While strolling around the most crowded 27-Square >, I saw a few smaller streets that are crowdy enough, they are the street of Chinese-Muslims Restaurants. As I walk closer, I found out that these Chinese-Muslims women did not cover up their head with a piece of cloth, none at all. Customers sitting inside are drinking beer and liquor.
Reading one of the local travel booklet, the MUST EAT Restaurant of Zhengzhou is actually the Chinese-Muslims Restaurants and the name is ..... haha I won't tell you, I let you find out by yourself, believe me, the food is 5 stars. Feel free to order beer and liquor together with your foods, enjoy!
Warning to tourists, never go to the Railway Station to buy train tickets, you will regret. Buy train only at the TICKET COUNTER. The reason is, buying tickets at the Railway Station is the most HORRIBLE experience in the entire China, remember my advice. Queuing is hopelessly long, never try this, don't even think. You need to read Chinese, need not expect perfect English wordings or translator to assist you.
MOST Populated city in China, yes, take a look at my photo, no joke. Actually 9 years ago I came here by train but when I saw the crowd I said immediately to myself "do not go to this place". surprisingly after 9 years I visited Zhengzhou.
What once was legendary for it's martial arts development is, today, little more than a pathetic excuse for a tourist spot. Kung Fu's history dates back a heck of a long time, but little of that history is visible. It's not really funny that something the Chinese have been trying to destroy for so many years, they're now trying to get World Heritage status for. Indeed, I believe the place has been burned a few times, in fairly recent history.
Enter the massive parking lot and step off into a newly-built sea of tourist vendors and yet-to-open shops. Your ticket should cost about 100 RMB, a rip-off that soaks you like many Chinese tourist traps. Then you walk in the gate and buy more junk. About a kilometer later, you'll start coming to the interesting stuff. Up some stairs on the right (maybe 500m to 1000m in) is a small theater that would make western fire marshalls a little ticked... people who can't wait for the next show pile into the aisles, on the floor, everywhere they can, to catch a flimsy show of well-trained students of Wu Shu, a performance martial art based on a lot of aerials and not so much on actual Kung Fu. Well, it's nice to watch, and they get music and lights going, but the show's over before you really see much.
Stagger back out into the light, past the touts and down the stairs to the right, walking the rest of the way to the actual temple. The temple itself is beautiful. It's pretty big and parts of it were under reconstruction, but it's quite worth the visit. But before you get any wild and crazy ideas of monks working wonders with Kung Fu amidst foggy mountains and the desolate serenity of a Shaolin Temple, keep in mind you're in China. Let the full reality of that sink in: there is hardly a quite place in China, much less a quiet tourist spot. Get ready for a few monks diluted by hundreds of tourists and groups flocking into my shots. If I go to shoot something, you can guarantee someone will either walk into the shot or, if no one's around, gather behind me to see what I'm shooting. I suppose my professional photographic vision is why I get paid the big bucks to be a photographer. Now I just need the big bucks...
Anyway, the floods of tour groups notwithstanding, it's an interesting, yet highly disappointing place. I knew ahead of time what to expect, but still went to pay my respects to the origin of Kung Fu, interesting to me because of a background in martial arts.
Another boon to the nature of Chinese, we were waiting to buy tickets for a golf-cart up to the parking lot, and a guy cut in line ahead of us and jumped on the cart ahead of us with his group. We missed the taxis and had to speedwalk back to not miss our bus. It left without us, but a guy on the bus stayed behind to arrange another bus for us. You see the good in people and the bad.
The only thing of note in Zhengzhou is Erqi Ta or February 7th pagoda. It is a memorial for the workers who died during all of the big wars a while ago. It is important because it is something to photograph to say you were in this town and it isn't far from the main train / bus transit mess. Many buses from the train station pass here or you can walk north 15 minutes (as you exit the station vere left).