Things to Do in Shaolin Temple, Dengfeng

Located at the foot of Mt. Songshan, Shaolin Temple, the origin of Chinese Zen Buddhism is surely the top attraction in Dengfeng for most tourists, especially the fans of Shaolin Kung Fu. Here you can visit the famous Pagoda Forest, appreciate the architectural complex, watch Shaolin Kung Fu show and do other activities.

What's more, the surrounding groups of Historic Monuments sites, together with Shaolin Temple and Songyang Academy, are called “the Centre of Heaven and Earth”, listed in the World Heritage site in 2000, which are worthwhile for visiting with enough time.

Henan Travel Map

  • Top Attractions
Shaolin Temple

No.1: Shaolin Temple (Shaolinsi)

Type: Temple, Historical Site

Location: in the Shaolin Scenic Spot of Mt. Song

About 15 km away Dengfeng city, Shaolin Temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Kung Fu, the No.1 Martial Arts of China. Tour inside, you can easily find some trails of Kung Fu training. Also having a history of over 1500, Shaolin Temple has left many cultural relics, like the 300 ancient stone inscriptions, large murals, and more dated from the Ming dynasty.

Once you travel this Kung Fu land, there are so many places for your tour around, for instance, the nearby Pagoda Forest, Shaolin Temple Complex and Chuzu Temple, etc. All feature unique architecture with a long history.

Songshan Mountain

No.2: Mount Song (Songshan)

Type: Historical Mountain Scenic Site

Location: Northwest of Dengfeng City, Henan, China

As the sacred mountain of Taoist, Mount Song is one of the Five Famous Mountains in China, together with Mt. Huashan in Xian, Mt. Taishan in Shandong, Mt. Hengshan in Hunan, and Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi. It contains 72 peaks spreading over two main parts: Taishi Mountain in the Eastside and Shaoshi Mountain in the Westside, where the highest peak with 1512 altitude is located.

Situated on the south side of Shaolin Temple, Sanhuang Palace is the perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking sceneries of Mt. Song. With 1512 meters above sea level, it contains many small sites of temples and view platforms. You can take the cableway to appreciate the amazing nature after you visit Shaolin Temple.

Songyang Academy

No.3: Songyang Academy

Type: Historical Site, Class Learning in Old Days

Location: Songshan Mountain, Dengfeng 450000, China

As one of the four ancient Song Dynasty Academies, Songyang Academy is the holy land of Confucianism and the school learning place. Back against the Shaoshi Mountain, it shares great views and quietness. You can visit the world's largest cypress and the largest monument-Sun Taichong induction monument to feel the long history and culture.

The nearby Songyue Pagoda, built in 520 of the Northern Wei dynasty is the earliest brick pagoda of Dense eaves type and got the fame of the First Pagoda of China, which is worthwhile to visit.

Fawang Temple

No.4: Fawang Temple

Type: Temple, Historical Site

Location: 3 km northwest of Dengfeng City

At the foot of Shaoshi Mountain in the south, Fawang Temple is the earliest Buddhist temples in China, built in 71 AD with over 400 years of history earlier than Shaolin Temple. Having a great significance of Chinese Buddhism, Fawang Temple is divided into several parts:

Daxiong Hall: the center of Buddhist activities, enshrining many Buddhist Statues and paintings;

Ksitigarbha Hall: the second site of Dizang Pusa, after the Mount Jiuhua;

Together with the Scripture library and ancient pagoda complex, all those sites in the Fawang Temple illustrate the big influence of Buddhist culture and history.

Zhongyue Temple

No.5: Zhongyue Temple

Type: Temple, Historical Site

Location: Songshan Mountain, Dengfeng 450000, China

Built in Qing Dynasty, Zhongyue Temple, a Taoist temple, was named as Taishi Temple. It is the largest temple in Henan, with its most complete ancient building complex. The well-preserved temple architecture and structure make this temple imposing brilliant. There are over one hundred wood engraving and historical stone tablets to visit.

Observation Platform

No.6: Observation Platform

Type: Historical Site

Location: 7.5 km southeast from Dengfeng city

Located in the south of Zhongyue Temple, the Observation Platform is the oldest extant and better-preserved observatory in China and one of the oldest astronomy buildings in the world. The interior consists of front and back yards, displaying many astronomical instruments. If you are interested in astronomy, this place is highly recommended to know how the Chinese calendar was invented.

  • Top Defeng Things to Do
Shaolin Kung Fu

No.1: Watch Shaolin Kung Fu Show

There is an old saying that all kung fu is from Shaolin, so watch the Kung Fu show is the must-do for Shaolin Temple visit. During the 30 minutes, you can see various martial arts presented in the Wushu Hall (Martial Arts Hall) including the 18 Martial Arts and some featured animal types of fists like tiger, monkey, snake kung fu, and so forth. You can watch this show for free in the time of 10:30-11:00/11:30-12:00/14:00-14:30/15:00-15:30/16:00-16:30. Learn more about Shaolin Kung Fu Show.

Shaolin Zen Music Ritual

No.2: Zen Shaolin Kung Fu Show & Music Ceremony

Combined with the strength of Kungfu with Zen meditation, Zen Shaolin Kung Fu Show & Music Ceremony has merged martial arts, music, dance, and Chinese elements in the large scale outdoor stage with the distance of only 7km away from Shaolin Temple. As a largest cultural tourist performance of over 600 people participating, it contains five acts, namely Water Music, Wood Music, Light Music, Wind Music, and Stone Music with the changes of music and lighting in the whole 70 minutes, which provide you a wonderful musical ceremony from 20:00 to 21:15 of every night from March to December, even in the rainy days.

Located at the foot of Mt. Songshan, Shaolin Temple, the origin of Chinese Zen Buddhism is surely the top attraction in Dengfeng for most tourists, especially the fans of Shaolin Kung Fu. Here you can visit the famous Pagoda Forest, appreciate the architectural complex, watch Shaolin Kung Fu show, and do other activities. What's more, the surrounding groups of Historic Monuments sites, together with Shaolin Temple and Songyang Academy, are called “the Centre of Heaven and Earth”, listed in the World Heritage site in 2000, which are worthwhile for visiting with enough time.
Shaolin Kung Fu learning

No.3: Shaolin Kung Fu Learning

For the enthusiastic Kung Fu lovers, learning some Shaolin Kung Fu will be an unforgettable experience to know the essence of this martial art, except for building up a strong body and heart. Nearby Shaolin Temple, there are many local martial arts schools provide Kung Fu training for people from home and abroad. You can stay for days, weeks, months, even years here to practise Kungfu if you want to.

Mount Song Hiking

No.4: Mount Song Hiking

There are 2 routes for Mount Songshan Hiking: one is to hike on the Taishi Mountain on the east side (Route A), the other is to hike on Shaoshi Mountain on the west side (Route B).

Route A: This is the regular way of Mount Songshan Hiking, and you can start at Songyang Academy spot and pass by Laomu Hole, Zhongyue Palace and arrive in the Junji Peak with about 1500 elevation. Then go down to the Qixiangtai (climatological station), Luya waterfalls, and end at Zhongyue Temple.

Note: This whole route will take one day in no rush.

Route B: With 30 minutes car driving from Songyang Academy, Sanguang Village spot is the starting point of this route. You will climb the hero slope with 487 steps and get to South Gate, Sanhuang Palace, and cross the suspension bridge between cliffs to walk along the hanging trestle road along the cliff, which is quite thrilling. Then you can choose to walk to Shaolin Temple or take a cable car to Shaolin Pagoda Forest.

International Shaolin Wushu Festival

No.5: International Shaolin Wushu Festival

Time: From Sept. to Oct.

Zhengzhou as the hometown of Shaolin Wushu (Martial Arts), has held 9 times of Shaolin Wushu Festival since 1991 and this year will hold the 10th International Shaolin Wushu Festival during Sept. to Oct. (time can vary in a different year). It is a grand ceremony to celebrate Chinese Shaolin Kong Fu and communicate Wushu Cultures with other countries. Tourists can appreciate the passionate opening ceremony and excellent Kong Fu demonstrations and kinds of Wushu performances.

How to Plan Your Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Tour

How to Get to Dengfeng Shaolin Temple: Usually take private car from Luoyang (about 1.5 hours) or Zhengzhou (about 2 hours); or take direct bus from Luoyang (about 2 hours) and Zhengzhou (around 1.5 hours)

Top Things to Do in Shaolin Temple: See ancient Buddhist architectures; watch Shaolin Kung Fu Show; join Shaolin Kung Fu Training Program

Where to Stay During Shaolin Temple Tour: Most tourists accommodate in hotels in Dengfeng City while Shaolin Kung Fu learners can stay in Kung Fu school with basic facilities.

After arrival from Luoyang or Zhengzhou, ordinary tourists usually spend one day visiting Shaolin Temple - a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and the birthplace of Chinese Buddhist Zen and Chinese Kung Fu (Martial Arts). One-day Shaolin Temple tour is a classic itinerary covering the best essence, which takes you to admire the sacred shrine with 7 courtyards, the Pagoda Forest and lots of ancient architectures. Besides the sightseeing, you can also watch a wonderful Shaolin Kung Fu show and even join in a short-period Kung Fu training class to learn some basic styles. Love nature and physical condition allows? Take half a day more to do an excursion on Sanhuang Village of Mount Song, walk on the amazing roads cliffside and witness unique mountain landform. (If you or your kids plan to take a longer Kung Fu learning near Shaolin Temple, you can also contact us to get more recommendations.)

✔ 2 Days Shaolin Temple Tour from Zhengzhou
✔ 3 Days In-depth Shaolin Kung Fu Class Tour

If you have one more day and are quite interested in ancient Chinese culture, Luoyang is another must-visit destination in Henan (if you haven’t visited). The awesome Longmen Grottoes stretching by the riverside and China’s first Buddhist temple - White Horse Temple are iconic sites for your Luoyang tour. Still, there are many remarkable cultural and natural sights in Henan worthy your exploration, including the spectacular Yuntai Mountain, mysterious Guoliang Village, interesting Yin Ruins of Anyang, ancient capital Kaifeng, etc. Finishing your Henan tour, you may extend your journey to Beijing, Xian and other major destinations in China as you want. You can choose from our most popular China Shaolin Temple tour packages or contact us to customize a trip based on your requirements.

✔ 3 Days Shaolin Kung Fu Tour including Luoyang Highlights
✔ 8 Days China Ancient Capitals Tour (Beijing/Luoyang/Xian)
✔ 11 Days Essence of China Culture Tour by High Speed Trains
✔ 15 Days China Kungfu Panda Family Tour

Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Tour Our Customers visited Pagoda Forest of Shaolin Temple Luoyang Longmen Grottoes Tour Our Customers Visited Luoyang Longmen Grottoes

Get Inspired by Real Travel Stories of Our Customers

Shaolin Temple and nearby Luoyang are very popular with our customers. Since 2012, we have helped thousands of customers visited the region successfully. With our fully-inclusive tour packages, all of our customers enjoyed their trips to magnificent Longmen Grottoes, legendary Shaolin Temple, educational Luoyang Museum, beautiful Yuntain Mountain, etc. Some of them even had the rare opportunities to take part in the grand International Peony Festival in Luoyang. Many customers suggest visit Luoyang with Beijing, Xian, Pingyao and Shandong in northern China to explore authentic Chinese culture. Below are some inspiring travel stories:

Cultural Immersion Trip in Ancient Capitals of China (Beijing - Taiyuan - Pingyao - Xian - Luoyang - Dengfeng - Zhengzhou - Kaifeng - Qufu - Mount Tai - Beijing)
Sweet Couple's 21-Day Northern China Exploration (Beijing - Datong - Mount Wutai - Pingyao - Xian - Luoyang - Jinan - Taian - Qufu - Beijing - Chengde - Beijing)
19 China Trips of Vijay’s People - Spreading around Family & Friends of Wonder’s Good Service (Beijing / Luoyang / Xian / Chengdu/ Guangzhou / Guilin)
Sucking Cultural Fragrance from Time-honored Architectures (Kathmandu - Kunming - Lhasa - Shigatse - Xian - Luoyang - Pingyao - Datong)

Read more China travel stories > or find recommended similar tours>.

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