Renowned Buddhist grottoes in central China reopens
Having closed for a month due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Longmen Grottoes, located in Luoyang, central China's Henan Province, reopened to the public on Monday.
During the period of epidemic prevention and control, it has adopted contactless services. Tourists are required to book or purchase tickets online with personal information registered. Ticket offices at the tourist site will stay closed.
Visitors are able to enjoy a preferential policy of half-price tickets until June 30, excluding public holidays – Qingming Festival, May Day holiday and Dragon Boat Festival, and the annual Luoyang Peony Cultural Festival. Also, free entry is offered to all the medical workers from across the country until the end of the year to show respect to those who have been fighting against the epidemic.
Featuring tens of thousands of Buddha statues sculpted in caves, Longmen Grottoes is dubbed as one of the four best-known grottoes in China, together with Mogao Grottoes and Maijishan Grottoes in northwest China's Gansu Province and Yungang Grottoes in north China's Shanxi Province. However, the other three haven't announced plans for reopening yet.
Instead, Mogao Grottoes has recently launched a WeChat mini program ''Yunyou Dunhuang'' for those who have been at home. The virtual tour integrates the exploration, visiting and the protection of Mogao Grottoes.
''We have been exploring the use of digital technology to showcase the culture of Dunhuang. We hope that people from all corners of the world are able to enjoy the beauty of Dunhuang treasures and get inspiration,'' Zhao Shengliang, head of the Dunhuang Academy, said.