Luoyang city in itself is not particularly special, except perhaps for the efficiency of its buses and the beautiful Peony Garden, but it is surrounded by fantastic sites that are worth making the trip for.
One such site is the Longmen Grottoes, one of China’s famous Buddhist cave carving complexes. Another of China’s countless UNESCO World Heritage sites, the stone sculptures were carved into the walls of the cave for a period of six hundred years beginning over a millennium and a half ago. There are around 100,000 statues, ranging from less than a centimetre to 17 meters in height.
Located to the east of the city and surrounded by parks and scenic areas and home to arguably the most famous form of Kung Fu, the world famous Shaolin Temple really is a spectacular place to visit. Kung fu lessons can be organized for those wishing to gain a deeper understanding of this peaceful yet martial religion.
Also on the outskirts of the city is the White Horse Temple, said to be the first Buddhist temple in China. Although the original temple is thought to have been established in 68 AD, today it is split into a number of courtyards with temples reflecting the architecture of other Buddhist cultures. Other notable temples include the Zhongyue Taoist Temple, the Guanlin Temple. Aside from the Chinese temple, there are also Thai and Indian style structures.