Urbanization of Luoyang

My hometown Luoyang is a typical sample of recent years of urbanization process in China.

Situated in the middle of China, Luoyang is a middle sized city. Although the total population is 6 million (too big a number in US to be a middle sized city), the urban population is only about 1 million, with the rest to be rural population.

In the last 10 years, Luoyang changes a lot. When I check satellite image on Google Maps, I found due to some reason, some tiles of the map was not updated to the current image. That provided an interesting view of the past and the current picture of Luoyang on the same page.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

As you can see from the picture above, the lower part is the original state of the land – farm land with some villages. The upper part is the current Luoyang.

Let’s take a closer look.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Pay attention to the strange banks of the river, and the modern cities.

Below is a bigger picture of the whole Luoyang new district.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Let’s spotlight some of the areas on this map:

The new stadiums:

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

The new park:

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

The astonishing big pool before the new building of the government:

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Finally is the government building, that assemblies the forbidden city.

Image in courtesy of Google Maps

Where is the farm land, and the villages? The following interesting photo illustrated that a big road went straightly into the village, and the commercial residential areas were built at the same place. There is no way for the old village to survive. They moved away – or to be more exact, they were moved away.

My Worries

When I was younger, to have a bigger and more beautiful city was my dream. Now, after I visited many places, and thought deeper about the future of China, the change made me worry. I have few questions.

Where are the farm land?

In the last 10 years, the city of Luoyang grew crazily. They moved the government from the old city center to this land – a piece of land in the middle of no where (well, in the old standard). Then the farm land was taken, and Luoyang developed using a pattern to leverage the land typically reserved for the next century. Look at the huge projects on the land – that is exactly the project you want to build when you have too many land to spare.

Where is the money?

Why the government has so much money to build it? The secret is the land. Since in the current Chinese system, the government is the only legal middle man to transfer a piece of land from the farmer to a developer, and then to house buyers. They often offer ridiculously low price (at the time I was there, it was 20 – 50 K RMB per Chinese ace) to the farmers (and they have to move because their land buildings were announced as illegal followed by police), and then they sell the land at 10x or higher price to developer. The more land they sell, the more profit the government (to be exact, the people involved) they get. The new government buildings, and the huge projects are maybe just some change.

Unfortunately, this is the general pattern in most cities in China. IMHO, I think the only way out is to allow end house buyers to buy land directly from farmers.

Luoyang is a typical example of urbanization in China, and you see the change in a “broken” Google map.

Want to see it by yourself in Google Maps? Here is the link.

Village Li – My Primary School

My school mate Nie Xiangfeng took some photos of the primary school we went to (we are both primary school, and middle school classmates). Very nice picture – obviously it means a lot to me since I have never been back since 15 years ago.

Below is the playground and the buildings of the primary school – how come after 20 years, it never changed a little bit?

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

The buildings of the primary school.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

The main building. I think I was on the third story in my grade 5.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

This is the junior middle school part.

Photograph by Nie Xiangfeng

More photos is on Nie Xiangfeng’s blog

Back from Luoyang Family Gather

Yifan, Wendy, and I am back from our 5-day trip in Luoyang. Time flies, and we would only hope to stay at home longer. My two elder brothers, sister-in-laws, and other 3 little children get together with Yifan. It is a big family with 12 members. Imagine how fortunate we are. Even we have broadband Internet at home, I still didn’t put any time into blogging – maybe the longest blogging pause in the recent months, but it worth it, doesn’t it?

Some quick notes about the travel (only the travel part, not the family part yet).

  • Zhengzhou Airport is the hub airport with extremely good high-way infrustructure connected to other cities in Henan.
  • The Highways in Henan (thus I guess for the whole China) is very well. We saw G4, G5, G30, and many S-type of road. (It is just like I-5, I-95, or CA-17). The roads are very like in US – I mean California already.
  • Luoyang didn’t change too much, except real estate development. There are high-raising residential buildings everywhere.
  • Food and restaurants are still a highlight for the city (comparable to Shanghai), but the street view, and other consumption is still far behind.
  • Luoyang is so warm inside any building, and it is a much better place to stay in winters.
  • Several days without Internet and only social activities seem much better than days with all-day Internet access and surfing, or other computer based work.

I may write more about the trip in the next few days.

Flying Back to Luoyang Tomorrow

Tomorrow, we will fly back to Luoyang for several days, and get back next Monday.

It is the first time Yifan gets back home in Luoyang. For the first time, he will see his sisters, and brothers (my brothers’ children). How exciting.

Also, it is the longest time I can spend full time with Yifan in the recent months.

I am back….

P.S. I got my new glasses. Need some time to get used to it.

Bus from Luoyang to Zhengzhou

There are at least one bus from Luoyang to Zhengzhou every hour.

Here is the schedule.


Start from Luoyang. The travel time is 2 hour and 30 minutes, just good for watching a DVD on the bus – if you include the annoying TV commerical interval in the DVD.













Where is the Bus Stop

The bus stop in Luoyang is at the Tianying Hotel (天鹰大酒店) at Jinghua Road and Wanzhong Road (景华路皖中路). There is a small shop selling tickets, and you won’t miss the place – there are many huge buses waiting there from morning to night.

The Bus

Inside the bus:

The seats:

They have drinking water on board:

and best of all, they have toilet on board:

This is the bus:

The Bus Stop in Zhengzhou

The Bus Stop in Zhengzhou is near the Minhang Hotel (民航大酒店). It is just one cross road away. You can transit to the Airport Bus there. The interval is 30 minutes, and the price is 15 RMB to get to the airport (it takes 70 RMB to take taxi there).

The Trip

The trip was good.

Other Routes

I am Back in Luoyang Now

At the last minute (several minutes after we wake up on the first day of the New Year), we decided to go back to hometown instead of staying in Shanghai for 7 days.

I am in Luoyang, my hometown, and the capital of China for more than 9 dynasties…

There are limited Internet access, so I am be Out of Blogging for several days.

My flight back to Shanghai is on Feb 22, 2007.

So hope you have a peaceful, and “idle” Spring Festival.

MU2043 from Luoyang to Shanghai

I took the Luoyang to Shanghai flight MU2043 and safely arrived in Shanghai.

Luoyang is a small city. Around 12:30, I got on board a green CITROEN taxi – Citroen taxis are among the better class of taxis in Luoyang.

Luoyang airport is near the central of the city – about 10 km away. 10KM is a long distance in Luoyang. The road to the airport is very good, and more importantly, no too much traffic.

I remember when I was in primary school, we visited the airport – in my impression, it was quite big, but now, it seems just like a normal building without many people.

The Luoyang government spent much effort and money to keep the airport alive – for a city with just more than 1 million population, it can hardly support the operation of an airport. The Zhengzhou airport is just 1 hour of express way east of the airport, and the tickets are much cheaper than Luoyang… That is the situation 80% of the airports in China have to face.

Luoyang Trip Report

During the Oct, I am back to my hometown in Luoyang. Here is the photo report of the city. Let me spend some time to explain what the photos mean. Please keep in mind Luoyang is a second tier city in China – it is not Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or a privince capital. It is just one of very normal cities in China with 1 million urban population and 6 million total population.
















Luoyang Telephone Number Upgraded

Dad SMSed me that the telephone number for Luoyang upgraded to 8 digits. All the original 7-digit telephone numbers will add a “6” to the front. The upgrade will happen on March 21.

I remember the telephone was first installed to my home around 1995. That is about 10 years ago. Before that, it is very rare to have telephone at home in Luoyang. If I want to make a telephone call, I need to go to room at the entrance of my residential area. It is the only one for the whole area. Actually, I seldom need to make a phone call. The only reason is to call my dad. He has a telephone in his office. None of my classmates have telephone at that time. For long distance call, I need to go to post office. Actually I never made a long distance call before telephone comes to my home. At that time, Internet has already generated some usage in U.S; In China, telephone installment is still small. The Spring Festival Eve of 1996 is a great night for me. For the first time, I found out enough numbers that I can call to say “Happy New Year”.

10 years later, the installment of fixed line telephone reached 316 million (by Jan 2005). The mobile phone users are 340 million already, even more than fixed-line users. The last 10 years are amazing for me. 10 years ago, almost none of my friends have fixed-line telephone at home; 10 years later, almost all my friends have mobile phones.

You may understand the difference of doing business in China and in developed countries. When I worked with people in U.S., I got the impression that people in U.S. are relatively slower than in China. They prefer a comprehensive plan, very solid reasoning and data support for every decision. The pace is slow. They are very professional and have great experience, which helped to make right decisions, but the decision making and implementation speed is slow.

In a fast changing society, it may not always work. Something that happened in U.S. in 100 years happens in China in 10 years. The same process may take up to 5 years in U.S, but it only used 1 year in China. Internet is an example – connected user soared from 0.62 million in 1997 to almost 0.1 billion in 2004. In China, risk is more tolerated than in U.S. Speed is the key for many new industries.

10 years ago, the telephone number for my home is 6-digit. Now, it is 8-digit. By no means could I imagine the upgrade when the black, big, shining telephone set was put on to the table of our home.

Luoyang Peony

Luoyang is famous for its penoy. Every April, millions of visitors will come to Luoyang to enjoy the colorful peony all around the city. I missed the chance this year. Thanks for my mom and aunt. They took pictures of some peony flowers for me so I can share with you all.

Red peony. The large flower is just unbelievablely beautiful.



Luoyang Tour – Day 1

Hi, I am back to my hometown, the place I grew up and one of the cities I am most familiar with (Shanghai is the other).

Industrial City

More than 50% of the city was built after 1949. The city quickly became an immigration city after the first 5 years of the New China. 10+ extremely huge factories were built in 5 years with millions of people migrating from Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taiyuan and Shenyang. For example, the First Tractor Group employees 60,000 people and they came to the city together. The population of the city grows from 400,000 to 6 million quickly due the immigration. It is a piece of history hard to reproduce at any place in the world.

Look at the Jian Xi District, where most factories were built. There is still a lot of buildings reflecting the history. There are two statues of Chairman Mao in the city. Others have been pulled down in the last ten years.


© Jian Shuo Wang. The statue of Chairman Mao before the Luoyang No. 1 Tractor Factory

This statue was planned to be removed in the last decade but the factor workers gathered and protsted agaist the proposal. The deep feelings with Mao was still in their hearts. So it was kept at the gate of the Luoyang No. 1 Tractor Factory. I am very happy to see the statue is there. No mater whether it was a good idea to build up the same statue everywhere in the country, it is right to keep some sense of history and don’t destroy all at the same time.


© Jian Shuo Wang.

Above is another statue at the entrance of another factory in Luoyang. I got out of the taxi and took a picture with it (below):

© Jian Shuo Wang

Beautiful City

I love the green tree covered streets in Luoyang. The streets are wide (relative to the current traffic volume) and beautiful. Look at the Zhong Zhou West Rd. in the picture below.

© Jian Shuo Wang. The Zhong Zhou West Rd.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is one of my favorite road. The tall trees have formed a green cave and the cave for the single pass road. There is another “cave” for the lane to the opposite direction. The Xiyuan Rd. extended westward for several kilometers.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the tower of the Luoyang No. 1 Tractor Factory. I see people are very curious about the small white boxes on the wall. Your guess is right. They are Aircons. The Jianxi district of Luoyang is made up this Russian style buildings. You can find this kind of nice building along the long Zhouzhou West Road. They look very nice even in the recent years. The Aircons do deface the facade of the building.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Luoyang was also infected by McDonald’s (virus) as any other cities.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Accient Luoyang

Luoyang was the capital of more than 13 dynasties in China. Due to continuous wars, the old city has been almost removed from the horizontal. Recently, a gate was rebuilt according its original design. Here is the gate, Liing Gate (丽京门).

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

Below is the West Street of the accident Luoyang city.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Luoyang Railway Station

© Jian Shuo Wang

P.S. This article was updated by Jian Shuo Wang on May 7, 2004. More description of the pictures were added.

Luoyang, Henan Tour

Now I am sitting on my bed in the city of Luoyang, and attempting to show you the city where I was born and grew up. I hope this page can also reach the first page of search result of key word Luoyang. The reason I think of writing this article to introduce Luoyang is, I am very disappointed to the existing pages on Internet about this wonderful city.

Sight Seeing

I have seen a Luoyang 3-day tour. It includes Luoyang Museum, White Horse Temple, Longmen Caves, and the Shaolin Monastery. This list should be almost complete for must-sees in Luoyang.

If you ask me to be your guide, I will rank the Longmen Caves to be the most attractive spot of scene. Longmen means Dragon Gate in Chinese. There are more than 5000 caves on the maintain and you will be impressed by the trenedous work paid to create such a wonder.

You can also visit White Horse Temple, which is the first buddish temple in China. However, it is not as famous or large as Shaolin Monastery (temple). You can get there very easy by lots of bus lines.

Luoyang has a long and rich history as the captial of 13 dynasties. Therefore, the Luoyang Musuem is very interesting to visit.


The best hotel in Luoyang is Luoyang Penney Plaza (4-star). But do set your expectation lower, since I don’t think it met the standard of a 4-star hotel yet. The building was transformed from a office building. Since the building faced leasing challenges in the year of 1995 (or years around it), it is re-positioned as a 4-star hotel. That is the reason you may think it does not look like a hotel.

The second tier of good hotels are New Friendship Hotel, Friendship Hotel. They are the national guest hotel for leaders. You can have a try.

As I know, most visitors will choose the Penney Hotel. It is among the oldest and best hotels before the Penny Plaza opened. It was a 3-star hotel and was upgrated to 4-star in the year of 2000. Here is a nice introduction.

The the newly built Luoyang Grant Hotel (4-star) is also a good choice. It is new and as the introduction said, a foreign-oriented hotel. Its phone is 86-379-4327408.

Again, set your expection low if you come from big cities like Shanghai, New York and London. The hotels are merely somewhere to stay.


If you are rich, or you are just a traveller, the best way to go to Luoyang is by air. There is a small airport in Luoyang. By small, I do mean small. There are only 4 flights available in this airport, connecting Luoyang and Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen.

I do suggest you to fly to Zhenzhou airport first for both facilities and flight availabilities. You can get to Luoyang via Highway in 2 hours. See this blog for my experience to go back from SHanghai to Luoyang via Zhengzhou.

In the city, please go ahead to take taxi. The starting price is 5 RMB. The longest possible distance in the city is 10 – 15 RMB and shouldn’t be higher. So whereever you go, hire a taxi – it is cheap.


  1. My site of Luoyang
  2. Ctrip’s Luoyang Page
  3. Luoyang airlines

Shanghai – Zhengzhou – Luoyang

There seems hard for move between Luoyang and Shanghai. There is only one airline connecting to two cities. According to my friends, it is a small plane with only 18 seats. I am not sure if it is true or not. But this time, I took the plane from Shanghai to Zhengzhou and then take buses. The reason is that the price of the ticket between Shanghai and Zhengzhou is super low. It was around 800 RMB but this time, I got the price of 430 RMB (Shanghai -> Zhengzhou) and 380 RMB (Zhengzhou -> Shanghai). That is almost 70% off.

It takes 1 hour and 15 minutes from Shanghai to Zhengzhou. There is airport bus line just outside the arrival hall. The price is 15 RMB. After about 40 minute, I arrived in the train station.

At the station, I take the bus from Zhengzhou to Luoyang. It is a luxury bus with tea, W.C. and bus attendants. The drive even dressed up with a tie.

After 2 hours and 30 minutes, I finally arrived in Luoyang. The trip is nice. I forgot to mention that it snowed on the way home.

Going Home

I will go back to my home at Luoyang from tomorrow for the Spring Festival. I am very excited to be back home. It takes about 2 hours to take plane to Zhengzhou, and there are still 2 hours from the airport to home.

I’d like to say “Happy New Year” to all my families and friends. Your care and love makes my life so beautiful. I’d also like to thank all my readers. Hope you have a wonderful new year!