Luoyang has so much more to see and do. There is the Peony festival where visitors from around the world flock to see this amazing display of flowers. The Luoyang Museum offers travellers the opportunity to go back in time and delve deeper into the history of this ancient capital. However there are some sites that cannot be missed if your traveling to Luoyang China. Below is a list of some of the most wonderful and mesmerizing places that Luoyang, China has to offer.
# 1 – Bai Ma Si (White Horse Temple)
White Horse Temple is the original Buddhist temple to be built in China and is the oldest Buddhist temple in the world. Two to three hours is needed to walk around this complex, there are different styles of buildings and designs which need to be explored.
Bai Ma Si is an oasis of peace and tranquillity and is worth visiting just for the quiet that is missing from the chaos that is the city.
# 2 – Longmen Grottoes
This UNESCO site is spectacular! The history behind it and the carvings of the statues have to be seen to be believed. There are over 2300 caves where you will find 100,000 Buddhist statues. One cave alone has 10,000 tiny carvings in It, while outside you will find a majestic 57 foot Buddha overlooking the tranquil river. To see these statues with intricate designs, you will need a few hours. Get there early to beat the crowds.
# 3 – Old Town
As you head through Lijing Gate and enter Luoyang Old Town, you will feel like you have stepped into another century. Behind the thick, high wall you will find bustling shops, noise and tiny restaurants where local delicacies are served. Walking around the shops takes hours. Calligraphy, trinkets and pottery are just some of the local handicrafts that you can find here – just remember to haggle!
# 4 – Shaolin Temple
One of the most well-known and most popular tourist attractions in China is the Shaolin Temple. Although it is quite commercialised now, it is still worth visiting. The popularity of Shaolin stems from the warrior monks and their mastery of Kung Fu. It is set in stunning surroundings and steeped in mystery. There are shows at regular intervals throughout the day where you can see the monks in action.
# 5 – Sample the Amazing Food
Every province in China has its own specialities and Luoyang is no different. The food is tasty, colourful and highly addictive! Even local dishes have a history behind them so be prepared for a lesson while you are eating.
The Water Feast is unique to this region. Twenty four dishes are all accompanied by different soups. Each dish is served in very strict order and consist of meat and vegetables bursting with different flavours such as spicy, salty, sour and sweet.
Carp Leaping Over The Gorge, yes that is the name of a dish, is visually beautiful but also tender and tasty fish. It got its name due to the masterful presentation which is designed to look as if the fish is leaping over a gorge made of cabbage. Sounds bizarre and it is!
Do not miss out on trying the street food in Luoyang. A lot of the time, it is better than any meal you will get at a 5-star restaurant.
The BBQ stalls set up as the sun goes down and the smell of cumin covered skewers is everywhere. Tender chunks of meat or skewers loaded with vegetables are bursting with flavour and extremely cheap.
Hula soup is a popular breakfast dish in Luoyang. Made with beef, vegetables and peanuts this soup is super tasty and unique due to adding vinegar and sesame oil just as it has been placed in front of you.
For the more adventurous eater, a walk down the night market will see you being offered, frog, a cockroach on a stick, goats eyeballs and so much more. If you are brave enough to do this, there is plenty of on offer and reasonably priced too so I hear!
There is so much more to discover in this unique city. The locals are friendly, food is great and the history is incredible. It is a place that anybody who is heading to China should not miss.