Zhengzhou On a BudgetAlong the Yellow River, a city from the future and the past resides. Ancient pagodas, futuristic domes, verdant gardens - Zhengzhou is a myriad of many worlds in one urban area. The provincial capital of the Henan Province, Zhengzhou is the encapsulation of a perfect city from its delicate balance of the natural and urban spheres. It was born during the Sui Dynasty, and its actual location was in the modern-day Chenggao. Moreover, Zhengzhou works as the political, economic, technological, and educational center of the province. The city is also one of the eight great ancient capitals of China, with a collection of architecture and art originating during iconic dynasties. These relics of the old world include the Shaolin Monastery, Henan Museum, the Pagoda Forest, the Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, the Songyue Pagoda, the Emperors of Yan and Huang, and the scenic views of the Yellow River. With over nine million inhabitants, Zhengzhou continues to grow at a thriving rate. It also should be noted that in June 2012, Greater Zhengzhou was named one of the thirteen emerging megacities in China according to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Known internationally for its amazing culmination of culture and history, Zhengzhou is the ideal city for travelers and inhabitants alike.
SightsLocated at the Songyue Monastery, the Songyue Pagoda is an international tourist attraction that has attracted and fascinated inhabitants and travelers alike. Constructed in 523 AD, the Songyue Pagoda was built on the noteworthy Mount Song in the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Songyue Pagoda works as one of the few sixth-century pagodas properly kept as well as the only known Chinese pagoda made from brick. While parts of the construction made from wood did not survive through the centuries, the rammed earth fortifications still remain. The unique design of the Songyue Pagoda infuses ancient Chinese attempts to imitate the many-sided and circular style of Indian Buddhist temples. As the glorious construction rises, the overall perimeter of the Pagoda decreases, only adding to its distinctive shape. This changing style in shape also mirrors to the Indian and Central Asian Buddhist cave-temples. With a tour of approximately one hour, the Songyue Pagoda is open Monday through Sunday from 7 AM to 7 PM.
Food and DiningLocated in the Marriott Hotel near the Qianxi Plaza, the Manho Chinese Restaurant is a chic, sleekly designed restaurant with top quality food. It has a scenic view of the city, allowing you to enjoy the view and dine on first-rate meals. Specializing in Chinese cuisine within the Henan province, the Manho Chinese Restaurant ensures in providing the freshest ingredients by top culinary artists. Specializing in lunch and dinner, some of the meals include dumplings, vegetable and meat stir fry, and traditional ramen. Besides this, these meals are complimented with a wide variety of beer and wine, with a full bar present within the restaurant. The executive chef Wong is a culinary master renowned for his ability to create genuine Cantonese classics and Sichuan meals.
TransportationFor shorter routes to and from Zhengzhou, it is recommended to book ahead. The best prices for buses and trains in China can be found on 12Go. They let you search across all bus, train, and airline routes throughout Asia.
The central point of Zhengzhou is Erqi Square, a public square that comes to life at night due to its variety of shopping and dining spots. However, it is this busy square that works as the transportation hub of the city. Being completely urban, Erqi Square does not have a long or notable history. Besides being a transportation hub, this area is one of the greenest parts of Zhengzhou aligned with fresh gardens and trees. However, if you are looking to get around this massive city, public buses can be accessed from this point as well as many other points, with an average ride costing about one yen. There is also a clean subway that can be accessed from Erqi Square. The more pricier option is taxis, with the fair being eight yen by day and ten yen by night. Be sure your taxi is making use of his meter as many taxis have been known to cheat tourists.
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