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“Beautiful place”
Review of Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Temple
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$107.00*
and up
Luoyang One Day Private Tour of Shaolin Temple and Longmen Grottoes Including...
Ranked #1 of 31 things to do in Dengfeng
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Owner description: This is a famous martial arts monastery, the birthplace of both kung fu and Zen Buddhism
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful place”
Reviewed September 12, 2013

Beautiful place, horrible bathrooms. Be prepared. I enjoyed seeing the Pagoda Forest. We also went to the Kung Fu show. We did go up to Mt. Song due to time but it looked beautiful.

Visited August 2013
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Thank DWuest0619
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Beijing, China
Level Contributor
137 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“I'm very glad I went, and will return to see Mt. Songshan”
Reviewed August 19, 2013

Let me start by saying that I am VERY glad that we made the effort to see this sight. It is very interesting to see years of history and culture appreciated by the locals and the children that we saw. We were there on a very hot, muggy Sunday in July and we were drenched in sweat from the moment we arrived. We still feel it was worth it.

We made a bathroom stop before entering and, honestly, this was THE most disgusting public toilet I had been into in all of China. Had I not been desperate, I would have held it. Be warned!! Calling it "disgusting" is actually probably not a strong enough word. "Pits of sewage with walls" is probably more accurate. And also beware that a lot of the older Chinese women do not lock the bathroom doors. Open them slowly. This is a country-wide finding for me.

We were with a tour guide, but also a large group that included 5 kids, aged 16-4. Our guide, Tim, was perfect; telling us just enough info to get the gist of things, but not bore the kids to tears. We first attended the Kung-Fu show which is about 30 minutes and is free. We waited outside for a very long 30 minutes to get indoors. Another warning...when someone tells you a venue is air-conditioned, it is likely not the kind of air conditioning most Westerners are accustomed to. You will feel a few small puffs of coolish air, but you will not be blasted into Popsicle mode. This is another thing we have found to be country-wide. The show was fine, but we were not prepared for the fact that after the seats and floor space are filled, people will stand and sit wherever they can. I was on the aisle and a lady sat/leaned on my arm and side the entire show. Some of the shorter kids sat on laps to be able to see.

After the show we entered the actual temple with our guide and we were surprised by how large it actually is. Having been to many temples, the kids were most interested in lighting incense and sliding down the stair-side ramps. We were initially worried that it would be irreverent, but we saw many Chinese children do it, as well as at least one young monk-in-training. That much being said, the original floor with the curves and slants were very exciting, as were the holes in the trees. Inside of the actual temple we only saw one small table with items for sale. I mention that because so many people have mentioned being put off by the items for sale. If you tour China, get used to the non-stop sales tactics. There are a lot of people here to feed and they are providing a meager income for families and children.

After the temple, we visited the Pagoda Forest. It was beautiful. They are interesting to see as standing monuments to people who have given their time and energies for their beliefs. We had hoped to be able to take the cable car to the top of Mt. Songshan, but we chose not to. It was cloudy and misty and felt we wouldn't have been able to see much beyond where we were. I will actually return some time to be able to make that trip up the mountain.

Our favorite part of the entire tour was actually as we were departing; we walked by the many groups of kids of all ages practicing their skill. I was mesmerized by a group of about 30 practicing a routine in the middle of a cement lot with padding placed on the ground. They chanted, yelled, tumbled, snaked, and moved with awe-inspiring uniformity. They were probably about 6-7 years old. Seeing their enthusiasm and skill ended our tour on a beautiful high note. This place might not be for everyone, but if you go with the attitude of seeing hard-working kids having fun, you will enjoy it.

Visited July 2013
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1 Thank PandasNPugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
46 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Too Commercialized.”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

Its all about business with monks everywhere sitting at a table or with bowl offering some kind of wares for sale

Visited July 2013
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Thank Sandra James S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good but beware!”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We enjoyed the visit, even though we were a little "templed out" by this stage of our holiday. Our guide often warned us to take care of our belongings in crowded areas but this was the only place where a group member had her camera stolen, not a nice experience.

Visited April 2013
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1 Thank 52aussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Shaolin Temple is just soso”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

Me and my friend went to visit Shaolin from Zhengzhou. This city is not touristic at all, but the traffic here is worst in all of China, and nobody speaks English. There are no English or Pinyin signs either. I speak a little Chinese and managed to find the busstation (opposite to the trainstation) and got tickets to go to Shaolin.
Apparently these tickets were for a Chinese tourbus.

It's a little less than a two hour ride from Zhengzhou to Dengfeng. With our Chinese tourgroup we first visited Songyang acadamy for 1 hour, which was all about calligraphy and only interesting if you can read Chinese. Then on to a temple where students slept and trained kungfu, this was actually very nice to see, with the mountains in the background. After this first up was lunch and finally around 2.30 we arrived at the Shaolin complex.

There are a lot of Chinese tourists here, and not a lot of information in English. The temples are nothing special and I expected to see mountains in the background or nice views, but nothing like that.

We missed the Kungfu shows because there were long lines and didnt get to see any Kungfu. I would have loved to watch the monks training, maybe if you go early in the morning you can, but otherwise nothing.
I love Kungfu but I think it's not really worth the hassle to go here. There are way more beautiful temples in China, Dali for instance. And you can see Kungfu shows anywhere in China. Beijing has a good one.

Visited July 2013
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3 Thank Hayo_NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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