Whilst Kaifeng is today a small city by Chinese standards, being home to nearly 5 million, the city is believed to have once been the largest city in the world for over a century. It was one of the most prominent ancient capitals of China. From the 7th century the city has been an important hub of trade and commerce, being well-connected by the Grand Canal, an impressive feat of engineering even by today’s standards. From then on, it remained a capital city and the political, economic, and cultural centre of China for many dynasties.
Kaifeng was at its grandest during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) when it was one of the most developed and prosperous cities in the world. It has also survived various periods of war and decline: in the 17th century to prevent a rebellion, water from the nearby Yellow River was used by the Ming army to deliberately flood the city, and more recently in the 20th century it was help by Japanese troops.
For many, the name Kaifeng is synonymous with Kaifeng Jews, a significant population of Jewish people.
Today, Kaifeng is a calm city with beautiful historical and cultural remnants that testify to its magnificent past.
Features in the following itineraries
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Anonymous, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka