Pingdingshan city, located in the central part of Henan province, is an excellent tourism destination city and one of the nine backbone cities in the central plain area. Pingdingshan administers 10 counties (cities and districts) in a total area of 7,882 square kilometers, with a population of five million. The city is situated between the trunk lines of Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and Jiaozuo-Zhicheng Railway, home to 400km long railways in the boundary. It is 100km away from Xinzheng International Airport. Four expressways traverse through the city to connect it with the national highway network, offering convenient transportation conditions.
Long history, rich culture and countless celebrities
As shown in archaeological discoveries, Pingdingshan is home to relics of Peiligang Culture, Yangshao Culture, and Longshan Culture of the Neolithic Age in the primitive society. Historical records could be dated back to 1324 B.C. Classic works of the Book of Songs, Analects of Confucius and Classic of River and Mountains show records of the place. During the Western Zhou period, Pingdingshan was a manor of Marquis Ying, of the imperial clan. Eagle was taken as the totem of Kingdom Ying. Thereby, Pingdingshan is also referred to as Eagle City. In 526 B.C., Confucius and Lord Ye discussed the strategies of managing state affairs in this place, leaving a famous remark for running a country, saying "Make happy those who are near and, those who are far will come.” To date, the city has 14 cultural relics under national protection, and 38 cultural relics under provincial protection. The Fragrance Mountain Temple, built in eastern Han Dynasty, was among the earliest Buddhism temples in the country. It was the place where Avalokitesvara attained the way. Thus, it is the cultural source of the Avalokitesvara culture passed down from Han Dynasty. The Fengxue Temple, built in northern Wei period, has 1,500 years history. It is listed as one the top four famous temples in the central plain area, along with White Horse Temple, Shaolin Temple and Xiangguo Temple.
The Ru official ware site at Qingliang Temple and Kingdom Ying tomb site are key archaeological discoveries in the country. The Su mausoleums are tombs of Su Xun, Su Shi and Su Zhe, the father and sons, and great men of letters of Song Dynasty. Yexian County government office is the only extant of its kind of the Ming Dynasty in the country.
The annual Majie book fair, having lasted for 700 years, is a miracle in the Chinese culture history. Pingdingshan is named Chinese Folk Art City.
For thousands of years, the place has cultivated a large number of outstanding persons. It is home to Mo-tse, a great thinker of the Spring and Autumn Period (770—476 BC), Zhang Liang, prime minister of the Han Dynasty, Yuan Jie and Liu Xiyi, poets of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618--907), Niu Gao, a famous general against Jin regime invasion in the Southern Song Dynasty, Li Luyuan, a man of letters of the Qing Dynasty, Xu Yunuo, a famous modern poet and educationist, and Cui Qi, a Nobel Prize winner for physics. It is also the ancestral home of people around the world with family names of Liu and Ye. Scholars and celebrities in the past, including Confucius, Li Bai (a major Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty), Han Yu (first among the "Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song"), Yan Zhenqing (a leading Chinese calligrapher and a loyal governor of the Tang Dynasty), Su Dongpo (a writer, poet, artist, calligrapher, pharmacologist, and statesman of the Song Dynasty, and one of the major poets of the Song era), Ouyang Xiu (one of the "Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song") and Fan Zhongyan (a prominent politician and literary figure in the Song Dynasty), toured the place, served as officials in the place, or were buried in the place, leaving great many precious historical relics.
Superior natural conditions and charming landscapes
Pingdingshan is situated in an area for climate transitions between the north and south. The unique geographical conditions and climates blending the north and south contribute to create a magnificent landscape. It is home to rich landscape tourism resources, containing 4,200 scenic spots, and the second largest in the province.
Yaoshan Mountain, a key national scenic spot and AAAA-grade tourism zone, is a leading site of the Funiu Mountain range. It integrates the majestic and precipitous features of north China mountains with the fine spirits of south China landscapes. The mountain is permeated with sights, which are unique, high, steep and precipitous. It is loved for the elegant, refined, secluded and pure nature. The mountain is picturesque in all seasons, eulogized by experts as a mountain of grand beauty. Mu Qing, a famous Chinese journalist, commended the mountain as the beauty of the central plain area.
Foquan Temple scenic spot contains a 208-meter-high Big Buddha statue, the Buddha of Lushan, the largest in the world. It has a 116-ton big bell, the centennial auspicious bell, the largest in the world.
Erlangshan Mountain, a national AAA-grade tourism zone, sits beside a river, backed with green mountains. It is reputed as a site of river and green mountains, and a natural bank of oxygen.
The city is also home to Huamei Valley, Liuyang Mountain, Shibaduo and Dengtaijia, sites of green mountains and clean water, gushing springs and plunging waterfalls, claimed to be earthly paradise.
The Guaipo scenic spot is praised as a marvelous spectacle in the world, as it feels like sailing against the current to do down, while seems standing before the wind to climb up.
The city has 175 reservoirs, which annually store 3 billion cubic meters water. The important water bodies of Shahe River, Lihe River, Ruhe River, Ganjiang River, Baigui Lake, Zhaoping Lake, Shimantan and Yanshan Reservoir have benefited ten cities in three provinces, and also cultivated many water-based landscapes, national water conservancy scenic spots.
Rich hot springs with unique features
The city boasts richest hot spring resources in the central plain area and even across the country. It is also among the earliest to explore the rich resources. Lushan and Ruzhou hot springs are known for quality water, big volumes, high water temperatures, and rich contents of minerals.
Lushan, known as Luyang in the past, has hot spring sites, such as Shangtang, Zhongtang, Xiatang and Jianchangtang, lined along the Shahe River, from the west to the east, for over 100 miles, unprecedented in other parts of the country. Lushan hot springs, color and taste free, contain soda and sulfur materials, beneficial for sterilization and antisepsis, good to people’s health, particularly to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, neurasthenic, and psoriasis. In history, the hot springs there were praised as empress hot water and Luyang magic fountains.
Ruzhou developed hot springs early. In the ancient time, the hot springs were referred to as Guangcheng warm water, containing 57 varieties of minerals, such as Glauber’s salt. They are effective to cure about 50 diseases, such as rheumatoid, skin diseases, nerve system and parenchyma diseases. The springs are crystal and lucid, reputed as magic springs. In the Han and Tang dynasties, they were exclusively reserved for the royal family, exactly like Lishan Huaqing pond. To date, Ruzhou’s Wenquan town has constructed sanatoriums and hydrotherapy houses to offer all-sided medical services to Chinese and foreign guests. Lushan has built high-grade hot spring guesthouses. It has been listed as a tourism project of unique local features into the provincial blueprint to develop Funiu Mountain tourism resources. It will surely become a bright pearl in the provincial tourism industrial chain.
Unique tourism products, sound systems and environment
In recent years, Pingdingshan city has tapped the characteristic local tourism resources, comprising mountains, Buddha and hot springs, to strive cultivating unique tourism products. It has successfully pushed forward seven distinct tourism lines, which are Fragrance Mountain Temple – Xiatang Hot Spring Vacation Zone – Big Buddha Scenic Spot – Yaoshan golden tourism line and Funiu Mountain landscape line, root-seeking and ancestor-respecting tourism, entertainment and vacation tourism, Buddhism culture tourism, ancient architecture culture tourism, Ru porcelain culture tourism, and folk customs tourism. They have been highly praised by the mass of tourists and industry insiders. Climbing Yaoshan Mountain, making courtesy call to the Buddha, and bathing in hot springs have been brand products of the province’s tourism projects. In particular, since Pingdingshan was named an excellent Chinese tourism city in 2006, the tourism business has been further expanded.
At present, the city has 58 travel agencies, 32 star-level hotels, 14 tourist areas, four national demonstration sites for industrial and agricultural tourism, seven A-grade tourist areas, and two tourist vehicle fleets. In 2008, the city received 7.2 million Chinese and foreign travelers, and reaped 3.1 billion yuan gross revenues from tourism. Pingdingshan people are honest, generous and warm-hearted. The tourism market is put in order under standardized management. The tourism environments are safe and pleasant.
Pingdingshan is a good place of rich resources and magnificent landscapes. Walk into Pingdingshan, and you will feel roaming about in a cultural treasure house and picture scrolls of amazing landscapes. The people of Pingdingshan welcome you, with open arms, to come for sightseeing and vacation, to release exhaustion and step closer to nature.