HENAN AND XIAN CULTURAL TOUR
Our Group was a customised, not a commercial package tour, in the sense of preferences and choices over flight time, places, food, hotels and schedules, and no shopping at all. It was a cohesive, cooperative and friendly group together, and no time was wasted in delays or squabbles over food, rooms and seating.
After a hefty breakfast, we left the hotel at 8 am to begin our tour of central plain of China, where Chinese civilization started. The Yellow River scenic area was our first destination. It was situated 30 km, north-west of Zhengzhou city, but the bus took an hour to travel. The driver was skilful and safety conscious, and his speed limit never exceed 90km/hr, according to Chinese traffic regulations. The hour duration was historical lessons by our China Guide, Mm Zhong Siew Mei.
The Yellow River was about 5500 km, the second longest river in China, originated from Qinghai and poured into Bohai. It shaped liked a stylised z, or ji (in Chinese), and we were at the middle reach (12oo km). We took a hovercraft to cross mud or sand dunes, and moved 18 km into the river. We viewed the Yueshan mountain range, and peaks of varied names, the three-storey temple on the west, the gorge dividing Liu Bang (Han dynasty) and Xiang Xu (Qin), where they fought endless battles there. On the elevated loess sediment dunes, our hovercraft landed for about half an hour for horse riding, sand biking and lighting of fire crackers, for an extra small payment.
On our return to the jetty, we visited the nearby vast open spaced Mausoleum of Huang Yan De (Shen Nong) and Huang De– two legendary first and second emperors of China. Their stone statues were about 100 m tall, sculptured over two decades, perched on top of a peak. Below the peak, artisans worked on lots of uncompleted sculptures, and the Yueshansi was seen in the yonder peak with an iron bridge across. Huang He is named as The Mother River, for the fertile loess for agriculture over the centuries. Over the years, millions of people have died and homes destroyed by floods due to sediments. Now the river is tamed, navigable and dams are built for hydropower.
We drove more than two hours to Kaifeng city for lunch.