I came to Luoyang for one reason, to see the Longmen Grottoes. It's what the town is known for so I figured finding a tour for it here wouldn't be so hard. When I got to my hostel, I found out my assumptions were wrong. I could take a tour to the Longmen Grottoes and the Shaolin Temple or I could just take a tour just to the Shaolin temple. I later found out that this is because it's HELLA easy to get yourself to the place that I wanted to go. Since I didn't know that at the time I booked I ended up taking the combo tour. The combo tour was a little pricey but it did include an english guide and lunch was also included. Let me ruin the surprise for you, there was no english tour and lunch was so bland. I'm used to bad tour lunches because usually it's all white people and they think we don't like chinese food but this tour was all chinese people and just me so why the bad food? It was so bland and when I asked for chili all the chinese people were surprised that I would need it. BORING. As you can possibly judge from my tone, I didn't like anything about this place. I didn't really want to be here, didn't understand what was happening and have sort of issues with buddhist monks also being warriors (seems contradictory, no?) They also have the monks peddling so much junk that it's offensive to anyone of any religion. I've never been to a famous church and seen fathers and ministers selling Christ schwag. Weeks later in Suzhou I would meet another person who had the exact same thoughts and feelings that I did. It's always nice to not feel alone.
All the negativity aside, it is a beautiful looking place. And the pagoda forest is rather interesting and different. I had this moment going up a mountain in a cable care where I was just so upset at everything going on there but was surrounded by beautiful nature. I kept telling myself, "look around you, don't be angry. This is beautiful. don't be upset. Find the good." But sometimes you're just too pissed off at everything to turn it around.
After my mountain excursion I had to come back down to see a Shaolin Monk figh dance performance. Impressive to watch but I also fell asleep in it. In the end I'd rather have saved my cash and time and not come here, but alas, we can't always get what we want.