Considered the cradle of Chinese civilisation, Henan sprawls across the Yellow River Valley in the heart of China. It’s home to UNESCO-listed Buddhist monasteries and rock-carved grottoes, as well as a rich heritage of porcelain making in its ancient cities.
Things to do in Henan
Want to see the first Buddhist temple established in China? Visit Luoyang’s Baima Si, or White Horse Temple, which was built in 68 AD under the patronage of Emperor Ming. Wander through the tranquil courtyards and manicured gardens, then admire the recreated Thai, Burmese and Indian Buddhist complexes that lie adjacent.
Just outside the city of Luoyang are the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Longmen Grottoes, where tens of thousands of Buddha statues are carved into the limestone cliffs. They’re considered among China’s finest examples of Buddhist art and line the scenic banks of the Yi River alongside ancient stelae and inscriptions.
Don’t miss the Shaolin Monastery, a 1,500-year old temple complex renowned for its martial arts school. Witness the impressive Shaolin Kung Fu Show and admire the intricately decorated architectural features, stela and tablets before wandering through the adjacent Pagoda Forest.
If you’re interested in the history of Chinese porcelain, visit the Yuzhou Jun Royal Kiln Museum in the ancient city of Yuzhou. Browse the exhibits to gain insight into the development of the ceramics industry in Henan before visiting the birthplace of Jun porcelain culture in the old town of Shenhou to wander its beautifully preserved village.
Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport is a 45-minute drive south of Henan’s capital, Zhengzhou. Both buses and trains connect to destinations throughout Henan province.