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The world-renowned Shaolin Temple (or Shaolin Monastery) is the birthplace of the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu. Shaolin is also the home of Zen Buddhism, and as with the nearby White Horse Temple in Luoyang, is credited as an important site in the development of the religion in China.

The site dates back over 1,500 years although the temples have been destroyed and rebuilt many times since then. Below I will tell you how you can visit the stunning Shaolin Temple.

Set within the beautiful Song Mountain Scenic Area, Shoalin Temple is home to many martial arts schools. The site was granted USESCO World heritage status in 2010 and sees many visitors and martial arts students from all over the world.

Location of Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Monastery
The Shaolin Monastery

The Shaolin Temple is set within the Song Mountain Scenic Area and comprises pine-forested mountains, trickling streams and is a haven for birds and insects (keep an eye out in the hedgerows for the huge and colourful Golden Orb Weaver spiders). After a visit to the Temple or watching a martial arts performance, there are plenty of hiking trails where you can lose yourself in the tranquil nature and reach your own state of Zen!

What to see at Shaolin Temple, Luoyang:

Hall of Heavenly Kings

Dedicated to the four heavenly kings who bestow blessings to the people, this impressive temple hidden beneath the shade of the forest offers a glimpse into the lives of Buddhist adherence. Wafts ofincense carry on the breeze as orange-robed monks go about their business.

Dharma Cave

This where the Dharma sat patiently staring at the wall for nine years while meditating until obtaining the state of Buddhist Zen (though it’s not necessary to spend as long here to get a feel for the place).

Shaolin Temple – Pagoda Forest

Pagoda Forest
Pagoda Forest

The Pagoda Forest is a Buddhist graveyard that represents the largest of its kind in China. The towering stone pagodas vary in shape and size (between 10 and 15 metres) depending on the achievements of the monks they represent.

Wushu Martial Arts Training Centre & Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin monks have been practicing Kung Fu at the Wushu Training Centre for 1,500 years and still do to this day.

You can witness Kung-Fu displays on the hour between 10:00 and 17:00 and in the summer you can watch the students train outside on the main courtyard.  

Song Mountain

As you leave the Pagoda Forest you can carry on up the mountain where there are hiking trails and two cable cars if your legs are starting to tire. The trail follows the Shaoyang River as it bubbles over fallen rocks through the dense forest.

Practicalities for Shaolin Temple, Luoyang

The Temple complex and scenic area are open from 08:00 to 17:30 7 days a week.

Entrance to the Temple and grounds (which includes the mountain park, but not cable cars) is 150RMB and is well worth the price.

How to get to the Shaolin Temple:

From Luoyang bus station buses depart direct to Shaolin Monestary at 08:00, but if you wish to travel later, you can take a bus to Denfeng and take a taxi the 10 minute ride to the temple.

Journey time is 2 hours and cost is 20 RMB.

The site can easily be visited as a day trip from Luoyang, but to get the most of the beautiful mountain park I would recommend spending a couple of days there. Hotels abound in Dengfeng and prices start at around 300RMB (about $45US) for a clean, modern and comfortable twin room.

From Zhengzhou buses depart at 07:00, 08:00, 080:50, 09:40, 10:10 and 11:00. The trip taes 1.5 hours and costs 28 RMB.

From Bejing, Xi’an or other Chinese cities, take a train to Luoyang or Zhengzhou and take the bus as described above.

Visit the Shaolin Temple website for more information.

Attractions near Shaolin Temple Luoyang:

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