After my stay in Xi’an I made my way to Luoyang. The area is famous for their Longmen Cave carvings and Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple!
My first day in Luoyang I made a trip to the Shaolin Temple which is around 1 and a half hours away by bus. I met two girls in my hostel who had the same plans so we decided to go together! It was also very helpful that they could speak Chinese since Luoyang was more rural than other cities I have been to.
When you enter the Shaolin temple you can get a free tour guide to show you around the grounds. Its in Chinese so I was lucky to have my two friends translate a few things for me.
Also, close to the Shaolin temple there is the Pagoda Tomb Forest, absolutely mesmerizing.
We then took a really cute cable car up the mountain (20yuan round trip) where there are views of the surrounding area.
As we were walking back from the cable car exit to the front gates, which takes 20 min, we saw some of the students coming out to practice their Kung Fu! They were only out later in the day probably due to the heat.
Shaolin Temple covers a huge area with the temple itself, the pagoda forest and mountain so definitely give yourself a whole day there. We planned to make it back to the front gates for a free Kung Fu show! This is where the students show off their talents and let me tell you, there is some CRAZY stuff they have been taught. These 12 year olds break bricks with their heads, pop balloons through thick plastic with a needle and are flexible acrobats!
Walking back we saw the practice grounds FULL of kids getting ready to train. What a cool international school to go to. I also saw a sign welcoming Canadian students, wish I would have known I could come to learn Kung Fu! Its every kids dream!
We took the last bus from Shaolin Temple at 6:30pm back to Luoyang and stopped for an amazing dinner!
So the restaurant we ate in was famous for their home made noodles. The kitchen was small and had a window so you could watch the cook prepare your meal. Its hot back there, I can only imagine, and the guy working was sweating buckets. He wiped his forehead with what seemed to be a towel (I didn’t have my glasses on) and little did I know that “towel” was going through a machine. Out the other end came the noodles which then went into the boiling water… So no, it wasn’t a towel and I found out that the secret ingredient that makes these noodles so good is the hard working sweat from the cook! YUM…
The next day we went to the Longmen Grottoes! These ancient cave carvings were extremely detailed and there were thousands of them!