Located in the west of Henan Province in central China, Luoyang occupies quite an important geographic location. It is in the middle reaches of the Yellow River
and is encircled by mountains and plains. To its east and west are the Hu Lao Pass and Han Gu Pass which were essential domestic transportation junctions in ancient times. To its north, Mengjin County was an important ferry crossing of the Yellow River. Thus, Luoyang was selected as the capital city by 13 dynasties starting from the Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century BC) in the 21st century BC. In the period following the Han Dynasty (206BC-220), and particularly during the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, the city experienced a period of growth and prosperity and ranked as one of the international metropolitans of the time.
The long history endows the city with a profound sense of culture. The city is the cradle of Chinese civilization where many Chinese legends happened, such as Nvwa Patching the Sky, Dayu Controlling Flood and the Chinese ancestor Huangdi Establishing the Nation. The city is also famed as the 'Poets Capital' as poets and literates of ancient times often gathered there and left grand works, including 'Book of Wisdom' ('Daode Jing'), 'Han History' ('Han Shu') and 'Administrative Theory of Admonishing Official' ('Zi Zhi Tong Jian').
|Longmen Grottoes |
Religious culture once thrived here. Taoism originated there and the first Buddhist temple set up by the government was located there. Luoyang is also the hometown of many of the scientific inventions of ancient China, such as the seismograph, armillary sphere, paper making, printing and the compass.
Luoyang has rich historical and cultural sites. The Longmen Grottoes
are one of China's three most precious treasure houses of stone sculptures and inscriptions. The White Horse Temple
is the first Buddhist temple and is honored as the 'Cradle of Buddhism in China'. Mt. Mangshan is where ancient tombs of emperors, nobles and literates in the past dynasties collected. The Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum
is the world's first example of the kind and presents thousands of treasures discovered in the tombs. Shaolin Temple
is the place of origin for Chinese Zen Buddhism and the cradle of Chinese Martial Art
. Landscapes in this city hold the same attraction as the cultural sites. White Cloud Mountain
, Funiu Mountain, Long Yu Wan National Forest Park
, Ji Guan Limestone Cave and the Yellow River Xiaolangdi Scenic Area
are all worth a visit. Additionally, Luoyang is particularly well known for its peonies. Every year in April, the flowers blossom and attract visitors from all over the world.
|Tri-color Pottery, Luoyang Museum |
Dining is quite an enjoyable experience in the city. Various kinds of local dishes, including Water Feast, Yan Cai and others which use the famous Yellow River carps as an ingredient, together with the uniquely flavored soups, will greatly satisfy your taste buds. Local specialties such as Palace Lanterns, bronze vessels and Tri-colored glazed potteries will no doubt delight your eyes and offer you ideal souvenirs. Being a modern city as well, Luoyang has hotels of all standards which provide you quite a broad choice for your stay. Most of the hotels have reasonable room prices and perfect services.
Transportation is well developed in this city. Beijiao Airport has many domestic flights extending to many large cities in other provinces. It's also very easy to get to the city by train because one of the country's most important railway lines Long Hai Railway traverses the city and connects most cities in east, west and central China. The convenient city buses and taxies can carry you around the city. Near the railway station, special tourist buses can take you to the scenic spots in the suburban areas of the city.
Luoyang, a charming city filled with the fragrance of peonies and the primitive atmosphere of ancient civilization, is waiting and welcoming guests from all over the world. Putting the city into the list of your exploration in China, you will get far more than what you expect.
|Shaolin Temple || |
|Longmen Grottoes seen from afar |