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Luoyang is probably someplace you've never heard of unless you are a Chinese history buff. It is between Xi'an and Beijing. It was one of the "Four Ancient Capitals" in the past and has been the capital of 13 ancient empires and kingdoms.
Now bullet trains make Luoyang more convenient to visit. Here are 10 interesting facts about its past and present so that you're well informed if you're thinking about a trip to Luoyang.
It was said to be the perhaps-mythical Xia Dynasty capital, so it might have been China's first capital city area. Along with the area around Beijing, Luoyang is part of the heartland of ancient Chinese civilization.
During the first 1,500 years of imperial history, whether by invasion or rebellion, several imperial dynasties lost their capital city and were forced to relocate in Luoyang.
For example, it was a capital of the Eastern Zhou Empire after the dynastic clan lost much control of the empire and of their earlier capital city. The Han Dynasty moved to Luoyang after internal strife and attacks of foreign armies.
Three thousand years of civilization left many significant ancient landmarks that make a visit memorable.
The Longmen Grottoes are massive in scale and contain about 2,100 grottoes and niches and over 100,000 religious and historical images and statues. It is an official World Heritage Site.
The Shaolin Temple that has been portrayed on TV and in movies is about 45 kilometers (1.5 hours drive) away.The temple is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and noted for martial arts/acrobatics performances and school for Kung Fu.
Luoyang Museum is popular. It is the place to go to see the ceramics and artifacts from each era and learn the history. It has a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor .
For fine local-color souvenirs and gifts, we suggest the Tang-style tri-color glazed pottery (唐三彩瓶) made to imitate the refined ceramic craftsmanship and artwork of the antiques of the Tang era.
Finely crafted pieces are quite colorful. See Louyang's top shopping areas.
The city is the heavy industry center of northern central China. Industries such as steel, aluminum, and large machinery manufacture account for about 75 percent of the economic output. Because of this, annual income is fairly low at about 53,300 RMB (5,700 USD).
Luoyang is a medium-sized city with a population of 2 million people and covers about 4,300 square kilometers (or 1,650 square miles).
The city is known for hot and rainy summers and dry, cold winters. The best time to visit is April, both for the weather and Luoyang's Peony Fair that is held from April to May every year.
October is also pleasant though tourism is high. See more about Luoyang's climate and tourism by seasons and months.
By high speed train, Luoyang Longmen station is only about one and a half hours away from Xi'an, so you can see both imperial capitals during your time in China. We can arrange for private drivers at both cities to meet you and facilitate your travels in comfort. See our Xi'an and Luoyang by Bullet Train Day Trip details below. See Luoyang Transportation.
Travel to Luoyang has improved recently. There is a domestic airport about 13 kilometers from the city center and a regular train station.
Convenient bullet trains: A new very fast G train line connects Luoyang Longmen Station with Beijing (3.5 hours, ~60 USD second class) and Xi'an (1.5 hours, ~28 USD). See Luoyang Transportation.
We can tailor your tour. We specialize in bespoke, custom tours tailored for your interests. Tell us what you wish to do while you're in China, and we'll respond within 24 hours.
Here are some popular tour ideas for Luoyang: