Introducing Sōng Shān & Dēngfēng
Three main peaks comprise Sōng Shān, rising to 1512m about 80km west of Zhèngzhōu. In Taoism, Sōng Shān is considered the central mountain, symbolising earth among the five elements. Occupying the axis directly beneath heaven, Taoist Sōng Shān is also famed as the sacred home of the Buddhist Shaolin Temple.
At the foot of 1494m-high Tàishì Shān a short ride southeast of the Shaolin Temple, sits the squat little town of Dēngfēng. Tatty and squalid in parts, it is used by travellers as a base for trips to surrounding sights or exploratory treks into the hills.