For our Henan and Shaanxi trip, we touched down in Zhengzhou from Singapore and had stayed for a good 3 days 2 night. Next we are exploring Kaifeng for 3 days 2 nights also. The total days we spend in China is 10 days, cities including Zhengzhou (3D2N), Kaifeng(3D2N), Luoyang(4D3N) and Xian(2D1N).
Kaifeng is an ancient city in China. Kaifeng literally means “opening the border”, is one of the top destination for tourist. Kaifeng is still in Henan province. Kaifeng is bordering with Zhengzhou to the west. The distance is about 60km, we took high speed train from Zhengzhou East station to Kaifeng North which took us less than half an hour. Since we stayed near Zhengzhou East station, it is pretty convenient to arrive at the high speed train station, only took us 1ess than 10 minutes to arrive.
Kaifeng top places to visit
开封府 (Kai Feng Fu)
This is where Bao Gong worked, it represent the fairness and justice of the Chinese people. There is a huge drum located outside, people who wanted to seek for justice can knock on the drum to alert Lord Bao Qingtian. Entrance ticket is RMB 65
大相国寺 (Daxiangguo Temple)
Daxiangguo Temple was built in 555 AD,the temple reached the height of its status as a Royal Temple in the Song Dynasty and it was considered the biggest temple at that time. Inside you will see the beautiful architecture during that era, In of the iconic building -八角琉璃殿 Octagonal Glazed Hall, inside housed the thousand hands and eyes GuanYin. It took about 58 years for the artisan to complete the masterpiece from a single Ginkgo Tree.
清明上河园 (Qingming Shanghe Yuan)
Qingming Shanghe Yuan is a theme park, you should visit when the park open in the morning as there are so many performance here and there. 2 main shows included in the ticket you should not missed are Spear Flighting on the Horse and The battle at Dongjing. The park is huge, at the entrance, there is a traditional hanfu rental shop. There is a eatery street full of different kind of cuisine. Don’t forget to try the 大宋切糕 Dasong Qiē gāo or cut cake, it serve like an ice cream with a stick poking at the cake, interesting flavor, serve warm.
If you pay extra, you can watch the Dream of Hua show but start at around 8pm.
大宋御河夜游 (Song Dynasty Royal River Night Tour)
At night the riverside light up is pretty amazing, it starts at 7 until 9.30pm. Best if you can check the timing and don’t miss the boat ride back. We catch the boat near Qing Ming Shang He Yuan entrance. The boat ride is about 15minutes, then we walked to Xisi Night Market 西司夜市, lot of local street food with local price.
Food to try in Kaifeng
- Stuffed Steam Buns (灌汤包) Kaifeng steam dumplings
- Fried jelly in Xisi Night Market
- 桶子鸡 Bucket Chicken – is famous for its bright yellow color, salty, tender and crispy, fat but not greasy, and the more you chew, the more fragrant it becomes.
- 黄焖鱼 Yellow braised fish – The small fish batter with flour, then fried and then boiled. The soup reflect the distinctive characteristics and quality of the braised fish. There is more fish and the soup is delicious. We asked them not to make too salty as people in the north usually have more salt in their cuisine.
- Xisi Night Market – try the grill insects if you dare.
Where we stay : New Century Hotel Kaifeng
This is the best hotel in Kaifeng, the service, room and hotel environment is good. Morning breakfast has lot of choices to choose from, full of local specialty. Upon checking out, fruits basket were gifted to us but we didn’t take it because we need to catch high speed train and it is troublesome to bring.
How many days should you stay in Kaifeng?
We spent 3 days 2 nights here. You can have 4 days 3 night if you want to explore more of Kaifeng. You need about a day in Qingming shang he yuan at least. Try the hanfu experience when you are in Qing Ming Shanghe Yuan, lots of hanfu rental shops available. High recommend to stay in New Century Kaifeng if you want 5 star experience with affordable price.
This is what we have
- Henan Huimian 烩面
- 泡膜 pita bread soaked in lamb soup
- sticky rice sushi in Qing Ming Shang He Yuan
Kaifeng is a little country as compared to Zhengzhou city, things are cheaper. I didn’t do much shopping, spend on mostly food and drinks and didi taxi and entrance ticket to sight attraction.
Our next destination is Luoyang, check it out.