Archive for the ‘Luoyang Travel Tips’ Category

How to visit White Horse Temple

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
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Plan your Luoyang Tour? White Horse Temple should be listed on your Luoyang Trip. There are a few temples in the name of White Horse Temple, but the White Horse Temple in Luoyang is the most famous both at home and abroad.

The White Horse Temple in Luoyang is the first Buddhist temple in China, the important cradle of Chins’s buddhism, which was introduced into China from India in 68AD in Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD – 220 AD) , the same year when the white horse temple was built.

The name of “White Horse Temple” was given by Emperor Ming in Eastern Dynasty to honor two white horses carrying the two monks, namely Matanga and Gobharana, who came from India to Luoyang aimed at spreading Buddhism and translated the Buddhist scriptures into the Chinese language.

Now the main buildings in the temple compound were rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912). Along the axis from south to north there are several buildings including Shamen, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Great Buddhism, the Hall of Hall of Mahavira, Hall of Greetings, Cool and Clear Terrace.

The highlights of the white Horse Temple lie in its long history and great architecture. Now follow me into the world famous White Horse Temple.

The white horse temple is located about 20km east of Luoyang City center. You may take the public bus No.56 starting from Luoyang Railway Station and ending at the White Horse Temple. Or you may take a taxi (RMB 50) directly from downtown Lulyang to the entrance to White Horse.

Entrance  (景点大门)

The entrance fee is RMB 50. The ticket office is by the entrance, which is still about over 100 meters leading to Shanmen, the real gate to the White Horse Temple.

Enter the entrance, you  still need to walk about 100 meters before you reach Shanmen Hall, which means the entrance of the temple.
Shanmen Hall means the entrance to the temple.

 

The ticket office is by the entrance

 

Shanmen Hall (山门)
Shanmen Hall, which means the entrance of the temple. Shanmen Hall means the entrannce to the temple.

 

Shanmen Hall means the entrance to the temple

 

 

The Hall of Heavenly Kings (天王殿)
The hall honors the statue of Maitreya, popularly known as the laughing Buddha,sitting right at the forefront of the hall. On both sides of the statue there are four heavenly kings, each representing one fourth of the universe.

the Hall of Heavenly Kings

Great Buddha Hall (大佛殿)
It houses a statue of the Buddhist founder – Sakyamuni standing in the middle of the hall. He is flanked by two of his disciples – Kasyapa and Ananda.

Hall of Great Buddha

The high incense burner placed front of Great Buddha Hall

The the high incense burner placed front of Great Buddha Hall

Again a cone incense burner in an oblong shape placed in front of the Great Buddha Hall

Again a cone incense burner in an oblong shape

Hall of Mahavira (大雄宝殿)
Behind Great Buddha Hall stands the Hall of Mahavira in which there are statues of three principal Buddhas. The statue in the middle is the Sakyamuni Buddha. The statue is accompanied on the left by the Bhavisyajya guru and on the right by Amitabha. They are protected by two heavenly generals named Weituo and Weili.

Hall of Mahavira

Hall of Greetings (接引殿)
The Hall of greeting is the smallest hall in the temple compound. This small hall houses the statues of three western paradise (Indian) saints.

 

Hall of Greetings

 

Cool and Clear Terrace (清凉台)
The terrace is 43m long, 33mwide and 6m high, one of the most beautiful places in the temple.

Cool and Clear Terrace

Kunlu Pavilion (昆卢阁)
The terrace also has a pavilion – Kunlu Pavilion with halls on its east and west that house the statues of the two eminent monks, She Moteng and Zhu Falan. 

Kunlu Pavilion

Plum blossoms and tablets by the red wall

 

Plum blossoms and tablets by the red wall

After you visit the white horse temple, you are highly recommended to take the Bus no.56 by the roadside. Normally you will get a seat on the bus since White Horse Temple is the starting point from east.
boarding the Bus No.56

boarding the Bus No.56

Bus No.56 Stop Sign

 

Bus No.56 Stop Sign

 

On a bus running from White Horse Temple to Luoyang Railway Station

 

On a bus running from White Horse Temple to Luoyang Railway Station

 

Tip:  Hassle-free Luoyang Guided Tours
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Luoyang Guided Tours:

Luoyang One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang- Shaolin One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang – Shaolin 2 Day Private Tour Packages  Starting US$ 150 per person

Beijing Luoyang 2 Day Round Trip Tour       Starting US$ 280 per person
Beijing Luoyang Shaolin Temple 2 Day Round Trip Tour  Starting US$ 290
Beijing Luoyang ( Shaolin ) 3 Day Tour – Round Trip by Flight Starting US$ 610 per person

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Luoyang
Where to Stay in Luoyang
Luoyang Museum Guide
Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits
How to visit White Horse Temple
How to Visit Shaolin Temple
Longmen Grottoes Travel Tips
Kung Fu Show at Shaolin Temple

Any questions,  just drop a line.

How to Visit Zhongyue Temple in Dengfeng

Monday, March 5th, 2012
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Plan your trip to Shaolin Temple? It is advisable to combine Shaolin Temple with a added trip to Zhongyue Temple and Songyang Academy in Dengfeng, a county-level city under the jurisdiction of Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan Province.

Dengfeng is located at the southern foot of Mount Song. Mount Song is one of the five sacred mountains in China. In history, Dengfeng was regarded as a spiritual center due to the fact it was home to several important religious sites including Shaolin Temple (Buddhism), Zhongyue Temple (Taoism) and Songyang Academy (Confucianism). The major religions in China are converged here in Dengfeng, which has a poetic name, the spiritual “centre of heaven and earth”.

In 2010, several of the most famous sites around Dengfeng were listed under the title “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth”.” The well known sites include Shaolin Temple, Zhongyue Temple and Songyang Academy.

To visit Zhongyue Temple, you need to go to Dengfeng City, which is located between Luoyang (80km) and Zhengzhou (70km). Travel overland to Dengfeng is the only way either from Luoyang and Zhengzhou. Numerous buses shuttle to Dengfeng from Luoyang and Zhengzhou. It is also quite easy to hitchhike along National Highway 207 from Luoyang to Dengfeng or Expressway S85 from Zhengzhou to Dengfeng.

Usually a visit to Zhongyue Temple is often arranged after a trip to Shaolin Temple since Dengfeng City is only 12km to the east of Shaolin Temple. Zhongyue Temple is 5km to the north of Dengfeng city center.

Well, please follow me into the mysterious world of Zhongyue Temple in Dengfeng.

After visiting Shaolin Temple, I walk across the national highway No.207 passing by the entrance to Shaolin Temple aboard the Public Bus No.8 running from Shaolin Temple to the city center of Dengfeng. Now it is late February, still a low tourist season and there are not so many passengers on the bus.

There are not so many passengers on the bus from Shaolin Temple to Dengfeng. I soon arrive at Dengfeng, which is located at the southern foot of Mount Song with a population of 640,000 (2010). It has a total area of 1220 Square kilometers, 56km long from east to west and 35.5km from north to south. Dengfeng City is regarded as a city of China’s Martial Arts as well as a city where three Chinese religions are converged including Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.

The city of Dengfeng is quite clean and well organized.

Zhongyue Temple is situated 5km north of the city center of dengfeng, you take the public bus no.2 or take a taxi to Zhongyue Temple. A taxi ride costs you about RMB 15. It is an important Taoist temple in China dedicated to the God of Mount Song.

It was originally built in Eastern Zhou Dynasy in 770 BC. In Wei Dynasty, it was renamed Zhongyue Temple and became a taoist temple. Zhongyue Temple was further expanded in the successive dyansities of Tang, Song, Ming and Qing. 

Entrance fee: RMB 30

Enquiry: 0371 – 62862577
SOS: 0371 – 62877344

Zhongyue Temple is a group of ancient structures. Inside the temple, there are totally 11 yards and gates from the first gate to the last hall. By the both sides of the axis, there are six palaces and yards.

Entering the Temple, the first architecture you will see is “The First Gate of the Famous Mountain”.

The First Gate of the Famous Mountain

Behind the “First Gate” is the “Distant Worshipping Pavilion”, a delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

A delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

a delicate pavilion with double octagonal eaves

Tianzhong Loft

Tianzhong Loft

 
Peitianzuozhen Gateway

Peitianzuozhen Gateway

This is the largest hall in Zhongyue Temple – Junji Palace dedicated to the God of Mount Song. Junji Palace is similar to the Super-Harmony Hall of Forbidden City in Beijing since Zhongyue Temple is built based on the style and structure of the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Junji Palace is similar to the Super-Harmony Hall of Forbidden City in Beijing

The splendidly built eaves with mythical animals indicate the high status of the temple, which could be found in Forbidden City in Beijing where emperor lived.

The splendidly built eaves with mythical animals

Any questions, just drop a line.

Longmen Grottoes Travel Tips

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
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Plan your Luoyang Tour? Longmen Grottoes are a must see attraction for first time visitors. Longmen Grottoes is one of the three top grottoes in China. The other two are Yungang Grottoes in Datong and Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang.

Longmen Grottoes are located 12km in the south of Luoyang city center. They are dotted 1km along Longmen Hill (west hill) and Xianshan Hill (east hill) which are opposite to each other and cut through by Yi River running from south to north.

Most of the grottoes are on the Longmen Hill, hence Longmen Grottoes. “Longmen” literally means “Dragon Gate”, indicating the “gate” formed by the two hills standing by the both sides of Yi River.

Longmen literally means Dragon Gate, indicating the Gate formed by the two hills standing by the both sides of Yi River.

How to get to Longmen Grottoes?
Starting from Luoyang Longmen Railway Station. Basically, visiting Longmen Grottoes takes about 3-4 hours. If you arrive at Longmen Railway Station from Xian or Zhengzhou before noon, you are highly advised to go directly from Longmen Railway Station to Longmen Grottoes. Longmen Grottoes are located 12km in the south of Luoyang city center and 5km south of Longmen Railway Station.

So it saves both time and money to visit Longmen Grottoes directly from Longmen Railway Station. The taxi ride from Longmen Railway Station to Longmen Grottoes costs between RMB20 and 30. Or you may take the public bus No. 67 or 71 within close proximity to Longmen Railway Station (bus fare RMB1).

Starting from Luoyang Railway Station (Luoyang has two main train stations).
If you arrive at Luoyang Railway Station and prefer going directly from Luoyang Railway Station to Longmen Grottoes, you may take a taxi to Longmen Grottoes at the rate of about RMB50. Or you may take a public bus no.81 direcly from Luoyang Railway Station to Longmen Grottoes (bus fare RMB1).

Starting from Luoyang City Center. There are several public bus lines running to Longmen grottoes – No.60, 67, 71 and 81. Or you may take a taxi from the city center to Longmen Grottoes at the rate of about RMB50.

Starting from Luoyang Airport. The taxi ride from Luoyang airport to Longmen Grottoes costs about RMB 150

Remark:
1)All the buses and taxis will take you to the west entrance to a 2km pedestrian commercial street leading to the north entrance to Longmen Grottoes (on the west hill).

2)Some of the shops on the walking street offer luggage deposit service with RMB 5 for each piece. Leave your big suitcases and take your valuables.

How to visit Longmen Grottoes?
The site of Longmen Grottes is composed of 4 sub-attractions – Caves on the west hill, caves on the east hill, Xiangshan Temple (on the east hill) and Bai Juyi’Tomb (on the east hill).

The two hills are connected by two bridges, forming a loop line tour. A complete loop line visit of Longmen Grottoes takes about 3 or 4 hours. If you are pressed for time, you just forget the attractions on the east hill and focus your time on the west hill which takes you about 2 hours.

Visiting Longmen Grottoes on the west hill (Longmen Hill).
To reach the entrance to Longmen Grottoes on the west hill, you have to walk along a 2km commercial street teemed with shops and restaurants.

If you feel tired and don’t want to walk such a long distance, you may take a local electric bus for a small amount money directly to the entrance to Longmen Grottoes.

Buy the entrance tickets at the ticketing office by the northern gate to the Longmen Grottoes on the west hill. After visiting the caves dotted on the west hill, then backtrack to the northern gate.

A loop line visit of Grottoes
If you want to make a total visit to all the attractions in Longmen Grottoes, then after you have visited the caves on the west hill, you should continue to visit by crossing the bridge linking the east hill and the west hill in the south.

On the east hill from south to north are scattered with grottoes on the east hill, Xiangshan Temple and Bai Juyi’s Tomb. After visiting Bai Juyi’s Tomb, again you are required to cross the bridge connecting the east hill and the west hill in the north, then again walk along the 2km commercial street and back the bus stops.

Entrance ticket: RMB 120 (covering 4 sub-attractions – Caves on the west hill, caves on the east hill, Xiangshan Temple (on the east hill) and Bai Juyi’Tomb (on the east hill)

Opening Hours:
07:00 – 19:50 (March 1 – October 31 ) 07:30 – 18:50 (November 1 – February 28 )

The 2km Pedestrian Street leading to the entrance to Longment Grottoes
Some of the convenience shops ( selling snacks, drinks, cigarettes ) along the pedestrian street leading the Longmen Grottoes have the Baggage deposit service.

But please don’t leave your valuables in your deposit bags, and always your valuable with you. Actually, these baggage services are offered by the local vendors, not by officially registered left luggage offices. deposit fee: about RMB 10 per unit.

The 2KM Pedestrian Street leading to the entrance to Longment Grottoes

The Entrance to Longmen Grottoes on the west hill

The Entrance to Longmen Grottoes on the west hill

The Grottoes on the west hill (Lomgmen Hill)

The Grottoes on the west hill (Lomgmen Hill)

The Bridge over Yi River linking the west hill and the east hill

The Bridge over Yi River linking the west hill and the east hill

The Grottoes on the east hill (Xiangshan Hill)

The Grottoes on the east hill (Xiangshan Hill)

Xiangshan Temple (on the east hill)

Xiangshan Temple (on the east hill)

Bai Juyi’s Tomb

Bai Juyi’s Tomb on the east hill

Fengxian Temple (on the west hill), the largest of all caves viewed from the east hill

Fengxian Temple (on the west hill), the largest of all caves viewed from the east hill

A close look at Fengxian Temple

A close look at Fengxian Temple

Tip:  Hassle-free Luoyang Guided Tours
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If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Luoyang Guided Tours:

Luoyang One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang- Shaolin One Day Private Tour  Starting US$ 60 per person
Luoyang – Shaolin 2 Day Private Tour Packages  Starting US$ 150 per person

Beijing Luoyang 2 Day Round Trip Tour       Starting US$ 280 per person
Beijing Luoyang Shaolin Temple 2 Day Round Trip Tour  Starting US$ 290
Beijing Luoyang ( Shaolin ) 3 Day Tour – Round Trip by Flight Starting US$ 610 per person

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Luoyang
Where to Stay in Luoyang
Luoyang Museum Guide
Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits
How to visit White Horse Temple
How to Visit Shaolin Temple
Longmen Grottoes Travel Tips
Kung Fu Show at Shaolin Temple

Any questions,  just drop a line.