Luoyang has many historical attractions, from World Heritage Sites to a State Protected Historic Area. Below we've prepared a roundup of the top 5 things to do and see on your Luoyang tour.
1. Visit Longmen Grottoes–World Heritage Site
Longmen Grottoes is the attraction in Luoyang you simply cannot miss. It is the favorite attraction for almost all tourists. When you see it, you will marvel at its magnificence.
Hundreds of thousands of statues and caves are carved and dug into two mountains sprawling over 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from south to north. It is a man-made architectural marvel.
The highlights are in the West Hill. Climb some steps to see all kinds of caves and statues. The biggest cave contains the largest and most exquisite niches, with 15,000 Buddhist statues, around 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) tall. All the niches and statues are skillfully sculpted.
Seen from the East Hill, the beauty of the Longmen Grottoes is revealed to best advantage. Our guide knows the best place for photographs. You can create an unforgettable memory with a photo of the full view of Longmen Grottoes.
2. Experience Chinese Kungfu
You must have heard of Chinese kungfu from TV series or movies. Maybe you first heard about China through kungfu! It is like a "name card" for China. Shaolin Temple is the best place to find out more about kungfu.
Luoyang is the regional birthplace and home of Shaolin Temple. When you come to Luoyang, don't miss the chance to experience kungfu. You can meet the monks who practice the art, watch performances of martial arts and learn kungfu in Shaolin Temple.
An authentic China tour experience is not only to see attractions but also to learn local culture and to participate in some local events.
Shaolin Temple is in Dengfeng city, 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of Luoyang. You can take a long-distance bus from Luoyang to Dengfeng and get off at Shaolin Temple on the way.
This is a little difficult for foreign tourists, because of language barriers. We suggest booking a private tour. Our tour is more comfortable and convenient, taking you directly from Luoyang to Shaolin Temple.
3. Explore White Horse Temple–Birthplace of Chinese Buddhism
In 1961, White Horse Temple was designated one of China's foremost protected historic sites by the State Council. The temple's architecture demonstrates typical Chinese style.
The temple was built to house two eminent monks from India and to store Buddha statues and sutras they brought to Luoyang in 68 AD. This is where they translated the Buddha sutras. Chinese Buddhism spread from here.
You can visit the place where the two monks interpreted Buddhist scriptures. You can see the precious Buddha statues and the exquisitely carved shrines. There are 5 main halls in the temple. Each houses different Buddha statues for people to worship.
4. Learn Luoyang's History in Luoyang Museum
Luoyang, with a history of thousands of years, plays an important role in Chinese history. You need to find out about its past so that you can feel its charm.
Luoyang Museum covers an area of 20 hectares (49 acres). It has seven thematic exhibitions. One introduces Luoyang's history and civilization. The other six display national treasures, pottery, tri-colored glazed pottery, stone carvings, calligraphy and paintings, embroideries and special local products.
Every relic represents the history of Luoyang. If you want to learn the city's story, our guide will be happy to share it with you.
5. Eat Local Food–Water Banquet
In 2007, water banquets were added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. They are the most distinctive fare in Luoyang. They contain 24 dishes: 8 cold dishes and 16 hot dishes.
Water banquets got their name for two reasons. The first is that all the hot dishes are cooked in soup. The second is that during the banquet, dishes are served one after another, like flowing water.
The 24 courses consist of chicken, fish, pork, cabbage, green radish, etc. There are different flavors: sweet, sour and spicy. The first and most famous is "Luoyang Swallow Dish". It is made of shredded turnip, shredded chicken, minced pork and vegetables simmered in soup.
When you travel in Luoyang, try it out. If you travel with a big family, you can enjoy the whole banquet, tasting the different flavors. If you are just 2 or 3 people, you can order your favorite dishes from the 24.
Discover the Beauty of Luoyang with Us
Luoyang is not well-known to most foreign tourists. We know its history and interesting stories, its best places and activities. We can create a nice trip to give you an authentic experience. Every destination and activity will be distinctive.
Peruse our sample itinerary here for inspiration: our Round Day Trip from Xi'an to Luoyang and Shaolin Temple by HSR. This is a historical and cultural tour to see world-famous historical sites – Terracotta Warriors and Longmen Grottoes – and to experience Chinese kungfu.
If you are curious about Luoyang and want to know more, feel free to ask us. Our specialists are willing to help you. We will tailor-make a tour just for you. All your ideas and preferences can be incorporated in your itinerary.