Song Shan is one of the five sacred Daoist Mountains. The national park is also home to something very Buddhist in nature - Shaolin Temple and the art of Kung Fu. Within the National park is the small town of Dengfeng, home to the area's accommodations and food establishments.
The park is about two hours from Zhengzhou. It's an easy day trip. Bus leave opposite the train station every 20-30 minutes all morning. Be warned: many of the bus tickets are actually tours, that may spend most of the day at auxilary sites or eating lunch instead of the Shaolin complex. These tours do not include entrance fees. Try to make sure you're going on a direct bus, or hire a van, if you want to see it on your own.
From bus station take bus no 1 to the end and hop on bus 8. Costs 3 yuan instead of 30 with tourist bus.
There are regular buses from Luoyang’s main bus station that pass by the entrance of Shaolin Temple, costing RMB 19. There are no fixed services from Shaolin back to Luoyang, but for most of the day you can flag a bus heading back towards the city for RMB 20. The journey takes around 90 minutes.
Gaocheng Guanxing Tai - earliest surviving observatory in China
Shaolin Temple (少林寺; Shàolínsì), (take the City Bus until the last stop and then change for bus 8, ¥3). Until 6PM. Also known as Shaolin Monastery, this important Buddhist Temple is the birthplace of the famous Shaolin Kung Fu martial art and of the Zen school. With the ticket you can also go to the Pagoda Forest and reach the summit of the mountain. Note that a one year pass for all the attractions in Dengfeng area costs ¥150. They will just ask an extra ¥30 at the Shaolin Temple. The entrance fee also includes a 30 minute “Wu Shu” performance in the training centre half way between the entrance and the main temple. Shows start on the hour, and occasionally on the half hour as well.¥100. edit
Shaolin Travelers Hostel, 308 Chong Gao Road; 崇高路308 (from Luoyang or ZhengZhou take a bus to Deng Feng (¥25), get off at the second bus station in DengFeng, take a ¥5 taxi ride to arrive at the place), ☎ +8615981883801. checkin: any time; checkout: noon. English speaking staff. They offer a cool private lesson with a Shaolin master and a discount card for the local attractions.Dorms ¥20-60, ensuite ¥160. edit
Songshan Binguan, Next to the Tagou school, near Shaolin Monastery, ☎ +86 371 2749050. edit