A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Longmen Caves are a spectacular parade of Buddhist figurines and reliefs only 12km south of Luoyang. Caves pockmark the cliffs lining a meandering river, hosting figures ranging in size from the miniature to the monumental. It’s an extremely popular place in the summer, though even the teeming crowds can’t lessen the spectacle; try to visit early on in the day, however, as the exposed site can be rather hot.

Longmen’s roadhead is almost 2km short of the caves; if you don’t fancy a walk through the souvenir stalls, head down to the river and follow it to the entrance. Starting from the northern end and moving south down the group, the following are the most important carvings, which stand out due to their size.

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