Datong is home to the Xuankong Hanging Monasteries, the Wooden Pagoda, and the UNESCO-protected Yungang Grottoes, three of China’s most breathtaking historical sites.
Take a soft sleeper overnight train to Datong, and start your adventure with an early morning visit to the magnificent Hanging Monasteries (Xuankong Si), a temple structure precariously mounted on a cliff face. This temple combines influences from China’s three major religions, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, as you’ll see in the Hall of the Three Saints (Sansheng Dian) where their founders sit side-by-side.
After lunch you’ll drive to the Wooden Pagoda, a 500+ year old structure build without a single piece of metal. After climbing to the top, you’ll head back to Datong, where you’ll enjoy a leisurely stroll in the old hutongs before digging in to an authentic local dinner.
The next morning you’ll head to the UNESCO-protected Yungang Buddhist Grottoes, built more than 1,500 years ago, and explore the 53 rock caves that house more than 51,000 Buddha Statues. Yungang is a treasure of Buddhist art, and the largest collection of statues in China. The long stretch of caves is a masterpiece comparable to the ancient Egyptian pyramids, taking 40,000 workmen four decades (453-493 AD) complete.
Later you’ll drive back to Datong and catch the afternoon train back to Beijing, where you’ll arrive just in time for dinner.
Datong Buddhist Caves and Hanging Monastery
|Datong is home to the Xuankong Hanging Monasteries, the Wooden Pagoda, and the UNESCO-protected Yungang Grottoes, three of China’s most breathtaking historical sites.|
|Itinerary and Sights||Datong Ancient City, Xuankong Hanging Monasteries, the Wooden Pagoda, UNESCO-protected Yungang Grottoes|
|Length||2 days (3 including the first night on the train)|
|Includes||Train tickets and transportation in Datong, accommodation in a 3-star hotel, all entrance fees, and a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide.|
|Remember to bring||Comfortable shoes, your camera, sun screen (in summer), and cash for meals, drinks, private activities, and a tip to your tour guide and driver.|
|Pricing||RMB 2,000 per person based on 2 personsRMB 1,600 per person based on 3 personsRMB 1,500 per person based on 4 personsRMB 1,400 per person based on 5+ persons|