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China (General)
Type of Location
About Location


Places to Visit
How to Reach

By train

Beijing - 6 hr. Daily overnight trains run from Beijing to Datong and back. Booking tickets at the Datong train station can be difficult as for popular directions a large part of the tickets are hatched by black market sellers when they become available four days before the train runs. Book tickets from Datong as early as possible. Night trains are available from both Beijing West Station (Beijing Xi Zhan) and Beijing Station (Beijing Zhan).

By bus

Buses depart from Hohhot's bus station (next to the train station) regularly all day. Just turning up and buying a ticket should usually get you on a bus within an hour, two at most.

Key places to visit
Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Screen, The Hanging Monastery, Heng Mountain, Drum Tower


Places to Visit

Yungang Grottoes

By far the greatest attraction of the area is the 1,500-year-old Yungang Grottoes. These mountain-side caves and recesses number more than 50 in all and are filled with 51,000 Buddhist statues - the largest being a 56-foot Seated Buddha while the smallest is only a few centimeters tall. In addition to the carvings of the Buddha, there are also scenes depicting Buddhist teachings and famous monks.

Nine Dragon Screen

Da Dong Street (Located right at the geographic center of town, on the southern side of Dadong Street (East Street) east of the main intersection a block north of the Drum Tower.

The Hanging Monastery

Perched precariously halfway up a cliff some 20 meters above a river, the Hanging Monastery is one of the most remarkable sights in China. Consisting of a complex of 40 rooms linked together by mid-air corridors and walkways, this remarkable monastery appears to be glued to the side of a sheer precipice.

Heng Mountain

(The entrance gate is 2 km past the Hanging Monastery, then it's another 12 km to the scenic area. A cable car can take you directly to the temples or you can take the half hour walk). This is one of the 5 important Buddhist mountains in China.

Drum Tower

Like many cities in China, Datong has its own Drum Tower. This is in the centre of town, but not open to the public.

Right Time to Visit

February - April
October - December