Laocheng Area in Luoyang
2009-04-09 11:45:57 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
Laocheng Area in Luoyang

The best way to learn about the old days of a historically famous city is to pay its oldest district a visit. In Beijing, the hutong area may be the right place and in Luoyang we found just the place. It's called the Laocheng area, or the old city proper.

Laocheng is located in the northeast of Luoyang, covering an area of 56.7 square kilometers.

The entrance to the Laocheng area is a magnificent semi-circular shaped building called Lijing gate, literally meaning 'the gate to beautiful scenery'. Previously the west gate of the inner city of Luoyang, the gate was built in Sui Dynasty (581-618) when Luoyang was the capital of the country.

Inside the gate are still prosperous ancient business streets, with small shops standing terraced along both sides.

On the outer wall of each shop there is a silk flag with the name of each business, including restaurants, dress shops, groceries and hardware stores.

Among the businesses are several time-honored restaurants offering distinctive Luoyang cuisine, such as guan ji and yao yao. Different from the tourist-oriented Zhen Bu Tong restaurant, the two old ones serve local residents and tourists alike.

The water banquet is a local dining custom in Luoyang. Unlike most culinary customs in China, the 24 dishes served in a water banquet are brought one after another, like flowing water. Around a third of the dishes are soup or semi-soup.

Also on the streets are shops selling peony paintings, Tang Dynasty three-color glazed pottery (tang san cai) and plum blossom jade (mei hua yu), three of the special products of Luoyang.

Nowadays Laocheng is no longer the city center, but a must-see destination for every visitor to Luoyang.


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