If you are looking for Chinese Kong fu excursions, Shaolin, the legendary name always comes into your mind first. Shaolin temple in Dengfeng, Henan province is considered as the origin of Chinese martial art, Kong fu and the Zen Buddhism movement. This article presents my unforgettable Chinese Kong fu tour. It’s more than a tour.
Day 1: We arrived at Zhengzhou airport at a sunset afternoon as scheduled. Our tour guide Jenne, a lovely young lady was waiting us then escorted us to Dengfeng Tianzhong Hotel, a four star hotel with nice service and facilities. Our first night at Dengfeng was super exciting.
In Dengfeng, there is a great Shaolin Kong fu performance with 3,000-seat stadium. The performance is supposed to take place every night at 8:00 Pm if the weather permits. We were lucky that day with a good weather and had a chance to see.
The theatre is located in Daxian Valley, south suburb of Dengfeng City, and is 7km far from Shaolin temple. This is not an ordinary Kong fu performance, but put on by the best directors and actors on the stage that you can not imagine until you actually see it through your eyes. The main stage is a valley, and the mountains lie vertically, with clear marks of near, middle and far scenes. There are brooks, forests and bridges in the valley, all of which are factors forming the practical performance. We can sit on prayer mats around the brook in the wind, watch the water, hear the music of zen and appreciate the performance, with our mind eased and relaxed. This incredible performance is something that words cannot describe. It is worthy to see.
Day 2 we got up early and our destination was definitely Shaolin temple. The first interesting thing in the early morning that day was to see thousands of students practicing outside in the grassy fields. They are from different ages, the oldest one is over 70 and the youngest one is only 5 or 6 years old. But everybody looks so concentrate and serious. It is amazing to watch them.
Long before I visited China, I was told that all martial arts (Kong Fu) were from Shaolin. Shaolin temple is my dreaming place. I believe that each martial art fan will be immediately inspired by the first sight of the Shaolin temple. A beautiful old red colored temple with green deviations welcomes each visitor and the broad stone stairs say “Come in”. Above the entrance is a sign “Shao Lin Si” in Chinese characters. The board with the golden inscription was already written in the Qing dynasty by emperor Kangxi (1662-17721). We spent a whole morning to feel the atmosphere of the Chinese kong fu in the temple.
There are many cultural relics inside Shaolin temple. There are over 300 ancient stone inscriptions, some of them by famous calligraphers. The Forest of Pagodas is the must-see on a Shaolin temple tour. There are 232 pagodas from different dynasties and the oldest pagoda was from the Tang Dynasty. The pagodas were the tombs of the celebrated Shaolin monks.
Recommended 4 days and 3 nights China trip including the Shaolin Temple:
Day 1: Arrive in Zhengzhou
Arrive in Zhengzhou. Be met at the airport & transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Zhengzhou – Dengfeng
Visit the Yellow River Scenic Area, Shaolin Temple and enjoy the Zen Music Grand Ceremony at night.
Day 3: Dengfeng – Luoyang
Visit Longmen Grottoes, White Horse Temple and Guanlin Temple
Day 4: Departure Luoyang
Free at leisure until to be transferred to the airport for your next destination.