Luoyang's most revered Buddhist site and popular tourist attraction, the Longmen Grottoes (Lóngmén Shíkū, 龙门石窟) or "Dragon's Gate Grottoes", lie twelve kilometers (7.5 mi) to the south of the city center. Separated by the Yi River are Xiang Shan (eastern bank) and Longmen Shan (western bank), two mountains riddled with thousands of caves and niches featuring some of China's most spectacular rock carvings and inscriptions. Work on the carvings began in the Northern Wei Dynasty (471-499 AD) and continued over the Sui..
Baima Temple (Baima Si) is one of the most impressive and truly holy temples in the entire Henan province and is considered by many as being one of the oldest in China. Legend has it that white horses carried the first scriptures from India to this spot in 68AD, hence the name (meaning White Horse Temple) and the prevalence of horse statues about the entire area. At this time, Buddhism in India and Nepal had just reached its peak and this was almost certainly the first time Buddhism had reached China. The temple was initially built to..
Guanlin Temple dates back to the year 1596 in the later half of the Ming Dynasty, and has an interesting—albeit gruesome—story attached to it. Legend has it that Guan Yu, whose tale is perfectly hyperbolized in the famed Romance of Three Kingdoms (author: Luo Guanzhong), led many a battle and offered allegiances with several neighboring warlords, playing one against the other. When his tactics were finally discovered, Guan Yu was ambushed and beheaded. His severed head was sent to Caocao, one of the warlords for whom Guan had..
Luoyang's Wangcheng Park is a public park which can be divided into five different sections—the public garden area, a zoo, a fun park, a peony garden area and a culture section—all of which require separate admission fees. There's not a lot to attract the interest of the average traveler unless you have a particular interest in the happenings of the Zhou Dynasty (1046 - 256 BC) or China's symbolic flower, the peony, which they like to call "The King of Flowers". Every year for 10 days in April (15th - 25th), thousands of..