Louguantai National Forest Park
Tucked into the north range of the Qinling Mountains just outside Xian, Louguantai National Forest Park was where Laozi, father of Taoism, penned his foundational philosophy of theTao Te Ching. Travelers will find three Taoist temples within the park, as well as a bamboo forest and wild-animal-breeding center.
Many travelers to Xian come and go without realizing this park even exists. Those who take the time to visit get off the typical tourist route to experience a bit of the history and heritage of Taoism in China. Each attraction within the park charges its own separate admission fee, so you can pick and choose what you’d like to see.
While it’s possible to visit the park independently, those with an interest in Taoism should consider visiting with a guide to learn more about the poets, scholars, and philosophers who once gathered in the park to shape their ideas. These tours often include a visit to Chongyang Palace in Xian, another important Taoist site where prominent practitioner Wang Chongyang studied and was later buried.
Things to Know Before You Go
Louguantai National Forest Park is a must-visit for spiritual travelers and those looking for a calm escape from the city.
Remember to dress conservatively when visiting the temples, as they’re active places of worship.
Give yourself one to two hours to explore the temple complex and surrounding forest.
How to Get There
Louguantai National Forest Park is located along the North Zhongnan Mountain Range in Zhouzhi Country. To get there from Xian, take Huan Shan Tour Bus 1 from the North Square of Big Wild Goose Pagoda in the morning, and catch a return bus in the afternoon. The bus stops at the Temple of God of Wealth and the Ancient Louguantai Taoist Temple.
When to Get There
The park is open daily throughout the year from 9am to 5:30pm. Spring and autumn offer the best weather for enjoying the park’s outdoor attractions. Expect high temperatures and frequent rainfall when visiting in the summer, and avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays.
The Legend of Huanü Spring
According to local legend, Laozi came to the area once to test his student Xu Jia. Laozi struck the ground with his crutch, creating a beautiful patch of grass. Xu Jia was so distracted by the beauty that he failed the test—his whole heart wasn’t focused on Taoism. In anger, Laozi pulled his crutch from the ground, causing this spring to bubble up from the ground.
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