How to Visit Shaolin Temple

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If you are planning a Luoyang Tour, it is highly recommended to include a side trip to Shaolin Temple  from Luoyang. Shaolin Temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts. Then how to visit Shaolin Temple during your Luoyang travel?

After visiting the major attractions in Luoyang including Longmen Grottoes, it is advisable to spare a whole day starting in the early morning from Luoyang to Shaolin Temple.  Shaolin Temple is located about 80km southeast of Luoyang which is within the jurisdiction of Dengfeng City, 12km from Shaolin Temple.

Travel to Shaolin Temple overland is the only choice of transportation. You may prebook a taxi or rent a private car from local travel agency in Luoyang which costs you around RMB 600 for a round trip.

For money saving and more interactive contact with the locals as well, you may go to Shaolin Temple by taking the long-distance bus from Luoyang Long-distance Station which is located across Luoyang Railway Station in the city center. Plentiful buses pass by Shaolin Temple. Just get up early and buy your bus ticket on the spot from Luoyang to Shaolin Temple.

Most of the Shaolin Temple bound buses run on National Highway No.207 and Shaolin Temple is just located by the highway 80km from Luoyang, Actually many long-distance buses work as shuttle buses along the highway passing numerous villages.

Don’t be surprised when your bus will stop when there are people waving hands by the roadside if your bus still have some vacancies which your bus driver definitely wants to fill in for maximizing the profit.

Chinese are “noisy” people. On your bus, the passengers around you will talk loudly, even shout and eat, making the bus like their homes and ignoring the existence of others on the bus. So just keep your patience, be tolerant and “enjoy” your travel experience on a long-distance bus in China!

On the way to Shaolin Temple from Luoyang

On the way to Shaolin Temple from Luoyang

Within 2 and half hours your ticket collector on the bus will remind you that you have arrived at the entrance to Shaolin Temple. Get off and you will see a huge statue of a Shaolin Temple Monk.  |

A huge statue of a Shaolin Temple Monk.

A huge statue of a Shaolin Temple Monk.

Shaolin Temple was established in 495AD by Emperor Xiaowen in Beiwei Dynasty for the purpose of housing the famous Indian monk, Batuo, who came to Luoyang, the ancient capital for spreading Buddhism at that period.

Emperor Xiaowen was a dedicated believer of Buddhism so he decided to construct the temple at the foot of the Songshan Mountains to welcome Batuo, who translated many Buddhist documents and had several hundred followers there.

“Shao” refers to the Shaoshi Mountain, one of the two mountains in Songshan Mountain Range. “Lin” means “forest”. “Shaolin Temple” literally means a temple in the forest of Shaoshi Mountain in Songshan Mountain Range.

Now Shaolin Temple is reputed as the Number One Temple under Heaven which was listed as UNESCO’s World Cultural & Natural Heritage List in 2010 as part of the “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng.” The temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

Shaolin Temple is rated as a 5-star government appointed attraction which is well-organized in terms of its clear layout and signs, clean toilets and environment, and easy transportation. Basically your Shaolin Temple trip will take you around 3 hours covering three major sites including watching Shaolin Kung Fu Show for half hour, one hour visit to Shaolin Temple itself and half hour visit to the Pagoda Forest.

The linear travel route is about 2-3km which takes much walking. If you don’t have strong legs, you may use the shuttle bus Service at RMB 10 for one way trip within the compound.

The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway with a huge rock in its front carved with the words “Shaolin Culture, People’s Heritage” by former Chinese president Jiang Zeming.

The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway

The main gate to Shaolin Temple, the stone archway

On your left side by the gate is the ticket office with an ancient style of structure. Admission Fee: RMB 100 and Opening Hours: 08:10 to 17:30

The ticket office

The entry gate is divided into three sub-gates – Group Entry, No-smoking Entry and Individual Entry.

Group Entry, No-smoking Entry and Individual Entry

Once you enter the attraction compound, you will first walk by Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School. The Ta Gou Kung Fu School, one of the largest kung fu schools in China, is the only one kung fu school which owns and practices on land below the Shaolin Temple. It has over 400 classes and has trained over 50,000 kung fu students.

The Ta Gou Kung Fu School

The Ta Gou Kung Fu School

Students are training on one of the playgrounds nearby of The Ta Gou Kung Fu School. Soon you will walk past the Shaolin Kung Fu Show Theatre which is located not far from the main entrance. There are 5 fixed daily performances at the theatre. The kung fu show lasts half hour including a few minutes’interaction on the part of the visitors and the actors. 

Kung Fu Show Time Table

Morning Kung Fu Show
9:30 – 10:00
11;30 – 12:00
Afternoon Kung Fu Show
14:00 – 14:30
15:00 – 15:30

16:00 – 17:30

So well schedule your visiting time in Shaolin Temple, avoiding losing the exciting kung fu show. The Kung Fu Show is performed by the professional performance team from Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School. Shaolin Kung fu is the most influential martial arts schools in China. In the less than half performance, you will see “Shaolin Boxing” and “Shaolin Stick” typical of Shaolin Kungfu.

The Shaolin Kung Fu Show Theatre

The Shaolin Kung Fu Show Theatre

The most impressing performance is Tongzigong. Tongzigong” literally means “children’s kung fu”, a form of qigong exercise needing flexibility, part of Shaolin Kung Fu classes. It is learned at very early age and must be practiced before the body becomes matured and grown up.

Tongzigong

Tongzigong

You may watching the show before or after visiting other major sites like Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest. Then you continue to walk on the main road approaching Shaolin Temple.

Shanmen Hall is the first hall serving as an entrance to the temple. Hung on its top is a placard inscribed with ”Shaolin Temple”. The hall enshrines the Maitreya Buddha with 18 Buddhist Arhats standing along the eastern and the southern walls of the hall.

Shanmen Hall

Shanmen Hall

Next, walking along the axis, you will come across the Hall of Heavenly Kings with magnificent structure, enshrining the four heavenly kings.

the Hall of Heavenly Kings

Then comes the Mahavira Hall, which houses the Buddha Shakyamuni.

the Mahavira Hall

Standing in Snow Pavilion, enshrining the second abbot of Shaolin Temple – Monk Huike who stood in the snow with his left arm cut in order to study the buddhism from Dharma.

Standing in Snow Pavilion

Standing in Snow Pavilion

Shaolin Temple is full of prominent Chinese architectures, stela and tablets. If you are interested in Chinese traditional culture, you may find a lot to see and study inside Shaolin Temple.

Shaolin Temple is full of prominent Chinese architectures, stelae and tablets

Outside the temple and move on to the next big attraction – Pagoda Forest, a graveyard for the monks through the ages.

Pagoda Forest

Actually there are more to see in Shaolin Temple beside the major attractions mentioned above, like the Dharma Cave and so on. At the end of your trip, you may walk back to the entrance or pay RMB 10 to take a shuttle bus from Pagoda Forest to the entrance.

Shuttle Bus inside Shaolin Temple compound

Shuttle Bus inside Shaolin Temple compound

If you want to continue to visit Dengfeng where Zhongyue Tempple and Songyang Academy are located, you may take the bus no.08 across the road by Shaolin Temple to Dengfeng City.

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.

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47 Responses to “How to Visit Shaolin Temple”

  1. I live and work in the UK. I want to go and visit Shaolin Temple.How much will be cost a visa.

  2. Daniel says:

    Hello Alexander Dembicki,

    Just for your reference below:

    Visa application fees (GBP)
    Single entry: 30
    Double entry: 45
    Multiple entries/6 Months: 90
    Multiple entries/1 year: 180

    Places to apply for a visa
    Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy (only for Diplomatic, Service, Courtesy visa and Visa-exemption Certificate)
    Office Hours: 9:00am-12:00 noon (Monday-Friday,Except British and Chinese holidays)
    Address:31 Portland Place,London,W1B 1QD,London,W1B 1QD
    Tel: 020-7631 1430 (09:00am-12:00 noon and 2:00pm-4:00pm by operator,during the rest of the day by auto-attendant)
    Fax:020 -7436 9178
    E-mail: visa@chinese-embassy.org.uk
    Website: http://www.chinese-embassy.org.uk

    Chinese Visa Application Service Center (for visa of L-tourist, F-business, X-study, Z-work, G-transit, C-crew, D-permanent residence) Office hour:09:00-15:00 application 10:00-16:00 paying & collection
    Tel:020-7842 0960
    Fax:020-7842 0961
    E-mail:ukcentre@visaforchina.org
    Web: http://www.visaforchina.org.uk
    Address:Morley House, 26 Holborn Viaducts, London, EC1A 2AT

    For more information, please check the link below:

    http://www.tour-beijing.com/united_kingdom_beijing_tour/

  3. Patrecia says:

    do u have suggestion the nearest train station tfrom shaolin temple? and is it enough to travel there only one day? or should we stay for a night?or nights? Thanks for the info.

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Patrecia,

    There are no train stations near Shaolin Temple. You may take the buses either from Zhengzhou (郑州) or Luoyang (洛阳) by bus for a day trip. If you just want to have a glimpe of the temple, you don’t need to stay overnight near Shaolin Temple.

  5. Su Kian Hui says:

    Are there tour companies in Luoyang that provide tours of Shaolin Temple? Thank you

  6. Daniel says:

    Hi Su Kian Hui,

    Some travel agencies have outlets at the majore hotels in Luoyang which provide join-in group tours of Shaolin. But they only offer Chinese speaking tour guides, mainly for domestic tourists.

  7. Yong says:

    I am planning to arrive at Zhengzhou East Train Station betw 18:00-20:00.
    Is there any form of transport from Zhengzhou East Train Station to a particular hotel in Dengfeng (hotel prebooked) during these hours? Be it bus, taxi or charter car.
    If I need to charter a car, can you advise the contact?
    Thank you.

  8. Daniel says:

    Hi Yong,

    1. As far as I know, the buses from Zhengzhou to Dengfeng start from Zhengzhou General Bus Station opposite Zhenghzou Railway Station in the city center and there is no bus service at Zhengzhou East Train Station going to Dengfeng.

    First Bus 6:00am and last bus 5:30pm

    2. Zhengzhou – Dengfeng: 75km and one hour by road

    Suggest you stay overnight in Zhengzhou and go to Dengfeng next day.

  9. eve says:

    My husband and I are looking to spend a weekend in Luoyang/Dengfeng. We are looking to arrange a private car to take us roundtrip from Luoyang to Dengfeng temple and back to Luoyang on October 31st. Could you please provide us with the cost as well as help us to arrange this?

  10. Daniel says:

    Hi Eve,

    Sorry for my delayed reply!

    One of our staff members will email you soon for the travel arrangement. Thanks!

  11. Elsie says:

    Hi,
    I am taking a train from Xi’an to Luoyang Longmen and then visiting the Grottoes. We would like to visit the Luoyang Museum before going to Shaolin Temple. What is the last bus from Luoyang to Shaolin Temple. We have booked a night at Shaolin Temple. The next day, we plan to stay the whole day at Shaolin and then take a bus to Zhengzhou to catch the overnight train to Beijing at about 10pm. What is the last direct bus from Shaolin Temple to Zhengzhou? If not what is the last bus to Dengfeng to transfer to Zhengzhou? Thanks

  12. Daniel says:

    Hi Elsie,

    1. Luoyang – Shaolin Temple First Bus: 5:00am and last 12:30 (noon )
    2. Dengfeng – Zhengzhou
    It is better to take the bus from Dengfeng to Zhengzhou. There are local buses not far from the entrance to Shaolin Temple going to the downtown of Dengfeng.

    Dengfeng – Zhengzhou: first bus 6:00am and last bus 8:00pm.

    Just for your reference only. Have a nice trip!

  13. Elsie says:

    Thank you Daniel.

    I arrive at noon at Luoyang Longmen and will go to Shaolin after. I was hoping to visit the museum before going to Shaolin. But whatever, it means I cannot leave Luoyang to Shaolin as the last bus at noon is when I arrive in Luoyang Longmen! Is that correct? I will have to book a private car to Shaolin? Are there taxis who would go to Shaolin?

    What is the last bus from Shaolin Temple to Dengfeng so I can connect to the bus to Zhengzhou for my overnight train.

  14. Daniel says:

    Hi Elsie,

    1. Try your luck at the Luoyang Bus Station near Luoyang Railway Station ( not Longmen Station). Maybe you still have buses going to Shaolin Temple afternoon. Of course,you can rent a private car or taxi, it will be pricey.

    2. Not sure about the last bus. It is a regular public bus.
    Sometimes there are buses going directly from Shaolin Temple to Zhengzhou.
    You may also try to stop any buses on the road going to Zhengzhou, most of them will take you, adding up to their business.
    But you should take care of your safety while hailing a bus. Have a good trip!

  15. Suresh says:

    Hi,
    I will be visiting Shaolin this weekend. I’m planning to take bus from Luoyang Railway station to visit the temple and to spend the night in Shaolin hostel. I read reviews in internet saying that we can stay in a hostel near the temple(which is around 10minutes walk). But i cannot find any hostels in the nearby region. In google i can see the nearest hostel as Sunrise(kungfu) hostel which is almost like 1.6km from the temple itself. Is this the Shaolin hostel or am i not looking at the right one. Kindly help me in providing some suggestion. Thanks in advance.
    Regards
    Suresh

  16. Daniel says:

    Hi Suresh,

    Not quite sure about the Shaolin hostel you’ve mentioned. I suggest you stay overnight in the city of Dengfeng (登封). There are more hotel choices in Dengfeng which is linked to Shaolin Temple by public bus.

  17. Gamini Soysa says:

    I am a karate teacher in Srilanka. 65 years age. Teaching Shorinryu. I am interested to visit
    shaolin Temple. My tour plan is 3 days. Please giude me. Thanks

  18. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Gamini Soysa,

    Where are you now? Basically you need to go to either Zhengzhou City or Luoyang City where you connect the local bus going to Shaolin Temple. Of course, using the local public bus can be a bit tricky. Alternatively you can hire a private car from Luoyang or Zhengzhou to the temple, which will be much more expensive than taking buses.

  19. Dhananjay says:

    Hello,

    I’m an Indian and looking for travel companion from Shanghai to Shaolin Temple and Long-man grottoes and nearby places in any coming weekend (2 days sat/sun).

    Mode of Travel : Train (long distance), Bus ( Nearby short distance)

    We will make a travel Itinerary once confirmed.

    Please weChat ID Dhananjay_A

  20. sagara dissanayaka says:

    I like to come to shaolin temple’ 10 days What cost for me’

  21. harsh says:

    hi i am planning to visit beijing and would like to visit showlin as well , please guide me how can i travel to showlin from beijing ?

  22. Beijing Tour says:

    Hi Harsh,

    You first take the 3-hour high speed train from Beijing to Zhengzhou ( from Beijing West Railway Station to Zhengzhou East Railway Station ). Then you go from Zhengzhou East Railway Station to Zhengzhou Long-distance Bus Center ( close to Zhengzhou Railway Station ) and buy the bus ticket from Zhengzhou to Shaolin Temple.

  23. Maria says:

    Hello there,
    Is it possible to see students practicing kung-fu in the shaolin temple or only the Shaolin Kung Fu Show Theatre?
    As I am a kung fu student myself I would really enjoy to see the real trainning and not only the show.
    Also, Do you know thetime of last bus returning to Luoyang?
    Thanks for time and attention
    Greetings from Brazil
    Best
    Maria

  24. Brendan says:

    Hi,
    My family and I would like to visit the temple and also see Mt Song.
    We arrive in Zhengzhou by train and will have 2 nights to spend visiting.
    Should we stay in Zhengzhou or in Luoyang.
    Thank you

  25. Daniel says:

    Hi Brendan,

    If you want to continue your visit to Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang after the temple, you’d better stay overnight in Luoyang. If not, you can either stay in Zhengzhou for two nights or one one night in Dengfeng and one night in Zhengzhou. Dengfeng is a beautiful city where the temple and Mt. Song are located.

  26. Daniel says:

    Hi Maria,

    Very often you are able to see the students practicing Kung Fu in the school within the compound of the temple park.

    No worry about the so-called last bus. You just stand by the road to the direction of Luoyang and hitchhike a bus. But take care if you stand by the road. Have a good time in China!

  27. Faa says:

    Do you know if it is possible to stay there and learn kong fu

  28. Daniel says:

    Hi Faa,

    Basically it is possible to stay and learn Kong Fu here in Shaolin area. But we don’t have any specific information on this.

  29. Yoan says:

    Hi, im Yoan at Indonesia, i want tO Visit shaolin temple and Also i want tO Know how i get tO zhengzhou if my Flight from Jkt-Xiamen, Pls guide me . This my first time want tO Visit China, i Will travel With my parents. They want tO Luoyang too.let me know What is AirPort there near Xiamen or zhengzhou Then i can plan stay at zhengzhou then if not far, i want stay luoyang.thank you

  30. Daniel says:

    Hi Yoan,

    You may first take the flight from Xiamen to Zhengzhou. From Zhengzhou you hire a private van taking you to Shaolin Temple and after Shaolin Temple bringing you to Luoyang. After your visit in Luoyang, you may take the flight back to Xiamen, then connecting you flight back to JKT.

    Alternatively, you may take the high speed train from Luoyang to Zhengzhou, connecting the flight from Zhengzhou to Xiamen. More flights from Zhengzhou to Xiamen.

  31. Njenga says:

    Hi. I’m Njenga from Kenya hoping to visit the Shaolin temple tomorrow. Just writing to thank you for the good work you are doing informing and guiding visitors. Ahsante sana.

  32. Daniel says:

    Hi Njenga,

    Thanks for your feedback! Glad that the article is a bit useful for you. Enjoy your trip!

  33. amie says:

    Hi,
    My family and i would like to visit the shaolin temple. Our planned route will be from beijing – luoyang – xia’an.

    Is it possible to take the morning train to luoyang, do a day’s trip to the shaolin temple, thereafter take the high speed train to xi’an all on the same day? If so, is there a place to store luggage at luoyang train station instead of having to carry it all the way to the temple?

  34. Daniel says:

    Hi Amie,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    1. The high speed trains from Luoyang to Xian starts from Luoyang Longmen Railway Station instead of Luoyang Railway Station. Check out the link below for more information on Longmen Railway Station.

    Luoyang Longmen Station
    http://www.tour-beijing.com/luoyang_transportation/longmen_railway_station/
    Note: Yes,there is a baggage storage room inside the station.

    2. Basically it is okay to make a round trip to Shaolin Temple from Luoyang and back to Luoyang . I’ve just checked the last high spedd train for Xian leaves at 21:59 from Luoyang. It’s better to arrange your transport to save time. Public bus is daunting and time-consuming.

    3. Alterntively you can plan your itinerary like this: Beijing – Zhengzhou – Shaolin Temple – Luoyang.

    Have a nice time in China!

  35. Derrick Lau says:

    Does the Shaolin Temple still have a forge for making swords? Can visitors order a decorated sword (as an artifact from China) and have it shipped to their countries?

  36. Daniel says:

    Hi Derrick Lau,

    Happy Holidays!

    As far as I know, yes, the famous sword forge is located south of Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School. The decorated swords are very popular and sold to many countries in the world.

    Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School
    http://shaolintagou.org/

    Shaolin Temple Sword Forge ( only in Chinese )
    http://www.shaolinsword.cn/

  37. kieran says:

    Hi
    Im organising a china trip to include the shaolin temple.
    Is it possible to book private one hour kung fu lessons?

  38. Daniel says:

    Hi kieran,

    Thanks for your inquiry! One of our trip advisors will contact you by email later today. Thanks!

  39. Venkat R says:

    Hi,
    I have only two days on hand from Shanghai to visit shaolin temple, longman grettos, white horse, (and Xian, if time permits). Kindly help me with the following queries:

    1. how should I plan my itinerary
    2. Can I cover these places on my own or is it recommended to take a package tour. If so which is the best place to stay from where I can take the package?
    3. Is Tongzigong part of the 30 mins kung fu show?

    I am also an Indian vegetarian so that it is good to get advise on a hotel that serves vegetarian food.

    Thanks for your help.

    Regards,
    Venkatraman R

  40. Daniel says:

    Dear Venkat R,

    1. As far as I know, there are no join-in tourist packages to choose for your travel itinerary.

    2. Suggested Itinerary:

    Day 01: Shanghai – Zhengzhou by flight, then hire a car or van to Shaolin Temple ( the entrance ticket also includes the Tongzigong Show ). Then drive to Luoyang. Stay overnight in Luoyang ( most hotels in Luoyang offer vegetarian food).

    Day 02: Luoyang – Shanghai by overnight train
    Today you will visit Longmen Grottoes and other attractions in Luouyang.

    Day 03: Arrving at Shanghai early in the morning by overnight train

    The above is only for your reference.

  41. Vivi Sung says:

    Hi Daniel,
    my whole family of 5 has a plan on going to China next spring, to visit Beijing, Xian, Shaolin temple, and join the Yangtse River Cruise. we basically have about 14 days….. how would you recommend the itinerary?
    Thank you !!

  42. Daniel says:

    Dear Vivi Sung,

    Thanks for your inquiry!

    Below is my suggested itinerary per your travel request:

    Day 1: Arrive at Beijing

    Day 2: Beijing

    Day 3: Beijing

    Day 4: Beijing

    Day 5: Beijing – Zhengzhou ( High-speed train ) – Shaolin Temple ( Bus ) – Luoyang ( Bus ). Long and tiring day

    Day 6: Luoyang

    Day 7: Luouang – Xian ( High speed train )

    Day 8: Xian

    Day 9: Xian – Chongqing by air – Yangtze River ( on board overnight)

    Day 10: Cruise on Yangtze River

    Day 11: Cruise on Yangtze River

    Day 12: Disembark at Yichang and take flight to Shanghai or back to Beijing

    Day 13: Shanghai or Beijing

    Day 14 Leave.

    Wish you a pleasant journey to China!

  43. Glen Ross says:

    Hi Daniel

    We are planning to spend three days in Bejing would it be possible to take a day trip to the Shaolin Temple in Henan from Bejing?

    Thank you

    Glen

  44. Daniel says:

    Dear Glen Ross,

    Please check out the following two tours just for your reference:

    http://www.tour-beijing.com/side_trips/beijing_shaolin_kung_fu_luoyang_grottoes_rail_tour.php

    Any further request, please email us at info@tour-beijing.com.

    Thanks!!

  45. Newton Anthony Reynolds says:

    Hello,

    My wife and I will be in Beijing. Can we participate in tour to go see the temple? The 2 day tour advertised on this website?

    Thank you

  46. Daniel says:

    Dear Newton Anthony Reynolds,

    Thanks for your inquiry! One of our trip advisors will contact you for the details. Thanks!

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