More on our vacation … maybe

15 10 2009

So I figured I’d finally update at least some on our vacation to Luoyang. At least until I have to leave for class, in approximately 11 minutes. Wish me luck!
So on Oct. 3 at 6 pm we caught the train to Luoyang. It was a soft sleeper, the nicest sleeper you can get. Chinese trains seem to vary in quality, and I got the impression that it wasn’t possible to have a super-swanky train to Luoyang, though I could be wrong. Anyway, no complaints really about the sleeper. The guy across from us in the compartment snored a bit, but the other person sharing (a younger girl) was quiet and nice enough. We both slept a bit, though I wouldn’t call the most restful sleep I’ve ever had. We arrived in Luoyang at 8 am, got out and found our way to the bus to Longmen Caves relatively easy. Then we took a roughly 20 minute bus ride out of town to the caves. When you get to the site of the caves, there is a pretty long walk-up to the actual site filled with lots of stores selling the usual historic site-specific trinkets you see a lot of in China. Then we got to the front gate, where we both paid 120 RMB to get in. About $20 – expensive for a park, but since everything else in China is cheap, it’s not that big of a deal to pay a bit more for a park. There were tons of people there. I mean, a lot. The first part of the walk I was a little disappointed, just largely because it’s not fun to fight your way through crowds to see small statues obscured by the mid-day shadows (at this point it was approaching 11). Nonetheless it was still interesting, and unlike some sites in China, they didn’t rebuild everything from scratch in the last 10 years, which was nice. We were starting to wear down a bit when we hit the biggest Buddhist statues, which are the ones you would recognize if you ever saw pictures of the caves. The tallest one is something like 58 feet tall, and they were very, very impressive. If you haven’t seen our photos yet, go to the Flickr site and look at them
( Really really impressive. Some of them were destroyed just by the wear of time, some by people robbing the sites for additions to their mansions (mostly Americans, surprise surprise). We wandered around a bit more looking at the caves – there are something like 10,000 in the park, most on the big cliff wall over the river. After that, we crossed a bridge and viewed some of the caves on the other side of the river, but they weren’t quite as impressive. Then we took the long walk all the way back to where the buses load up. And that is all I have time for, folks. More soon. -Jeremiah




2 responses

16 10 2009

I did check the pictures…quite the Buddha colony in the caves. Looks interesting and can’t imagine the time it took to create. I, too, have found trains not the best sleeping, but not all that bad.

16 10 2009
Prince B

Man, you guys are really letting things like working and traveling get in the way of blogging!

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