Next station : LuoYang, Henan province, for some famous sightseeing…
The first spot on the list are the Buddhist Rock Temples of Longman.
Once again a huge complex along the riverside. On the west side there
are numerous smaller and bigger caves with some very beautiful statues
Unfortunately a big part of the exclusive statues has been vandalised
and destroyed during the cultural revolution. In many caves you see
clearly the traces of demolition. We walk on, enjoying the caves and
being crunched between numerous Chinese tourists, along the west side.
After that we cross the bridge to the east side and enjoy a much more
quiet scenery. Nonetheless, the caves there, the temple and tomb are
less attractive than the other side! From there we head back to the
The day after we take a trip to the famous Shaolin Temple, birthplace
of the Martial Arts. We head to the railway station, book a bus and
off we go…
During the trip, we discover that there is much around the temple! He
is located in Song Shan, the central mountain in Zen Buddhism… So
the first stop on the road is the Songyang academy, one of the oldest
of China. Then we pass along the Zhongyue temple, the initiation
temple of the area. Every person who attended monkshood, passed this
After that it is time for the centre piece, the Shaolin temple itself.
We start with a Martial Arts Show in the training school, showing some
real acrobatics and flexibility exercises. They also showed some of
the more obscure arts, breaking a metal plate on their head, blowing
an air balloon with a needle through a glass plate (with only a hole
in the plate) and bending spears with their throat… To show the
fluidity, they invited a couple of people on stage to imitate their
After that we walked through the temple itself, builded according to
the standard scheme. From there we head to the pagoda forest, where
pagodas as tall as small trees stand between the pines.
We start the climb up to the Dharma cave, but unfortunately we run out
of time. It is time to return… After all a very rewarding and nice
Luoyang itself is probably worth a small trip, since it was the
capital of the Tang and Sui Dynasties in ancient China. Somewhere
until the 10th century. Undoubtedly there are a couple of beautiful
temples, fortresses and city walls to explore.
Nowadays it is a more quiet Chinese town… With a population from
‘only’ 1.2 million. But you feel the difference! The streets are less
crowded and people are more relaxed and friendly. We hadn’t enough
time, so the city passed along in buses or taxis…