Kaifengeast Henan Province.
Countless expats immigrated right here and lived their whole lives, especially Arabians and Persians, who afterwards formed a new ethnic group in China, named Hui (回族). Jews also settled in Kaifeng in the Bible Hutong (教经胡同; Jiaojing Hutong).
By planeThe nearest airport is in Zhengzhou Xinzheng Airport (FTAT Code:CGO), an hour away and ¥160 by taxi or ¥30 by high-speed train (see below). An alternative way from the airport to Kaifeng is to take a shuttle bus from just outside the arrival gate to Civil Aviation Hotel (民航大酒店）in Jinshui Road (¥15), then walk east for around 20 minutes to the mini bus station Deyi Bus Station (德亿汽车站） from where you can take a bus to near Kaifeng Railway Station (¥7).
Kaifeng StationOn the Shanghai-Xi'an line. Hard seat tickets may be difficult to obtain but next day (or even same day) hard-sleeper tickets (from Shanghai, 6.5 hours, ¥222; from Xi'an, 7 hours, ¥140) are readily available outside peak periods. The train from Zhengzhou is around 45 minutes and costs ¥11-19.
Songcheng Lu StationKaifeng has a dedicated high speed rail connection to Zhengzhou East (30 minutes), continuing to Xinzheng Airport, running about every 90 minutes. The terminus in Kaifeng is at Songcheng Lu, some distance west of the old city. It takes about 15-30 minutes to get there by bus or taxi (¥20-25). The high-speed connection to Kaifeng Station remains incomplete as of April 2018.
Kaifeng North StationLong-distance high speed trains on the Lanzhou-Xuzhou high-speed rail line call at Kaifeng North.
By busThere are buses to Kaifeng from other places in Henan, including from Zhengzhou Long-Distance Bus Station and Luoyang Long Distance Bus Station. There is also long-distance bus service to major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
Kaifeng Central Bus StationThe main bus terminal is near Kaifeng Station
By taxiTaxis are ¥5 for the first 3 km and ¥1.30 for each additional kilometer. Rides within the city will not exceed ¥10.
By busLocal buses go everywhere within the city and cost ¥1. Bus 20 is a sightseeing bus going to all the major sights.
There is a bus stop at the corner of the carpark in front of the train station. From here bus no 9 and bus no 1 will take you into town - fare ¥1.
By rickshawOne very good way to get around Kaifeng and see the sites is to take what the locals call "bengbeng"; essentially a tuktuk or motorised rickshaw. 6 kuai will take you from the train station to Henan University's old campus, essentially the length of the city. Short trips should be two or three kuai.
Landmarks and buildings
Daxiangguo Templeaddress: Ziyou RoadThis temple was built AD555 during the Qi Dynasty with new buildings added in 1661 and 1766. The entire complex has 64 temples but the three main halls are of the greatest interest. The large rectangular Tathagata Hall (Daxiongbaodian) is where monks perform daily chanting rituals in front of three huge Buddhas. In the middle is an impressive bronze Sakyamuni, left is Amitabha and right is the Medicine Buddha, each with a silk hood surrounding their head. At the back of the three Buddhas is a Goddess of Mercy standing on a dragon's head and flanked by a various golden figures. Rising behind them to the roof are a multitude of heavenly figures supported on clouds. Along the side are sculptures of some peculiar looking Arhats; look for the one with an abnormally long arm reaching almost to the roof. The octagonal Arhat Hall (Louhandian) is beautifully constructed with upturned eaves and painted roof beams. The hall houses a breathtakingly beautiful four-sided golden Avalokitesavara said to be carved from a single tree over 50 years. She has six main arms, one set holding aloft a Buddha and 1000 other arms radiating outward with an eye in each palm. The rear Tripitaka Hall has two floors, the upper holding sutras and the lower a white Burmese jade Buddha in the Burmese style and a glass replica of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand’s Grand Palace. Unfortunately, all halls have a No Photo policy which is rarely adhered to even by local tourists, and rarely enforced by the attending monks.
phone: +86 13781152704address: 21 South Jiaojing Hutong 南教经胡同21号Esther Guo Yan is a descendant of Kaifeng Jews, who moved from to Kaifeng via India in the Northern Song Dynasty around 1,000 years ago. She was formerly a Chinese teacher who now works full time at the Kaifeng Jewish History Memorial Center, to preserve and restore Jewish culture in the city. Listen to her stories on how her ancestors came to China, the current presence of Jews in Kaifeng, her sense of Jewish identity and her plans to restore the ancient synagogue buried under the ground. Just give her a call on her mobile - she is very passionate about her cause and eager to share her stories. All contributions go towards her cause.
Shudian JieRunning north from Gulou Square this busy street is lined with a mix of old wooden and newer concrete buildings in various styles. Originally called Big Store Street in the Ming Dynasty it was renamed Bookstore Street in the Qing Dynasty when it became the center for shops selling books, paper and pens. Carved doors, shuttered windows and painted roof beams peek out from between oversized billboards but there is still plenty of facade remaining visible to give a feeling of the old street.
Dragon Pavilionaddress: Northern end of Zhongshan RoadThe area around Dragon Pavilion was the site if the Ming dynasty palace of Prince Zhou. At the southern end of the street leading to Dragon Pavilion stands a reconstructed Wu gate. The remainder of the street is lined with many old buildings. In the late Ming period the palace was destroyed by floods, leaving only the foundations buried 5m under modern Kaifeng, however the city walls were later built along the same axis. A long bridge divides Yangjia Lake leading to the pavilion itself. Much the same views of the pavilion and lake can be seen by walking around the right side of the lake (without buying a ticket) as from inside the park.
Iron Pagodaaddress: Next to North Gate on Jiefeng RoadBuilt in 1049 the 13-storey octagonal pagoda is said to be the most famous pagoda in China. It got its name in the Yuan Dynasty due the brown glazed tile covering its exterior giving the appearance of iron. It is still in good condition and can be climbed using the internal stairs for ¥30 (not for the claustrophobic, no viewing platform, just a dead end at the top, but several windows along the way and interesting bricks to look at). There is a Buddhist temple located near the pagoda and a small lake.
Po Pagodaaddress: 30 Po Ta West Road, 禹王台区繁塔西街30号Standing nine storeys tall until the Ming dynasty, this stocky three-storey hexagonal pagoda dates to 974, and is covered in large tiles featuring Buddhist figures. Tourists seldom visit. It can be climbed if the internal stairway's gate is unlocked that day.
Baogong Memorial TempleTemple built to honor Lord Bao.
Yanqing Taoist Templeaddress: Western end of Dazhifang StreetA small temple containing a two-story pagoda with a beautiful blue glazed tile balcony and painted carvings on the front gate.
The city wallSurrounding the city is the old city walls punctuated at various points with gates. Of most interest are the North gate and Little South gate on either end of Jiefeng Road that resemble the arched gates in Xi'an. The other gates are merely gaps in the wall.
Kaifengfujian StreetSet on the edge of Baogong Lake this new construction is supposed to be a recreation of old Kaifeng and is of little interest unless you are into hourly parades of people dressed up like Song dynasty officials.
Parks and nature
Banjiang Parkaddress: Next to Xinkai GateJust outside the city walls at XinKai Gate, a large statue of a heroic looking Mao fronts this unremarkable park. Inside are various gardens, statues and a rusting ferris wheel.
phone: +86 378 5663819address: 5 Longting West Road, Longting District (龙亭区龙亭西路5号; Lóngtíngqū Lóngtíngxīlù)This park is based on a Song Dynasty painting called Going Upriver for Qingming Festival. It illustrates Song Dynasty daily life, shops and workshops. The original painting can be seen the Forbidden City in Beijing. Copies can be bought in the park.
address: 6th St, Longting QuHuge museum in the new part of Kaifeng with exhibitions of paintings, stelae and bronze. There is an exhibition on Song technology including a life-size copy of water-powered observatory and a room dedicated to the painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival showing Song-era Kaifeng. The original is not in Kaifeng but there are several old copies and a well-made multimedia version. Kaifeng Jews stelae are not on display as of April 2018.
Kaifeng Museumphone: +86 378 3933624address: 26 Yingbin Road (迎宾路26号; Yíngbīnlù)Exhibits on Kaifeng's history in first half of 1900s as well as Kaifeng's period as capital of Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Check before visiting if it is still open as a new museum has been opened in the new part of Kaifeng.
Walk inside the wallTake a walk along the inside of the wall between Xinkai Gate and Song Gate to see houses made from bricks scavenged from the wall.
- Embroidery — dates back to the Northern Song Dynasty
- Fighting Kites
- New Year Posters — originally made in nearby Zhuxianzhen and dates back to the Tang Dynasty, shows rural scenes with persons from famous legends.
- Watermelon — the local watermelons are considered especially tasty
- Spiced Bean Curd — the local tradition for spiced bean curd dates back at least 2000 years
- Peanut Cake — has been made here for more than 1000 years
Markets and shopping streets
Shidun Street MarketGreat varitey of products for sale including clothes, cosmetics and kitchenware.
Daxiangguo Temple Marketaddress: Ziyou RoadThe largest market in town, offering clothes, electronics and much other.
Song StreetTourist shops selling souvenirs.
Sihou StreetThe main shopping street in town.
Renmin Department Storeaddress: 23 Madao streetState owned department store offering clothes and much other.
Kaifeng City Antiques Storeaddress: Zhongshan Street
BudgetYou will find a lot of snack stands around, which include Sandao (made of flour, bee honey, sugar and stuff), peanut cake, sesame cake etc. There are also many other cheap options.
Night Marketaddress: Gulou Square (Gulou Guangchang)Wonderful selection of foods.
SimenThis is one of the many Muslim restaurants in the city. The mutton soup is just perfectly boiled, try it for breakfast during the winter.
Diyilou RestaurantA famous place to get the Kaifeng specialty, baozi, in best quality. These baozi contains soup, so be careful when eating them.
NanyangshiServes hula soup, which is the main choice of breakfast for the locals (other similar food stands are almost everywhere). They only serve in the morning time should it be sunny.
No. 3 Chemical FactoryThis food might make you guys feel weird, but it is highly recommended. This is a donkey meat soup shop. Buy it, sit there, close your eyes if you really doubt its taste, and eat! Do not worry, the bosses of the soup shop and the chemical factory do not know each other.
Youyixin Restaurantphone: +86 378 2552888address: 23 Drum Tower streetServes traditional local food.
Hangtian Night ClubKaraoke, disco and billards.
Zuitaibeiphone: +86 378 5251619address: Drum Tower SquareSoft music and dance. Warning: Controlled by Hongmen
Kaifeng International Youth Hostelphone: +86 378-2231050address: 30 Ying Bin RoadThe only real budget option when it comes to Kaifeng and is a must to stay at compared to other options in town. Kaifengs only YHA (run by a friendly Australian ex-pat) which brings with it all the usual things - Cheap rooms that are sparkling clean and quiet (dorm with western toilet/shower - ¥40-45, Standard spacious ensuite rooms (3 star standard) with flatscreen TV - ¥95-125), Free fast internet incl. WiFi and popular social network access, young local English speaking staff, western kitchen (great pizzas!), bar including espresso, wine & spirits, DVD's/BBC documentaries on a 36 inch LCD in the bar, Train booking service, Travel info, Bike Hire, Self Laundry service etc etc etc. Located 3km (¥5 taxi) from the main bus/train station next to Bao Gong Lake. Easy walk to the central sites, and simple bus/bike rides to the sights further out
Jin Xue HotelA few doors south of the PSB on ZhongShan Lu. This old hotel is no-frills, no English speaking staff.
Dajintai Binguanaddress: Gulou JieOnce a budget favourite, its recent price hikes in 12 months by 100% from those listed in the latest edition of a popular guidebook, have elevated this to a terribly overpriced midrange option. Located in the large gray-brick building with tatty red lanterns hanging along the front. Friendly non-English speaking staff and relatively comfortable if gloomy and rundown rooms make it ok if only for its central location, but the price disqualifies it from being a rational choice, given the new budget options in town since early 2011 (see above). Rooms often stink of cigarette smoke. The attached ‘business centre’ provides photocopying (¥1 per page) and email (¥5/hour)
New Century Grand Hotel Kaifengphone: +86 378 3399999address: 开发区大梁路人民检察院对面Five-star hotel with rooms with free internet.
By train or bus, the bus station is across the street from the train Station.