In the park there is a gondola up Song Shan and a chairlift that I took up a smaller mountain. The view was great with the leaves turning. The view was just great. There were a few trails up the mountain. I believe it is possible to hike up either mountain if so desired.
This is why you came to Shao Lin and this area, to see Kung Fu. The show is 20 RMB and half an hour. They start with some regularity. It seemed rather professional. The voice over was in Chinese so I missed some of the cultural importance, but I could understand it was being address. This wasn't martial arts in a vacuum. The religious aspects were touched on.
I'd like to say that I have never called anything a tourist trap thus far in China. These are the two most famous parts of the Song Shan park, and they aren't particularly grand. If this is the first Chinese temple or pagoda you've seen then they will be interesting. If you have seen others in China, nothing seperates these from others. The setting and the history is the only thing that seperates them.
Unique Suggestions: Still go. Don't not go. Just don't expect these two to be what will occupy your time or interest. See a Kung Fu show also. Maybe go up a mountain (hike or chairlift).
If you love those Kung Fu movies and think of learning some moves for yourself, you get your change here. The Shaolin Monastery Wushu Institute at Tagou has day-long classes where an instructor can teach you the ways.
(I didn't do it, I liked watching those ways...)
Favorite thing: According to legend, Shaolin was founded in the 5th century AD by an Indian monk, Bodhidharma, who preached Chan (Zen) Buddhism. Apparently, for relief between long periods of meditation, Bodhidharma's disciples imitated the natural motions of birds and animals, developing these exercises over the centuries into a form of unarmed combat.