China Travel Guide
Beijing & the North - Shandong & Henan
The swathe of territory comprising Shandong and Henan, irrigated by the final sweep of the Yellow River (Huang He), sustained some of China’s earliest settled societies. The Shandong Chinese are proud of their many treasures, which include sages Confucius and Mencius, the Yellow River, and Tai Shan, China’s holiest Daoist peak, and the former German colony of Qingdao, with its Bavarian cobbled streets and Teutonic architecture. (Qingdao may be testament to humiliating 19th-century foreign ambitions, but it was German expertise that helped brew China’s famous Tsingtao beer.) The Yellow River enters Shandong (East of the Mountains) from the west, after slicing Henan (South of the River) into two uneven chunks. Henan’s historic sights cluster around the river in the province’s north, in an area that was the cradle of Chinese civilization as early as 6000 BC. The ancient capitals of Anyang, Kaifeng, and Luoyang are located here. The impressive Longmen Caves, with their Buddhist carvings, lie outside Luoyang. Other sights include the sacred Daoist mountain of Song Shan, home to the Shaolin Temple and its band of warrior monks, and the Northern Song capital of Kaifeng, with its fine Buddhist architecture and historic Judaic links.
Towns & Cities
Areas of Natural Beauty