Henan Province, “Yu” for short, is located in central China and in the middle and lower reaches of Yellow River from which stems the meaning of its name: “South of the river”. In ancient times, it was called Central Plains. Zhengzhou is Henan’s provincial capital.
Henan has an advantageous geographical location, with Shandong and Anhui to the east, Hebei and Shanxi to the north, Shaanxi to the west and Hubei to the south linking the east to the west and the south to the north. It is the main birthplace of Chinese civilization and the center of Chinese history and culture, and remains China’s political, economic, cultural and transportation center for 5,000 years. Henan has four of the world-famous Eight Ancient Capitals of China, namely, Luoyang, Kaifeng, Anyang and Zhengzhou – making it the province with the most ancient capitals in China. It is also the birthplace of philosophical and religious schools of thought such as the Taoist School, Mohist School, Legalist School and School of Logicians.
Henan has three world cultural heritage sites, including Longmen Grottoes, Yin Dynasty Ruins and “Tiandizhizhong” historic architectural complex. It is also home to 11 national scenic spots such as the Shaolin Temple, Mount Yuntai – Qingtian River – Shennong Mountain, Millennium City Park, Yin Dynasty Ruins, Baiyun Mountain and others. The four international geo-parks in Henan are Mounts Song, Yuntai, Wangwu, Daimei, and Funiu.
Visitors are attracted to Henan for the various cultures and sub-cultures in the province, namely the Central Plains culture, Heluo culture, and root-seeking culture that has increased as more Chinese in the diaspora return to China to identify their roots. Whether it’s exploring martial arts, Chinese characters, surnames, poetry, etiquette, or opera, Henan is a great destination to begin given its significance in Chinese culture and history.
Featured city/destination: Luoyang