Kaifeng is a prefecture-level city in the Henan province in east central China. It is the former capital of the Song dynasty (11th century AD) and one China’s eight ancient capitals, but doesn’t hold any political power today. Kaifeng lies on the southern bank of the Yellow River. Its location on the floodplains left it vulnerable to invasion, which happened multiple times in its history as capital. The flooding also meant that the city was constantly being rebuilt, so much of the city that we see today is only less than two hundred years old.
Kaifeng is 55km from Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport; the “international” here means that there are a few flights from Korea and Japan, but most of the connections are domestic. Kaifeng is on the east-west Longhai Rail line, so when you land at Zhengzhou all you need to do is find the train. Alternately, you can catch a train to Kaifeng from any major Chinese city.
Hostel accommodation in Kaifeng is in the old city, which is on the south bank of the Yellow River. None of the hostels are right on the river; most are a couple of kilometres from the railway station. The Chinese characters for “hostel” are “宿舍” and that is pronounced “su-she.” The tourist information kiosk at the railway station should be able to help you find a hostel or point you in the right direction to a hostel you have booked already.
Kaifeng is known for being the city of chrysanthemums, and if you visit in October or November, you will be able to take part in the annual Chrysanthemum Cultural Festival. Other attractions include the Dailing Gate, the Imperial Street of the Song dynasty, the Dragon Pavilion, Iron Pagoda, and Daxiangguo Temple. Kaifeng has two unique attributes: it is home to the largest community of Jews in China, known as Kaifeng Jews, and also to a very large Muslim population and some of the oldest women’s mosques in China.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Kaifeng hostels. Welcome.