ANCIENT CHINA AND KUNG-FU MONKS
Henan Province is the home of some of China’s historic civilizations. The ancient city of Luoyang was the seat of Chinese government for many dynasties and has a history that can be traced back over four thousand years. Here, the Longmen Grottoes are one of the most important Buddhist sites in China where there are said to be over 100,000 Buddhist Statues carved into limestone cliffs on the banks of the Yi River. Also visit White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China. Set among trees, the traditional buildings and picturesque grounds are a tranquil place for reflection.
Kaifeng is another ancient capital which reached its peak in the 11th century and was possibly the largest city in the world at this time. Many historical sits remain including the Iron Pagoda, Dragon Pavilion and several ancient temples. The city is also famous for its historic Jewish community which has existed for 800 years. Although the Jewry has been increasingly assimilated into the local population, the community has rediscovered its traditional roots in recent years.
Possibly the most well-known monastery in Henan Province is at Shaolin, home of the famous ‘Kung-Fu Monks’. Founded in the 5th century the monastery has many traditional temples as well as the Pagoda Forest dating back to the Tang Dynasty. Shaolin Monastery has long been associated with martial arts and for some unforgettable memories you can experience a private lesson with a Kung Fu master.