This is part one of my adventures in Henan Province, which started in Zhengzhou. Stay tuned for more weekly updates of my trip!
In July, I had the chance to spend a week traveling through Henan Province. This province is much more north than Guangzhou and much more inland. Like Guangzhou, it has an amazing ancient history – not only did the Silk Road start here, but it was the home of the ancient Shang Dynasty, the first Dynasty with contemporary evidence of its existence.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a reservation.
I started my trip in Zhengzhou, China, the capital of Henan Province. The city was massive – my subway ride from the airport to my hostel took 90 minutes!
I stayed at Changlv Capsule Hotel, which I found on Booking.com.* This hotel was a three-bedroom apartment converted into a capsule hostel. In my room, there were about 8 different capsules with a shade I could pull down for privacy. My capsule was super cozy and even had a TV.
After checking in, I got a dockless bike to ride around my area. I found a really pretty park to wander through and then went to the Zhengzhou Museum because it was nearby.
The museum was free (show your ID at a booth by the gate for your ticket) and the exhibits were okay. I was super irritated that the museum subscribed to the sexist policy requiring all bags, no matter how small, to be put inside lockers at the entrance. You get a little slip of paper with a barcode on it to open your locker and you have to carry that and anything else, like your phone.
[The reason this is sexist is because women’s clothing often doesn’t contain pockets (which is also sexist), which is why we carry purses. Requiring all bags, including purses to be put away means that women more so then men have nowhere but their hands to carry their crap. I tried to explain this to the docent, but I merely got a smile and “the solution is to carry it in your hands,” (no shit, Sherlock, that’s what I was irritated about in the first place).]
After finishing at the museum, I took Bus # 58 past the Town’s God Temple, which had closed for the afternoon and the Erqi Temple, which is a city landmark. If you have extra time, either of these may be worth checking out. The Erqi Temple is near a major pedestrian street with lots of street food. I enjoyed picking snacks and drinks from the different booths.
The map also shows that there are ancient city ruins. When I went by them, they were blocked off by construction so I couldn’t see anything cool. I enjoyed biking across the Yellow River and then walking through a park with lovely lily pads and flowers.
The next morning, I went up to the Henan Museum, an absolutely spectacular building that unfortunately was under construction so I couldn’t enter the main halls. A separate building had an incredibly thorough exhibit of ancient art and antiquities from the region. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 9 to 4 in the winter, and 9 to 4:30 in the summer.
One of the highlights of my visit to the Henan Museum was the ancient music performance. (Twice a day at 11 and 4). Unlike the museum (also free with ID at a booth by the gate), the music performance cost 35 RMB. Check out my video for the first performance. Wow!
When I was done at the museum, I took a train to Anyang, which is the oldest of the three ancient capitals in Henan Province.
Visit the Photo Gallery to see all the pictures from Zhengzhou!
Getting to and from Zhengzhou:
The city has an airport and three railway stations, Zhengzhou, West, and East.
My highspeed train to Anyang was about an hour. Zhengzhou to Kaifeng takes about 20 or 30 minutes, and Zhengzhou to Luoyang is about 30 minutes. A highspeed train between Beijing and Zhengzhou takes anywhere between 2.5 and 3.5 hours.
I recommend using Kayak.com, Google Flights, and Trip.com* to find the flights and trains that are most convenient for your trips around the region.
Getting around Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou has a developing subway system that was extremely easy to navigate. It connects the airport and train stations with downtown. There are also several buses that seem to be both convenient and popular among people who live there. There are many dockless bikes – specifically, Mobike, Ofo, and Hello Bike were easy to find and use.
Addresses and Locations of Places I Visited
Zhengzhou Changlv Capsule Hotel*: Room 601, Building 2, Zhongyuan Mingdu Estate, Intersection of Zhongyuan Road and Daxue Road, Erqi District, 450000 Zhengzhou, China
Zhengzhou Museum: No.31 Jianshe East Road, Zhongyuan District, Zhengzhou 450052, China
Zhengzhou Town’s God Temple: North of Shangcheng Road, Guancheng Hui Nationality District, Zhengzhou 450061, China
Erqi Temple: Jiefang Road, Erqi District, Zhengzhou 450000, China
Henan Museum: No.8 Nongye Road, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou 450002, China
*Disclosure: these links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a reservation.