Henan attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Site in Luoyang

Longmen Grottoes

The ravaged grottoes at Longmen constitute one of China’s handful of surviving masterpieces of Buddhist rock carving. A sutra in stone, the epic achievement of the Longmen Grottoes was commenced by chisellers from t…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Kaifeng

Temple of the Chief Minister

First founded in AD 555, this frequently rebuilt temple vanished along with Kāifēng in the early 1640s, when rebels breached the Yellow River’s dykes. During the Northern Song, the temple covered a massive 34 hectar…
Top Choice Museum in Luoyang

Luòyáng Museum

This huge museum, situated out of the action south of the river, has exhilarating displays across two huge floors and is one of the few places to get ancient Luòyáng in any kind of perspective. There’s an absorbing …
Buddhist Monastery in Luoyang

White Horse Temple

Although its original structures have all been replaced and older Buddhist shrines may have vanished, this vast, active monastery outside Luòyáng is regarded as China’s first surviving Buddhist temple, originally da…
Mountain in Song Shan & Dengfeng

Mt Tàishì

Arguably the best hike in the area, Mt Tàishì serves as a much quieter counterpoint to Shàolín Temple. It's not for slackers, however; like all Chinese mountains, the steps go straight up, and these ascend a leg-bus…
Buddhist Temple in Song Shan & Dengfeng

Shàolín Temple

The largely rebuilt Shàolín Temple is a commercialised victim of its own incredible success. A frequent target of war, the ancestral home of wǔshù was last torched in 1928, and the surviving halls – many of recent c…
Taoist Temple in Song Shan & Dengfeng

Zhōngyuè Temple

A few kilometres east of Dēngfēng, the ancient and hoary Zhōngyuè Miào is a colossal active Taoist monastery complex that originally dates back to the 2nd century BC. The complex – embedded in a mountainous backgrou…
Ruins in Kaifeng

Former Site of Kāifēng Synagogue

Sadly, nothing remains of the synagogue – finally swept away in mid-19th-century floodwaters – except a well with an iron lid in the boiler room of the Kāifēng Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital (开封中医院, Kāifēng Z…
Museum in Luoyang

Ancient Tombs Museum

This superb but little-visited museum has three main exhibits: 20 reconstructed tombs (spanning five main dynasties, or over 1000 years), re-created using original building materials; original tomb murals; and a Nor…
Historic Building in Kaifeng

Shānshǎngān Guild Hall

This tiny, elaborately styled guild hall was built as a lodging and meeting place during the Qing dynasty by an association of merchants from Shānxi (山西), Shaanxi (陕西) and Gānsù (甘肃) provinces. Note the ornate carvi…