Kaifeng 开封 Travel Guide
Kaifeng was one of China’s seven ancient Capitals although today it is very much an off the beaten track destination. With it’s 5 million people much of the ancient city no longer exists although there are some interesting historical sights to see. Perhaps the biggest draw the city has is for those interested in Jewish history in China as the Kaifeng Jews are the oldest of China’s Jewish communities. Kaifeng is easily reached from Zhengzhou and is connected to Shanghai by bullet train.
Best Months to Visit Kaifeng
Best Reason to Visit Kaifeng
The history, and in particular Jewish history, as part of a more cultural tour through China.
Top Attractions in Kaifeng
Daxiangguo Temple built in 555 AD during the Qi Dynasty is a large complex consisting of 64 temples although there are 3 main ones to visit. The large rectangular Tathagata Hall is where monks perform daily chanting rituals in front of three huge Buddhas. The octagonal Arhat Hall is beautifully constructed with upturned eaves and painted roof beams. The hall houses a breathtakingly beautiful four-sided golden Avalokitesavara said to be carved from a single tree over 50 years. The rear Tripitaka Hall has two floors, the upper holding sutras and the lower a white Burmese jade Buddha in the Burmese style and a glass replica of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand’s Grand Palace.
The Iron Pagoda was built in 1049 AD and is considered to be one of China’s most famous. It isn’t actually made of iron but the brown tiles give off that appearance. The Dragon Pavilion was the site of the Ming dynasty palace of Prince Zhou. The street leading up to it has many old buildings as well as the reconstructed Wu Gate. The city walls are part restored and not as grand as Xian’s they still give an idea of the city’s historical extant.
Weather Averages for Kaifeng
Our Top Kaifeng Travel Tip
Not featuring in most itineraries but making for a good “China off the beaten track” experience.
As a good all round option we recommend the Kaifeng Jinyuan International Hotel.
By Phil Stanley & Headseast – TCTC Destination Expert.