Luoyang is one of the world's four holy cities and China's earliest capital with the most dynasties and longest history. Over 100 emperors once directed national affairs from here. The ancient capitals of Yanshi, Zhenxun, Hanwei, Sui Tang Luoyang, and Eastern Zhou are lined up east to west along the Luo River, forming the spectacular "Five Capitals Along the Luo". Though silent, they tell of Luoyang's former magnificence and splendor.
Luoyang administers 6 districts, 1 county-level city, and 8 counties: Jianxi, Xigong, Laocheng, Luanhe, Luolong, Yibin, Jili, Yanshi City, Mengjin, Xin'an, Luoning, Yiyang, Yichuan, Song, Luanchuan, Ruyang.
Its economic zones include Yibin District, Luoyang New District, Luoyang National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, and Luoyang National Economic and Technological Development Zone.
Heluo Cultural Tourism Festival
Halo Cultural Tourism Festival, Luoyang, China
The Halo Cultural Tourism Festival in Luoyang features a diverse array of events celebrating the city's heritage. Held annually each September, main activities include:
- Longmen Grottoes Wei Stele International Calligraphy Festival
- Guanlin International Pilgrimage Grand Ceremony
- Funiushan Red Leaves Festival
- Luoyang Cuisine Festival
- Western Shanxi Specialty Products Fair
- Yellow River Luantan Gorge Rock Climbing Competition
- Yellow River Fantastic Stones Exhibition
- Autumn Peony Boutique Exhibition
Visitors can appreciate calligraphy, sample local dishes, hike amongst fall foliage, shop for regional goods, enjoy peony displays and more. The festival provides a showcase of Luoyang's culture, natural scenery and religious significance.
With this wide range of activities set against the backdrop of the ancient city, the Halo Cultural Tourism Festival provides an immersive experience each autumn.
Location: Luoyang, China
Time: September annually
Folk Culture Temple Fair
Folk Culture Temple Fair, Luoyang, China
The Folk Culture Temple Fair held at the Luoyang Folk Customs Museum features lively cultural performances from various local folk art troupes. Taking place during traditional Chinese festivals, the fair showcases a diverse array of traditional arts.
Colorful dragon lanterns, ferocious lion dances, rhythmic drum performances, energetic waist drum dances, harvest songs and whimsical chicken fighting skits transport visitors back to ancient times.
The festival provides a window into Luoyang's intangible cultural heritage through the p erformances of time-honored folk arts. Visitors can immerse themselves in these captivating shows that embody traditional Chinese culture.
Against the historical backdrop of the folk customs museum, it is as if one has stepped into the folk stories and legends depicted in the lively acts. The Folk Culture Temple Fair offers a vibrant experience and glimpse into Luoyang's cherished traditions.
Location: Luoyang Folk Customs Museum, Luoyang, China
Time: During traditional Chinese festivals
Yellow River Xiaolangdi Waterfall Observation Festival
Xiaolangdi Waterfall Viewing Festival, Luoyang, China
The Xiaolangdi Waterfall Viewing Festival along the Yellow River runs for over 20 days each year around July 5th. Visitors can take in the magnificent cascading waterfalls from viewing platforms on the north bank, south bank and top of the Xiaolangdi Dam.
The thundering water showcases the force and beauty of the Yellow River, known poetically as the "Mother River" of China. The nonstop torrents of water plunging over the dam span the horizon in a breathtaking aquatic spectacle.
In addition to the stunning waterfall vistas, the festival also features cultural performances, craft markets, andSampling local cuisine, observing folk arts, shopping for souvenirs and enjoying the natural splendor of the mighty Yellow River make for an unforgettable experience.
Location: Xiaolangdi Scenic Area, Luoyang, China
Time: Around July 5th annually, for over 20 days
Azalea Festival, Xitai Mountain, Luoyang, China
The Azalea Festival held on Xitai Mountain in Luoyang's Ruyang County in April and May presents a spectacular floral display. As described in the old saying "Luoyang for peonies, Ruyang for azaleas", azalea blooms cover Xitai Mountain in vibrant hues during this season.
Crimson red, bright yellow, purple and blue azaleas blanket the mountainside in vivid color. Blossoms bloom in profusion, enveloping vistas in floral beauty. The azalea sea provides a stunning scenic landscape.
Visitors can hike through azaela forests and valleys, feeling immersed in the vibrant blooms. The Azalea Festival also features cultural activities including performances, cuisine and handicrafts.
The brilliant azalea flowers, verdant mountain scenery and festive atmosphere draw visitors from across China and beyond. The month-long festival from April to May provides an opportunity to revel in floral magnificence.
Location: Xitai Mountain, Ruyang County, Luoyang, China
Time: April - May annually, for around 1 month
Mudan Flower Sea Luoyang City
Luoyang transforms into a sea of vibrant peonies when the flowers burst into full bloom each April, living up to its reputation as the "Peony Capital of China." Follow the crowds to marvel at endless peony beds drenching Luoyang's gardens and scenic spots in sensational colors. Crimson, pink, white - no hue is missed in this floral showcase nurtured by Luoyang's ideal climate and fertile soil. Lose yourself strolling through fragrant waves of delicate paper-like petals and lush fluffy blooms. As spring's foremost flower, peonies have captivated Chinese culture for centuries. Luoyang honors its heritage as the ancient conduit spreading peonies across China and beyond. Don't miss nature's annual grand exhibition that draws thousands to soak up a landscape saturated in peony passion.
The Silent Buddhist Niche Above Yishui
Carved into steep cliffs lining the Yi River, the awe-inspiring Longmen Grottoes represent the pinnacle of Chinese Buddhist cave art. This UNESCO World Heritage Site contains over 100,000 statues and 2,300 caves packed along nearly one kilometer of riverbanks. Wandering this grand open-air museum, marvel at the serene beauty of thousands of Buddhist images hewn from stone. Lifelike carved figures of worshippers, bodhisattvas, lions, and mythical beasts emerge from rock walls weathered by nature's elements. Towering cliffside carvings depict revered sutras in this sanctuary of ancient spiritual heritage. The masterworks of Longmen Grottoes showcase the outstanding achievements of Chinese sculpture from the Northern Wei to Tang dynasties. Come admire this treasury of Buddhist tradition cradled by the Yi River's tranquil waters.
Realistic Tomb Robbing Notes
Descend below ground into China's first museum of ancient tombs for an adventurous "Tomb Raider" experience. With over 17 imperial tombs spanning four dynasties, this underground necropolis astonishes with the sheer scale and variety of its structural designs and extraordinary treasures. Wander through an eerie subterranean maze of brick-lined corridors, burial chambers adorned with colorful murals, and relics from bygone eras lying undisturbed for centuries. Marvel at masterful stone architecture as entombed royals slumber for eternity. This incredible discovery provides a window into ancient funeral customs and afterlife beliefs. Rising from beneath Luoyang, these grand underground palaces contain an archaeological bounty surpassing imagination. Come explore the mystique and splendor of China's ancient past frozen in time.
The First Ancient Temple in China
Nestled serenely beneath Luoyang's Mangshan Mountain lies China's first Buddhist temple, renowned White Horse Temple. Founded in 68 AD when Buddhism first arrived via the Silk Road, this pioneering monument earned accolades as the "Cradle of Buddhism in China." Gaze up at the distinctive Tang Dynasty tower whose ringing bells once signaled monks to prayer. Stroll through its ancient halls housing centuries-old artistic treasures and scriptures. Sitting pillowed by incense within hallowed temple walls, one can readily imagine the monks, pilgrims and scholars who have passed through this spiritual sanctuary. As Buddhism's fountainhead in China, White Horse Temple provides profound insight into the religion's early days and continuing influence. This living shrine immerses you in Buddhist heritage at the source.
Guan Yu's first level burial site
According to legend, Guanlin is the final resting place of General Guan Yu, a revered hero of China's Three Kingdoms period. This sacred grove in Luoyang represents the only ancient architectural complex in China that integrates temple worship with burial grounds. Each September 29th, thousands flock here to commemorate Guan Yu during the international pilgrimage. Stroll along the sprawling cypress forest leading to the ornate Guanlin Temple, built in 1596 AD. Within the dimly lit main hall, seek out the wooden shrine adorned with elegant carvings that houses Guan Yu's severed head, reburied here with honor centuries ago. More than a shrine or cemetery, Guanlin embodies the undying legacy of a warrior immortalized through legend and worship. Come immerse yourself in the mystique surrounding this eminent figure of history and myth.
Tangled in ancient vines and studded with oddly shaped rocks, Muzha Ling provided the fantastical setting for the Chinese blockbuster "Muzha Ling." This otherworldly landscape, located just outside Luoyang, offers the perfect escape into nature. Wander shaded pathways lined with grotesque rock formations that twist and loom out of thickets of vegetation. As you explore deeper, each turn reveals new surprises – an archway carved from living trees, a waterfall cascading into a misty pond. With its remote valleys, verdant forests, and air of mystery, it's easy to see why Muzha Ling was chosen as an iconic filming location. Let your imagination take flight in this whimsical realm. Off the beaten path and brimming with rich scenery, Muzha Ling is an enchanting destination for adventurous spirits seeking serenity and inspiration.
Archaeological evidence confirms human activity in Lianyungang's ancient Mount Qushan and present-day Mount Jinping area as early as 10,000 years ago. In 1959 and 1978, the oldest Paleolithic sites in southeast China were discovered at Erjian and Daxian Village with clear stratigraphic layers. Mount Jinping has 19 Neolithic sites, with Erjian being one of China's earliest farming areas.
The 20-meter long, 10-meter wide "General Cliff Painting" discovered in 1979 was appraised by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage as "an extremely important cultural relic and rare major discovery, the earliest 'book' in China."
The Donghan era art treasure "Kongwang Mountain Grottoes Statues" are the earliest Buddhist grotto statues in China, 100-200 years earlier than the Dunhuang Grottoes, and protected at the national level.
The area is also steeped in history, with attractions related to Confucius' sea gazing, Emperor Qin's inspections, and famous poets and officials like Tao Yuanming, Li Bai, Su Dongpo, Shen Kuo, Li Qingzhao, Wu Cheng'en, Li Ruzhen, Wu Jingzi, Lin Zexu, Zhu Ziqing and more.