Henan Province, 63km (40 miles) SW of Zhengzhou, 87km (53 miles) SE of Luoyang

Located south of the Yellow River in northwest Henan Province, Song Shan is the central mountain of the five holy Daoist mountains. Today, it's better known as the home of the Shaolin Temple (Shaolin Si), birthplace of the eponymous brand of kung-fu martial art (Shaolin gongfu) that has long been popular in Asia but has only in recent years become increasingly known to the Western world. The main town serving Song Shan is Dengfeng (meaning "Ascending to Bestow Honor"), named by the Tang dynasty empress Wu Zetian who preferred Song Shan to Tai Shan (Mount Tai) in Shandong Province, traditionally the favorite mountain of most emperors. Song Shan can be visited in conjunction with Luoyang, or as a day trip from Zhengzhou.