiece of the Park: The Peony Fairy

The Huge Incense Burner in front of the main building

The Huge Incense Burner in front of the main building

A typical park oval entrance

A typical park oval entrance

Love those Chinese Knockers

Love those Chinese Knockers

More door knockers

More door knockers

Common variety of round window

Common variety of round window


a
A Curious Door

A Curious Door

Guard Lion

Guard Lion

What a wonderful park and first day in Luoyang. All the people we had met, thus far, had been very friendly. Of course, my wife, Sunee, is Chinese and speaks fluent Mandarin.

I had not planned to do any serious tea shopping until we got to Anhui province. I did, however know that Henan produces a top ten Chinese tea from Xinyang Mountains. It is a green tea called Miao Jian. We looked for some as we wondered around the city.

We were planning to go to White Horse Buddhist Temple the following day so we got directions to the appropriate bus stop. On the way we made reservations for the next night at a cheaper hotel near the bus station. We also found some pottery shops close to the hotel. We also picked up some Sinyang Miao Jian at a local tea shop as well.

Negotiations underway for Luoyang Tea Cups

Negotiations underway for Luoyang Tea Cups

After locating the bus station and shopping for tea and tea cups we had our dinner at a nice restaurant nearby the tea shop. We asked for local cuisine.

Luoyang Pork

Luoyang Pork

A Luoyang Specialty

A Luoyang Specialty

White Horse Buddhist Temple

Bright and early, we moved to our new hotel (no one cared what time it was) and checked in. Got to the bus station and with help found where to catch the appropriate bus

It is this one, the guy told us

It is this one, the guy told us

See, it says White Horse Temple

See, it says White Horse Temple

We have traveled throughout Sichuan and much of China, so we knew that tickets for us seniors were available. Not so said the monk (a nasty creature with an obvious dislike of foreigners). Sunee insisted and demanded to see the ticket boss. After a little haggling, we got our half-price tickets. The monk at the ticket counter still hated foreigners but . . . we got in for the correct price.

Hard-fought tickets

Hard-fought tickets

White Horse Temple 白马寺 is the first Buddhist temple in China. It was built in 64 AD during the Eastern Han Dynasty during Emperor Mingdi's reign. Welcome to the cradle of Chinese Buddhism.

Large, normal-looking Temple Entrance

Large, normal-looking Temple Entrance

Posing before the cradle

Posing before the cradle

Lit Candles

Lit Candles

Incense Burner with admirers

Incense Burner with admirers

A big one

A big one

More Lit Candles

More Lit Candles

Symmetry

Symmetry

Traditional Circle Window

Traditional Circle Window

Even Monks get to relax

Even Monks get to relax

The Pink Buddha

The Pink Buddha

Incense and Prayer

Incense and Prayer

Monk doing his lighting the candle job

Monk doing his lighting the candle job

Did I tell you it was hot in July in Henan Province?

Did I tell you it was hot in July in Henan Province?

A Red Buddha

A Red Buddha

A White Horse Monk

A White Horse Monk

These double stairs lead to the same place

These double stairs lead to the same place

New friends and such a nice family who likes foreigners

New friends and such a nice family who likes foreigners

Surprise! A Thai Wat

Surprise! A Thai Wat

Another surprise! A Hindu Church

Another surprise! A Hindu Church

This is definitely a Thai Buddha

This is definitely a Thai Buddha

Burial Place for the local monks

Burial Place for the local monks

Newly built Indian Hall

Newly built Indian Hall

An Indian Buddha

An Indian Buddha

Relaxing with a very friendly Monk

Relaxing with a very friendly Monk

Very interesting Indian-style carving

Very interesting Indian-style carving

Hawkers were everywhere as we exited the temple. We did a little shopping, picking up a couple of more small tea cups and caught the bus back to the bus station. The bus ends and starts at White Horse Temple. On the walk back to our hotel we passed (but did not stop) the local Pizza Hut with KFC right next to it. The monk at White Horse Temple probably did not like foreigners because of KFC, MacDonalds and Pizza Hut. He has to be a vegetarian in order to be a monk. We forgave him for his rudeness.

The local PIzza Hut

The local PIzza Hut

Today had been pure tourist activities. We saw no courtyard houses anywhere in Luoyang. About two hours from Luoyang was a placed called Gongyi which had one of the best examples of courtyard mansions in all of China. But first we must fulfill Sunee's wish to visit the world famous Shao Lin Temple.

Posted by inchinahil 06:35 Archived in China Tagged food architecture park buddhism white_horse_temple peony_fairy_park henan_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 15)

Shaolin Temple near Luoyang


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Shaolin Temple near Luoyang

Yesterday we walked down to the bus station area and made arrangements for a tour company to drop by our hotel to pick us up. We were to join a tour to visit Shao Lin Temple. The agent stated plainly that this tour was to Shao Lin and covered the bus trip but not the entrance fees. We were paying for the convenience of not taking public transportation and we were a bit tired from running after buses. A nice respite, we thought

The car came right on time at 8 a.m. and took us to the agent's building where we climbed onboard a very crowded bus. There were four other foreigners on the bus and a lot of Chinese. I sat next to two lovely Italian students who had finished their classes in Shanghai and were traveling around before returning to Italy. We all relaxed for what we expected would be an easy hour or so trip to the famous monastery and temple.

Wrong!

Within around thirty minutes we made a stop at a cultural site that I never heard of. It was the tomb of the third wife of the fourth emperor's cousin who lived in the area after his first two wives had been killed by the emperor. Not really but it was a newly hatched cultural site that we were not interested. We began to complain to the tour guide that we had not signed up to stop at every temple along the way to Shaolin. He got testy! Eventually he said it was not his problem but several others in the bus had the same reaction. He eventually gave our money back and sent us to the main road to catch the public bus to Shaolin Monastery. The other foreigners stayed with the tour.

The tomb of some wife??

The tomb of some wife??

Waiting for the public bus

Waiting for the public bus

The bus to Shaolin

The bus to Shaolin

Tickets were 100 Yuan for everybody, so we paid our money and entered the world-famous Shaolin Monastery.

Shaolin beginning Practicianers

Shaolin beginning Practicianers

The Shaolin phone system

The Shaolin phone system

On the bus we sat next to a couple of students from Beijing so we decided to visit Shaolin together. I believe they were engineering students.

Our Beijing Friends

Our Beijing Friends

As one enters the complex, on finds an open area for shows. Indeed, there was a show be presented by a bunch of baby monks. After watching several martial arts shows on and around Emei Mountain, this was in comparison "cheezy!"

Baby monks on display

Baby monks on display

More baby monks

More baby monks

Greetings for Shaolin Monastery

Greetings for Shaolin Monastery

More greetings snaps

More greetings snaps

Another Shaolin Phone

Another Shaolin Phone

Wheel of Fortune (actually Life)

Wheel of Fortune (actually Life)

Happy snaps at Shaolin Entrance

Happy snaps at Shaolin Entrance

Guardian 1

Guardian 1

Guardian 2

Guardian 2

Red Door Guard

Red Door Guard

Many Guards

Many Guards

Good Luck

Good Luck

Newly renovated Pagoda

Newly renovated Pagoda

Guard lion

Guard lion

Steal that Stele

Steal that Stele

Turtle Stele

Turtle Stele

Lionhead

Lionhead

HDR (high dynamic range) Post

HDR (high dynamic range) Post

Knockers are my favorite

Knockers are my favorite

Another KNocker photograph

Another KNocker photograph

Filming an important movie

Filming an important movie

A Darkened Lion Head - Rub it for good luck

A Darkened Lion Head - Rub it for good luck

Not a baby but a real Shaolin Monk

Not a baby but a real Shaolin Monk

What is behind the red Lion Door

What is behind the red Lion Door

Crash dummy Bronze Head

Crash dummy Bronze Head

Crash dummy Bronze Bod

Crash dummy Bronze Bod

For a price ride theCamel

For a price ride theCamel

Shaolin monks hawking their wares

Shaolin monks hawking their wares

Teaching about Zen Buddhism

Teaching about Zen Buddhism

Forest of Pagodas

Forest of Pagodas

Very famous Pagodas

Very famous Pagodas

Guarding the steps

Guarding the steps

Open the Blue Door at your own risk

Open the Blue Door at your own risk

Still None Life Photo - Stele with Chair

Still None Life Photo - Stele with Chair

Knocker on Blue

Knocker on Blue

Three thumbs up for the monastery

Three thumbs up for the monastery

Sunee does some Charity

Sunee does some Charity

This Shaolin Monastery was enjoyable and worth the effort. The Monastery, IMNO, is not real - a commercial venture where they are selling the Shaolin Brand. Capitalism at its best. Even though it was very commercial, we enjoyed the visit and the monks played their parts perfectly. We did visit with a few who seemed to enjoy their acting parts and were really friendly. I think the Emei Mountain monks who do martial arts would wipe the floor with these monks but who knows. Wutang Mountain also is well known for its marital arts as well. Shaolin has got the name and the star power behind it and is a very successful tourist attraction. We both liked it very much.

Returning to the entrance at around 4 p.m. we met the foreigners who had been on the bus with us. They had spend a lot of money to get into five different sites on their way to Shaolin. None of them was happy about their current lack of time to enjoy Shaolin. We visited awhile about their adventures then rented a taxi back to our hotel and much needed rest.

Posted by inchinahil 06:34 Archived in China Tagged food mountain monks tourist_sites ancient_town martial_arts buddhist_temples henan_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 16 - 17)

Millionaires Mansion between Luoyang and Zhengzhou


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Longmen Grotto

Today we got up early to go visit the Longmen Grotto, caves full of carved Buddhas that have been worked on for over 400 years since around 490 AD. We had already visited the Dazu Carvings near Chongqing and were not overly excited about the visit plus we were anxious to head on to our next big stop - Millionaire Kang Manor in Gongyi.

We arrived by bus fairly early and had to walk a long, long way just to get near the entrance. Paid some money to ride in a tour cart and then up to the ticket offices. The people had been rather cold to us and a bit arrogant, something we found to be true at the tourist sites with touts and agents.

Sunee checked the prices and asked for the seniors tickets. Sorry. Not at this site for foreigners. We lost interest really quick when we found this out. No amount of negotiations helped so we decided to pass - Chinese who pay Chinese taxes get senior discounts but foreigners who pay Chinese taxes do not. We decided long ago to pretty much stay away from such racist sites. We never found a place in Sichuan that did this.

Again, the people we met in Luoyang were very nice and helpful. I had a student from Luoyang whom we wanted to visit and she help set up our visit, but she ended up getting to go to Taiwan as an exchange student a month before we arrived. We were sad we were unable to visit her but happy for her success of getting to attend a university in Taiwan.

A map of the Longmen Grottos near the first entrance

A map of the Longmen Grottos near the first entrance

Sorry, no discount for senior foreign devils

Sorry, no discount for senior foreign devils

Gongyi and Millionaire Kang Manor

After the Longmen fiasco, we checked out of our hotel and went to the bus station to catch a bus to Gongyi, home of the courtyard manor known as Millionaire Kang Manor. The bus left at around 3 p.m. and took around two and a half hours. We arrived at sundown and found an inexpensive hotel near downtown. We walked around for an interesting restaurant and found a place that had Xinjiang Big Chicken Dish. It was wonderful and at a great price.

Big Chicken Dish

Big Chicken Dish

The next morning we followed the directions and in around thirty minutes we had reached our destination.

Two months prior to making this trip, I had ordered a book from Amazon to get some idea of what we would be looking for in courtyard houses. Chinese Houses by Ronald G. Knapp gave us a good idea of what we would be looking at and where to find them. This was the main reason decided to make this Shanxi trip.

The Kang Millionaire Manor was started in the Ming Dynasty by one of the most prosperous families in Henan and in all of China. The family remained united for over 400 years and gradually developed this self-sufficient manor or zhengyuan 状元 employing thousands of servants and workers to maintain it.

In 1901, the Empress Dowager, Ci Xi, spent the night as a guest on her way back to Beijing from Xian. She was so impressed by the manor and the Kangs that she called them Kangbaiwan and, thus, the complex became known as Kang Millionaire Manor.

At its zenith, it covered more than 64,300 square meters and had five main courtyards which, by the way, are still intact. It is an impressive complex but, as most Chinese buildings of this style, become very confusing as one wonders around from courtyard to courtyard and through a myriad of oval and other doorways. It was one of the highlights of our trip and cemented the concept in my mind that the courtyard houses of the type found in Beijing are not really the typical example. These big manors expanded over time with the addition of the typical courtyard house. The richer the family, the more courtyards.

Chinese Houses

Chinese Houses

Our destination by local bus was easily visible from the street and a big sign out front.

Millionaire Kang Manor is right over there

Millionaire Kang Manor is right over there

Wide view from the road

Wide view from the road

One had to walk across a nicely appointed park area to get to the ticket office. Remnants of ancient buildings and artifacts could be seen immediately.

Old entrance gate

Old entrance gate

No negotiations this time! The people at the ticket office sold us discount tickets with a huge smile and welcomed us, wishing us to have a great time.

Half-price tickets are Good

Half-price tickets are Good

On the way to the main complex that was the manor, we passed a great little courtyard that we examined carefully. Just what we were looking for.

A very nice new Courtyard

A very nice new Courtyard

A fair piece to walk from the ticket office to the manor allowed one to do a bit of shopping for "antiques" and Manor branded stuff.

Main Entrance

Main Entrance

Newly minted antiques for sale

Newly minted antiques for sale

The main entrance was set up for tourists but we were the only ones entering through the long tunnel and the opened impressive black wood doors.

Entrance into the actual complex

Entrance into the actual complex

The imposing Black Door

The imposing Black Door

Long Entrance tunnel

Long Entrance tunnel

Walk around with us as we take a look at this huge complex of courtyards and Chinese architecture.

A Side Entrance

A Side Entrance

Two guard Lions

Two guard Lions

A Old Stele

A Old Stele

Oval door into another courtyard

Oval door into another courtyard

Brick Doorway

Brick Doorway

Half a dozen old Stele tops laying around

Half a dozen old Stele tops laying around

The hottest day of the trip

The hottest day of the trip

One of many doorways

One of many doorways

The main Courtyard

The main Courtyard

Main Bedroom

Main Bedroom

Chinese Red Interior

Chinese Red Interior

Library

Library

Crane Interior

Crane Interior

White Interior

White Interior

Cave for cooling off

Cave for cooling off

A real Cart - not a prop

A real Cart - not a prop

The Orange Bedroom

The Orange Bedroom

The Yellow Bedroom

The Yellow Bedroom

It is just too Hot

It is just too Hot

Lots of these Oval Doors

Lots of these Oval Doors

Lock picture - almost as good as knocker pictures

Lock picture - almost as good as knocker pictures

Beautiful Small Courtyard

Beautiful Small Courtyard

Phoenix Bricks

Phoenix Bricks

Qing Dynasty Toilet - waste not the time

Qing Dynasty Toilet - waste not the time

Another Oval door into another Courtyard

Another Oval door into another Courtyard

Another Lock photo

Another Lock photo

I took a lot of pictures to give us some concept of how Chinese courtyards are laid out. Too many pictures, too much walking and too many times confused as to where we were, made for a tiring day. This coupled with the extreme heat made us slow down on our excited exploration of the complex. It was very hot as the photos indicate.

We walked back out the entrance and said goodbye to the staff at the ticket gate and caught a bus back to our hotel. Actually, we got on the wrong bus and when we realize it, the bus driver let us off with the direction to where we were staying. Getting off at the same location was a young college student from Gongyi. She gave us directions to our hotel then decided to walk back to the hotel with us. We had a great conversation and found out a lot of how people lived in Gongyi and the area. A nice surprise ending to an inspiring visit.

Friend in Gongyi

Friend in Gongyi

We were too tired to eat a lot so that evening we got some snacks and walked around a city park to take in the atmosphere.

Xinjiang bread - a delicacy we never turn down

Xinjiang bread - a delicacy we never turn down

Gazebo at Night

Gazebo at Night

The next morning we were scheduled to catch a bus to Zhengzhou, the capitol of Henan Province, where we would change buses to Kaifeng. My readings on Zhengzhou did not show anything of interest or at least no courtyard houses so we decided to press on to the former Song Dynasty capitol of Kaifeng.

Posted by inchinahil 06:32 Archived in China Tagged food architecture house gongyi courtyard_house henan_province millionaires_mansion Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 18)

Kaifeng, Henan Province


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Kaifeng

The trip through Zhengzhou was uneventful except we had to change buses in a weird residential area. The second bus then took us on to the bus station where we again had to change buses to get to the Kaifeng bus. All the service personnel we interacted with at the bus stations were really great and went out of their way to insure we were headed in the right direction or on the right bus. The people on the bus seemed genuinely interest in us and Sunee struck up a conversation with several of them as we went from bus to bus.

On the Bus to Zhengzhou

On the Bus to Zhengzhou

We arrived in Kaifeng and tried to locate a hotel which I had read about in one of the Lonely Planet articles on the internet. No luck as our taxi driver had never heard of it. We ended up about a block from the night market downtown in a hundred plus year old hotel. The rooms were comfortable and a little run down but . . . one hundred years old and in a great location at a good price.

For lunch we walked across the street from the hotel and found a cute little restaurant with cute little Chinese girls waitressing. What can I say? They were overjoyed to see us and we had a great lunch and friendly conversation

Our wonderful waitress

Our wonderful waitress

The people at the restaurant told us all the neat things to do in Kaifeng starting with the Kiafeng museum. We arrived by taxi and had to wait a half hour for it to open. It was also free. A very professional museum with a lot of stuff to see. The Print Museum section was especially interesting because they were in production when we visited. Even bought a couple of the prints hot off the presses.

The Print Museum

The Print Museum

Printmaking

Printmaking

Sold a finished  Chinese labor-intensive Print

Sold a finished Chinese labor-intensive Print

Museum Gold

Museum Gold

A huge carved Wood panel

A huge carved Wood panel

The Kaifeng Museum

The Kaifeng Museum

After about two hours in the museum we visited second site on our list from the restaurant.

Bao Zheng 包拯 Memorial Temple and Park

Judge Bao Zheng or Bao Qing Tian 包青天 was a magistrate in Kaifeng during the Song Dynasty. Every Chinese knows who he is because he is considered to be the symbol of justice in China. He was born in Hefei, Anhui Province into a scholar family. He passed the highest level Imperial Exam and was assigned to Kaifeng or Bian as it was called during the Song Dynasty. There is a TV series that Sunee never missed about him. She knew who he was and what he did from watching all the TV serials about him. She was very happy to be able to visit where he lived and worked.

Bao Zheng Entrance

Bao Zheng Entrance

Again half-price tickets without negotiations

Again half-price tickets without negotiations

Ceremonial Drum

Ceremonial Drum

Ceremonial Gong

Ceremonial Gong

Statue of Bao Qing Tian

Statue of Bao Qing Tian

Lion Door

Lion Door

Beautiful red Porch with pillars

Beautiful red Porch with pillars

As we walked around enjoying the architecture and the displays, we came across a monk selling his handicrafts. He told us he was a ShaoLin Monk. We also found out that he was married and not a vegetarian. This, according to him, was a special dispensation for only ShaoLin monks who were in training to be warriors. He was a very friendly and interesting fellow. The wood burning pictures in the background were his specialty.

A ShaoLin Monk

A ShaoLin Monk

Very impressive entrance way

Very impressive entrance way

Blue Roofed prayer hall

Blue Roofed prayer hall

Finally, another Old Knocker to photograph

Finally, another Old Knocker to photograph

The Main Pagoda

The Main Pagoda

The Front area of thePagoda

The Front area of thePagoda

Pagoda Courtyard area

Pagoda Courtyard area

As we walked to the tallest building in the complex, we saw a lot of activity with people dressed up in Song Dynasty Clothng. A show dealing with life in old Bian was about to take place.

Showtime is coming soon

Showtime is coming soon

There were three separate sections to the presentation with several people being arrested and a couple getting married Song Dynasty style. It was very entertaining and kept me busy with photography.

An Actor

An Actor

A Sheng Player

A Sheng Player

Pagoda up close

Pagoda up close

Headed for the exit, we came across another show taking place on the edge of a beautiful pond with a small pagoda. Acrobats as good as any we have seen in China gave a great show. It was during this show that my camera began to have problems. The camera, a Canon A640, did not want to extend its lens and gave me a lens error. Oh no! I finally got it to work after a few minutes and forgot about it as we finished and exited the complex.

A Small Pagoda

A Small Pagoda

Acrobats

Acrobats

Nicely done landscapedpond

Nicely done landscapedpond

Carved wooden Elephant near the pagoda

Carved wooden Elephant near the pagoda

Flower with pond as backdrop

Flower with pond as backdrop

It was getting late so we went back to our hotel, cleaned up and relaxed for a couple of hours before heading out to see what surprises the night market held for us.

Love that Chinese Bread

Love that Chinese Bread

Stuffed baked buns

Stuffed baked buns

Kaifeng Assortment of goodies

Kaifeng Assortment of goodies

Kaifen Special dumplings or Jaodz 饺子

Kaifen Special dumplings or Jaodz 饺子

A plate full of fried dumplings or Guotieh 锅贴

A plate full of fried dumplings or Guotieh 锅贴

Making Candy

Making Candy

We got plenty to eat and the night market was as exciting a place as every night market we had visited all over China. Love this city!

Posted by inchinahil 06:31 Archived in China Tagged architecture tourist_sites kaifeng ancient_town buddhist_temples song_dynasty henan_province Comments (0)

Courtyard Dream House Adventure (July 19)

Song Dynasty Capital Theme Park And The Iron Pagoda


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Qingmingshanhetu Park

We arrived to the park area at around 0800. We were not sure when it opened and had been told to get there early. We found the ticket booths opened at 0830 and the actual theme parked opened at 0930. This gave me some time to take a few pictures and look at the map of the place.

According to the signs, this place had been built by Hong Kong business people about two years previously. It only recently finished all the attractions planned. The park is called the Kaifeng Millennium City Park or Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden 清明山河突. It is a cultural park which depicts life in the Song Dynasty (960-1127) capitol of Bianjing 汴京.

Qingmingshanghetu

Qingmingshanghetu

Qingming Festival Landscape Garden Map

Qingming Festival Landscape Garden Map

Near the Entrance

Near the Entrance

At 0830 we lined up for our tickets and found there was a problem with the half-price tickets for seniors. No foreigner discount tickets, the lady told us. Mmmmm, that is interesting because the sign right above the ticket lady stated there was in English. We insisted so she sent us to her supervisor around the back.

The supervisor was very nice and we showed her the sign above the ticket booth in English. She then left to call her supervisor. About five minutes later she came back with our senior tickets. She was polite, cheerful and apologized for any misunderstanding. I love this city!

We have Ticket Problems

We have Ticket Problems

The Problems Resolved

The Problems Resolved

The Grand Opening ceremony started at 0900 and lasted about a half hour. Amidst loud horns, gongs and drums a bunch of make-believe soldiers and officials came out to welcome the guest. Hey, I liked it!

The Grand Official Opening

The Grand Official Opening

The Opening is a bit cheezy

The Opening is a bit cheezy

Horseman supporting the Opening

Horseman supporting the Opening

A soldier during the Opening

A soldier during the Opening

It was 0930 so we entered the Song Dynasty. The first thing we were confronted with was the statue of Zhang. Gotta take a picture, right?

Zhang Zeduan 张择端 inspired this theme park. He painted a huge long scroll depicting life along the riverside during the Song Dynasty. The scrolls was entitled Along the River During the Qingming Festival 清明上河图. Most of the sites and events in the park are depicted on this huge scroll. We ended up buying several copies of this scroll in several different formats. It is very nice.

Can't miss the Statue of Zhang Zeduan

Can't miss the Statue of Zhang Zeduan

A couple of nicely painted buildings on our left greeted us. Sunee immediately decided we should take a boat ride. Nice chance for pictures.

Nice Yellow building on the Left

Nice Yellow building on the Left

Large Orange building on the Dragon Pavilion Lake

Large Orange building on the Dragon Pavilion Lake

Lets take a boat on the Dragon Pavilion Lake

Lets take a boat on the Dragon Pavilion Lake

The famous Red Bridge over the river

The famous Red Bridge over the river

It is hot so here are Umbrellas

It is hot so here are Umbrellas

Need a Song guide

Need a Song guide

Closer to the Red Bridge

Closer to the Red Bridge

While in the boat we witnessed a reenactment of a merchant ship getting robbed by a bunch of pirates and then the local police doing in the pirates. There were angry shouts and a lot of shooting at each other. Again, a bit cheezy but I enjoyed the show.

The following are scenes as we floated on the lake.

Chinese merchant Ship in trouble

Chinese merchant Ship in trouble

A scene on the lake

A scene on the lake

The Main Pagoda

The Main Pagoda

Working Waterwheel

Working Waterwheel

One of many watergates

One of many watergates

When we disembarked, we met several mobile sales people with an efficient method of transporting their wares.

Efficient Mobil Sales everywhere

Efficient Mobil Sales everywhere

Throughout the garden, one finds activities to watch or interact with. They were fun to watch and made for interesting photos.

Guess your weight Man

Guess your weight Man

The local taxi service

The local taxi service

Song songster playing the crowd

Song songster playing the crowd

Donations to a roving monk

Donations to a roving monk

Fish feeding

Fish feeding

Need a light?

Need a light?

There were scenes from the Song Dynasty at every turn. Things to do and things to see.

Here are some Directions

Here are some Directions

A bridge scene

A bridge scene

Sunee beating the drum

Sunee beating the drum

Bet this is a Restaurant

Bet this is a Restaurant

One of the things we learned traveling around China is the Chinese love to dress up in period costumes for the camera. It is a cheap way to be entertained and Sunee and I get involved as often as we can

Dressing up for photos

Dressing up for photos

Important PhotoOp for the emperor

Important PhotoOp for the emperor

Another important PhotoOp

Another important PhotoOp

Sunee as a Song Princess

Sunee as a Song Princess

Do not mess with the chief magistrate of Bianjing!

The great magistrate

The great magistrate

It was during the costumes photo sessions that my little Canon A640 died again with a lens error. I could not bring it back to life so I began using the still camera on the Panasonic camcorder. Slow process but at least I will get some pictures. Is the A640 dead forever? That is the question we hope to answer sometime on our journey to find the perfect courtyard house.

Kaifeng Iron Pagoda

The Iron Pagoda (鐵塔) of Youguo Temple (佑國寺) is the symbol of Kaifeng City and a masterpiece of the Song Dynasty. It was built in 1049 AD
and is not made of iron but the color of the tiles looks like iron. Enough history! We left the Qingmingshanhetu and got a taxi to the Iron Pagoda where we spent the rest of the afternoon. It was a hot day so we did not tarry in the sun.

The Iron Pagoda Entrance

The Iron Pagoda Entrance

Youguo Temple Landscape

Youguo Temple Landscape

The Youguo Temple

The Youguo Temple

The Iron Pagoda

The Iron Pagoda

Nice side Doorway

Nice side Doorway

A distant View

A distant View

Happy and Fat Buddha

Happy and Fat Buddha

A framed View

A framed View

Quick Lunch of Kaifeng noodles

Quick Lunch of Kaifeng noodles

Antique picture of the Iron pagoda

Antique picture of the Iron pagoda

We spent about three hours at the Iron Pagoda. It was frustrating trying to use our Panasonic camcorder to take pictures. I had to wait for the camcorder to record each picture on the SD card making it impossible to take a lot of pictures. Got enough for a blog, though.

Posted by inchinahil 06:30 Archived in China Tagged bridges people architecture temple ancient tourist_sites song_dynasty henan_province qingmingshanghetu Comments (1)

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