"City of Peonies" Top 5 Page for this destination Luoyang by mke1963

Luoyang Travel Guide: 159 reviews and 529 photos

Luoyang, in north-eastern Henan province is usually passed quickly on the way to or from Xi'an. Yet Luoyang is an entertaining city, with a fabulous history and much to see in the area.
Its parks are full of peonies in summertime, and you can see the prolific output of Luoyang's peony-painters in most hotel lobbies. Peonies have long figured largely in Chinese painting, and this is the home of it all.
The city is on the main Beijing-Lanzhou railway line, and can also be reached easily from Zhengzhou. There are one or two daily flights to/from Beijing or Shanghai, but train is the best means of access.
Luoyang dates back to the earliest times of Chinese history, and is *probably* the oldest continuously habited city in China as possibly only the long destroyed Chang'an in Shaanxi would have been older. It certainly dates back to the Xia 'dynasty' 4000 years ago.
To the east of Luoyang, some 30km away, are the sites of Er Li Tou (BC2000- bronze age civilization) and Xi Xian Kou (BC1400 - Shang city ruins). In the same area (not visited) are the ruins of the Han and Northern Wei capital city, while the Sui and Tang dynasty capital lies below your feet in the city centre: the lines of the walls can still be seen, and several parts and gates have been restored.
Key sites of specific interest are the renowned Longmen Shikou (Caves) on the Yi River on the outskirts of the city, the infamous Shaolin Temple - home of kung fu, and just to the east of the city, the less well-known but still remarkable Baimasi (White Horse Temple). This was China's first Buddhist temple, and is still a particularly sacred place.

In addition, in recent months, a new museum has opened in the centre of Luoyang, containing artefacts discovered during the construction of a new shopping mall. I haven't visited it yet, but understand from friends at the Cultural Heritage Bureau that the huge number of artefacts could eventually rival those found near Xi'an: one more reason to visit Luoyang, already one of China's nicest small cities!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Relaxed, friendly, steeped in history
  • Cons:Difficult to get to by air; commercialisation of Baimasi
  • In a nutshell:Four thousand years of Chinese history
  • Last visit to Luoyang: Nov 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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