Luoyang to Xian - Wild Ride Part 1
This has to be one of the wackiest train rides that I've ever had!! I was approached by a group college age local students that wanted to practice English outside the train station. So I chatted for a few minutes and then asked if they would purchase my "local" priced Sleeper ticket for me..They were more than happy to help. So I gave them my money and they went to the ticket booth. They came back and said the sleepers were sold out...So I had them purchase me a regular "Hard Seat" ticket which doesn't guarantee a seat either!! haha When I entered the train it was packed!!! I was hoping to at least sit down on this 8 hour journey as I'd just finished walking around for 12 hours and before that I had come off another night train from Xiangfan so I was beat and still cold and wet from the day of slogging through the snow and rain!
Here is the setting....Imagine a train that is absolutely full of people..now add about 30 more to the train car on top of that everyone is soaking wet!!
I made my way into the car to a bunch of stares but after I got in and tried a few phrases in Chinese I had the people that were near me smiling. After about 20 minutes the train pulled away from the station. I was scanning the car for someplace to sit as I was beat! All of the seats were taken and actually were doubled up with people. Most of the people in my car were students. .......Continued on part 2....
- Budget Travel
Wild Ride Part 2
I changed my soaking wet socks into the only other pair of socks that I had and put my soaking wet shoes back on!! hahah Now I had 2 pair of soaking wet socks!! ahha
After about an hour I was getting fatigued and scanned around for someplace that might be a good place to relax....I spotted a huge stack of the sign boards that have the destinations written on them stacked in the corner of the car...I picked up my backpack and slowly made my way through the crowd. It seemed like a sturdy enough stack!! aahaha so I climbed up and sat down with my head jammed up into the corner of the railcar and my legs were just hanging down...not the most comfortable place but not too bad.
The next thing I know some of the passngers are doing the same thing! So I was joined by 5 others!! hahaha we were packed in tight...I had my backpack on the floor with my clothes and other misc stuff in it but I had my small day pack with me camera equipment with me on up on the stack. The next thing I know I've got a guy sitting on my backpack between my legs!! LOL ( I wish I had a photo of this). I was wearing a woolen type hat that has flaps on it so I untied the flaps and pulled the front flap down over my eyes so I didn't have the bright lights shining into my eyes........to be contiued on part 3......
- Budget Travel
Wild Ride Part 3
With the combination of the fatigue and "katuk katuk" sound that the train made I fell sound asleep!!
I woke up with a bit of anciety as I realized that I hadn't secured any of my stuff!! I still had my daypack next to me and the guy was sound asleep on my other pack so I guess I still had everything!! As I traveled I had heard great stories of honesty about the Chinese people so it must have been true!
We arrived in Xian about 30 minutes after I woke up...so I was able to get some decent sleep on this 8 hour train ride..it sure beat standing for the whole ride!
As I was departing the train I saw Kenzo the Japanese guy that I'd ran into several times on my China trip...I didn't even know we were in the same rail car just at opposite ends. As we were departing the train station we were chatting and the next thing we knew his camera which he was wearing around his neck was missing!! 'We couldn't believe it!! There must've been some people working the train station. The weird thing was that I saw the camera around his neck and we couldn't figure out how they had gotten it from him...Con men know all the tricks!!
THE END ahaha
- Budget Travel
Take the bus to the caves
To get from the train station area to the caves there is a bus service that goes past the caves. I don't remember which bus but you might be able to inquire at the train station. It was easy to use and cost just pennies to get there. If you don't like city buses there are taxis too. I didn't use them. I'm sure by now there are guys hanging around the train station offering their "services".
- Historical Travel
In Luoyang, the best way to get to places is by taxi. They’re really cheap, and the longest we ever had to wait for a taxi passing by was two minutes. Some of the drivers have a crazy driving style, but we never had an accident. You have red and green cabs; the green are a bit bigger and a bit cleaner. From 2008 the red cabs will be forbidden, and they will be replaced by blue/yellow cabs, which you see already now and then in the streets.
The price starts at 5 yuan (0,5 euro) when you get in, and the first two kilometers are included in that. Every next kilometer you pay 1,3 yuan (red cabs) or 1,5 yuan (green cabs). So for instance for a distance of 6 kilometers in a green cab, we paid 11 yuan (1,1 euro).
Important: There is a special regulation for taxi’s to drive in the main street, Zhong Zhou Road. On even days (2nd, 4th, 6th,...) only the taxi’s with a licence plate number that ends on an even number can drive in that road, and on uneven days only the other ones.
Airport Access and Flights
Luoyang *International* Airport is well to the north of the city, and not well signposted. The building is classic 1950s Stalinist architecture, and an absolute gem. When you have checked in, you need to wait for the check-in staff to run across the hall and check your passports and check you through the security apparatus. Then they run up the back stairs and meet you, breathless, at the top to welcome you to the gargantuan departure hall. They then act as shop assistants, serve you coffee and tea. Your plane arrives and they all run out to help unload it and bring the incoming passengers in. Then they belt back at high speed, announce (through echoing loudspeakers to both of you) that "China Eastern flight MU4131 is about to depart for Beijing and please to proceed to Gate Number 1." They unlock the door and escort you out to the waiting Bombadier Regional Jet. Priceless! Flying used to be this much fun years ago. I have never met such friendly, smiling (and breathlessly diligent!) airline staff as at Luoyang.
For the summer 2004 schedule, the morning flight to Beijing is replaced by a 10pm departure. There are two daily flights to Shanghai and several weekly to Chengdu, Kunming, Nanyang (errr.....why??), Qingdao and Xiamen.
Train the obvious way
If you travel by train you will probably either come from or go to Zhengzhou. It is quite easy. The train takes about two hours (depending on the stops of the train) and should cost 20 RMB or less (slower or lower class). Perhaps the only trick is to go the main train station, not the East station.
If going or coming from the west, Xi'an, it takes about 6 hours and costs around 60 RMB.
The train is faster and cheaper than bus, but doesn't run as often.
- Budget Travel
Bus, another obvious way
Bus to or from Luoyang is more curious than the train. Sure it is a little more expensive and slower, so why would you want to travel this way at all? There might be no train your way for a few hours, or days if they are sold out.
Leaving Luoyang you get to deal with a mess of bus station, but it is better for foreigners. You can see signs (most in English) of where the bus is going. Probably you are going to Zhengzhou, Xi'an, or Deng Feng / Shao Lin Temple. Zhengzhou is about 30 RMB (top end) and 2 and 1/2 hours.
When getting on a bus you can mostly choose your speed vs. cost. The nice looking bus with a video system and a toilet is more expensive, but it will go direct and on highways where available. If you are on a serious budget or want to see the country side (it is beautiful in the light) choose the beat up over sized mini van. If you choose a big bus you may arrive at the main bus station at the next town. With the cheap bus this is less likely.
Coming from Zhengzhou you have to buy a ticket from ticket window, but you can't look at your bus and you don't know what window sells what tickets for what buses and for what time (what?). You have to guess. Either learn a lot of Chinese, befriend a bilingual Chinese person to help, or just hope for the best.
- Budget Travel
Al templo Shaolin / To the ShaolinTemple
El templo Shaolin está a 60 Kms de Luoyang y por eso decidimos ir con un grupo . Lo contratamos en el hotel y fuimos en un microbús con un grupo de chinos a visitar la Sonyang academy , el templo Shaolin de mujeres y el tradicional .
una excursión interesante , salimos a las 9 h y regresamos a las 18h
Importe : 160Yuan Billetes + 30Yuan Transporte
The Shaolin temple is 60 kms from Luoyang and that's why we decided to go with a group. We contract at the hotel and went into a minibus with a group of Chinese to visit the Sonyang academy, the women Shaolin temple and the traditional.
An interesting excursion, we left at 9 pm and returned at 18h
Price : 160Yuan Tickets + 30Yuan Transportation
Here's a map !!
If there's something i needed in Luoyang, it is a map. There are no map posted around town so you got to go with your mental compass...it can get tricky at night. Also, don't expect any cab driver to know english so pointing at a map is useful...
To print the big version, go to the URL posted
Battery Cars & Pleasure Boat at Longmen Grottoes
Longmen Grottoes is a huge park, it requires you to walk from the ticket counter to main gate (Terminus) approximately 1km. Once you enter the park through main gate, you will start exploring those caves on the West Hill until the Longmen bridge, where you can walk to the East Hill. On East Hill, you will start walking up the east hill enjoying more caves, then visiting Xiangshan Temple and ended at Baiyuan Garden.
These Battery cars might help you to walk less with a small charges:
1) From ticket office ---> Main Gate (Terminus) - Y2 per person
2) From Main Gate (Terminus) ----> West Part of the Longmen Bridge - Y2 per person
3) From Main Gate (Terminus) --> West Part of Longmen Bridge --> Baiyuan Garden --> Y4 per person
Pleasure Boat on Yi River (20 seats sight-seeing Boat):
1) Fengxian Temple --> Baiyuan Garden - 20Y /person/way
2) Fengxain Temple --> Ecology Parking Lot - 25Y/person/way
- Arts and Culture
- Sailing and Boating
- Historical Travel
To Longmen Grottoes
One of the reasons visitors come to Luoyang is to see Longmen Grottoes. Longmen Grottoes is located 18km south of the downtown Luoyang. You can either hire a taxi or take a public buses to this attraction. I took the public bus 81. This is how you can do it without taking a taxi:
From Luoyang Railway Station: Bus 81
Other buses that arrive at Longmen Park Main Gate: 71, 67, 60 and 53.
It takes about 45 minutes to 1 hours to reach there. You will see other sub-urban towns during the journey.
- Budget Travel
Bus to Shaolin
There are two long-distant bus stations next to the Luoyang Railway Station, Jinyuan Bus-Stop Station and Luoyang Long-distant Bus Station. I went to Luoyang Railway Station to buy a bus ticket at the ticket counter, Y17. I told them I wanted to go to Shaolin, they sold me the ticket without telling me where to take the bus. I had to find the bus myself by asking people who worked there. The bus was waited near the exit gate. It was a small bus with TV, clean and stop along the way to pick up passengers.
I believe they have many buses that go to Shaolin each day. But my advise is that try to go there in the early morning like 6am because there are so much things to see in Shaolin especially Mt Song, take times to walk around to see beautiful scenery.
On the way back from Shaolin to Luoyang, don't worry they are plenty of buses waiting outside the Shaolin gate. Most of the buses will stop at Luoyang Long-Distant Bus Station. I paid Y20.
Duration: 2 hours each way.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Longmen Railway Station
Longmen Railway Station was officially opened to the public on Feb 6 2011. It is one of the 10 railway stations for the Zhengzhou - Xi'an High Speed Railway.
1) Yingyang South
2) New Gongyi
3) Luoyang Longmen
4) Mianchi South
5) Sanmenxia South
6) Lingbao West
7) Huashan North (Not MISS)
8) Weinan North
9) Lintong East
10) Xian North
I took a speed rail from Xi'an North to Luoyang Longmen Station. It was a comfortable ride with good views. It is a modern and new railway station. It is not very big station as it is one of the stops for the Zhengzhou-Xi'an speed rail link.
When I walked outside the station, unlike other major railway station in the City, this station is located sub-urban of Luoyang City. The city bus-stop is just right outside the station, where you can get public bus to reach downtown Luoyang. I took bus #49 to reach Zhongzhou Road, the main street in downtown Louyang. It takes about one hour to reach town.
- Budget Travel
Luoyang Railway Station
Luoyang Railway Station is the main railway station for the city. You can take trains to major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Xi'an, and etc. I took a sleeper train to Nanjing, and reached Nanjing at 8am the next day.
This is not a very nice railway station as compare to other railway stations in China. There is no restaurants or food courts once you check-in inside the railway station. So, if you wish to eat something before boarding the train, there are many restaurants outside the station. If you are going to a transit location like myself going to Nanjing, taking an Luoyang - Shanghai train, you might not see your gate number on the Departure Notice Board. So, you have to ask the officer working at the station.
Of course! terrible toilet facilities.
There are two long-distant bus stations, Jinyuan Bus-stop & Luoyang Long-Distant bus stop next to the Railway station. You can easily get a bus to Shaolin in these bus stations. And you can take public Bus #81 to Longmen Grottoes.