Travel China with the Yangxifu: The Henan Museum, Zhengzhou, China

The Henan Museum
The Henan Museum offers extraordinary stories and relics, in one of China’s most overlooked cities — Zhengzhou. (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

“The museum is under construction, so there are only two rooms open,” the woman behind the information desk told us in a droll voice in Mandarin. She probably had to say this same thing hundreds of times a day, every day.

But while this was just another day for her, this was the only day for John, my Chinese husband, and I to visit the the Henan Museum in Zhengzhou, Henan Province.

We just shrugged our shoulders in disappointment, and walked to the room to our right. It was painted in a forgettable beige — nearly the same color as the loess of the loess plains, where Zhengzhou is located — and seemed to hold, on first glance, an equally forgettable collection of artifacts that couldn’t match what we’d seen in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha.

Yet, forgettable is hardly how we would describe our visit. That’s because the Henan Museum, opened to the public in 1998, is one of the few museums in China where you don’t feel as if you’ve seen this bronze or that porcelain 100 times before. Invest a little time, be curious, and you will be rewarded with extraordinary stories and unusual relics. Continue reading “Travel China with the Yangxifu: The Henan Museum, Zhengzhou, China”