There is a famous Chinese saying: “Eat in Kaifeng, work in Zhengzhou, and retire in Luoyang”.
Kaifeng, with a history of more than 2,700 years, was formerly known as Dongjing and served as the capital of China for 168 years. Let’s explore the city in Zhengzhou, famous for it’s Henan cuisine, with a variety of local specialties and snacks and sightseeing attractions like the Memorial Temple, Millenial City Park, and Drum Tower Night Market. It takes 90 minutes to drive from Zhengzhou to Kaifeng.
Henan province is known as the city of delicacies where tourists can find local favorites such as…
Carp on Noodles
A special local food in Zhengzhou created in 1930 by a famous chef in Kaifeng. The dish is a classic twist to your favorite sweet and sour fish by adding a very thin layer of fried noodles on top.
Kaifeng Steamed Stuffed Buns
Similar to my favorite xiao long bao, the Kaifeng version has a thicker dough. It is an imperial food served during the Northern Song Dynasty made from ground meat with its natural juices steamed inside its beautifully shaped dough.
Almond Tea Soup
This is a favorite local dish. Though unique to our palette, the soup has a watery, sweet almond taste. They say the soup keeps the skin supple and glowing.
It is made from lotus foot starch, almond peanuts, sesame, and rice for a creamier texture. My local friend swears by this dish. I’m guessing it is an acquired taste.
Mashed Sweet Potato
For dessert, we had cooked sweet potato in honey, sugar, and peanut oil. Though the sprinkles on top were distracting, the dish reminded me of a local Filipino street food I like called Kamote-Q (Deep Fried Caramelized Sweet Potato).
Though this dish wasn’t to my liking and tasted bland, it is a local favorite made from sweet potato or green bean powder. It is then made into a jelly then pan-fried in sesame oil.
The 1st night market in China with a history of over 1000 years. The Drum Tower Square is a popular dining market famous for it’s special Kaifeng snacks and Henan dishes.
Exciting Kaifeng delicacy like the cicada. Though I didn’t have the courage to try it, I’d be happy if someone can share how it tastes like.
The common Chinese barbecue seasoned in herb and spices. My favorite would be the shiitake mushrooms, squid, lamb…
…and the seafood selection.
For dessert, we loved the fresh fruits and yogurt fried ice cream mixed with raisins, sunflower seeds, red bean, walnuts, and sesame seeds that add that chewy and crunchy texture.
The popular stinky tofu that has a strong smell with a mild sour and sweet taste often served with pickled vegetables, chili, and a flavorful sauce.
Local delicacies like the Tongzi Chicken slow-cooked in soup stock over a fire.
We liked that there is an area where you can sit and enjoy the snacks.
Meanwhile, there are also stalls selling different souvenirs, popular women’s wear, accessories and the like.
Tip: The night market opens all year round even during winter. 🙂
The Memorial Temple of Lord Bao was built in honor of Bao Zheng, a famous official during the Northern Song Dynasty, known for having an excellent personality and fair judgment.
Up to now, everyone in China knows the story of Lord Bao. This display of Lord Bao is made from bronze and copper.
The small temple is in Song-style architecture and filled with historical relics, books, calligraphy, and statues that reflect Bao Zheng’s incorruptible moral character.
Most of the followers who pay tribute to the temple are those who have been through misfortune and are unable to seek justice.
Millenium City Park is the largest reproduced theme park that lets you experience the Song Dynasty culture.
The whole theme park is one of the ten most renowned paintings of China by Zhang Zeduan brought to life.
The theme park is full of tea houses, Chinese paintings, artworks, and handcrafted items.
Live drama and performances about the folks and culture during the Song Dynasty.
Our favorite was the fire eating and breathing stunt performed near the square.
Don’t miss the amazing stunt moves by kids with bending body performance, stunts using deadly ancient weapons, and more.
If you’re brave enough, you could even volunteer like this guy!
You can even take a photo in Song dynasty traditional wear as a souvenir.
Qi Sheng Qiao is a tourism strip constructed for leisure, dining, and shopping beside the busy Millennial City theme park.
Overall, my favorite attraction would be the Drum Tower for its fascinating history and delicious snacks! It’s a foodie wonderland for those who want to try local cuisine. I wasn’t a fan of the Millenial City Park and found it commercialized.
Zhengzhou Blogpost Series:
- ZHENGZHOU: 8 Awesome Places You Should Visit in Zhengzhou! @TigerAirSG
- ZHENGZHOU Food Trip: 10 Henan Dishes You Should Try in Zhengzhou! @TigerAirSG
- ZHENGZHOU: Dengfeng Shaolin Temple @TigerAirSG
- ZHENGZHOU: Yellow River Hovercraft Experience! @TigerAirSG
- YUNTAI MOUNTAIN: First Timer’s Guide to Yuntai Mountain (Photo Essay) @TigerAirSG
- ZHENGZHOU: The City of Kaifeng (Memorial Temple, Qingming River Park, and Drum Tower Night Market) @TigerAirSG
Live an Awesome Life,
Abi of Team Our Awesome Planet
Disclosure: Our experience was courtesy of Tiger Airways. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Explore historical Zhengzhou and Henan province with Tigerair’s latest flights from Singapore-Zhengzhou.
Our flight from the Philippines to Zhengzhou was made convenient with the tiger connect transfer service within Singapore Changi Airport’s transit area without the need to clear arrival.
Service is weekly and operates every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.