Datong Private Tour
As the second largest city in Shanxi Province, Datong is situated in the far north, near the border with Inner Mongolia, a 6-hour train ride or 5-hour drive from Beijing.
In the year of 398, Datong was set up as the capital city of Northern Wei Dynasty (386 -557). In 493, Northern Wei Dynasty moved its capital city to Luoyang. The 97-year as a Northern Wei capital has left huge cultural heritage of that time to Datong.
In a valley at Yungang, some 16km west of Datong, there are more than 45 recesses dug into the hills and filled with Buddhist statues of various sizes and shapes, 51,000 altogether, later called Yungang Grottoes ( Cloud Ridge Caves ) listed UNESCO World Heritage in 2001.
At the foot of Mt.Hengshan, 65 kilometers from downtown Datong City is located Hanging Monastery with over 1500-year history, first built 491 AD. The temple hangs on the west cliff of a hill with over 50 meters above the ground, hence Hanging Monastery. The biggest attraction of Hanging Temple is the fact that the temple includes Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Four hundred years later after Northern Wei Dynasty, Datong was designated as the west capital of Liao Dynasty (916 – 1125). Located in the Yingxian County 75 km south of Datong, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda was first built in 1056 during the Liao Dynasty. It is the oldest and largest wooden Buddhist pagoda in existence in the world. It is admired as one of the “Three Wonders of Pagoda in the world” together with Eiffel Tower in France and leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
In the city center of Datong, there are many historic sites like Huayan Temple, Nine-dragon Wall and Shanhua Temple with over 1000-year history.