Posts Tagged ‘Datong City Wall rebuilt’

Datong Ancient City Wall

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
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This is my third-time visit to Datong, which has completely changed my previous view of Datong as a polluted base for coal production. Now, roads are expanded or reconstructed, new residential apartments built, pretty bridges set up and even the ancient city wall in Datong has been totally restored ( except for a small part in the west wall that is still being constructed at the time of writing) !

If you are planning your Datong tour, a glimpse of the massive Datong City Wall is not to be missed. The original city wall in Datong  was built in 1372 at the early stage of Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644)  upon the ancient tamped earth city walls that had been built originally during Liao Dynasty (916 – 1125 and Jin Dynasty (1115 – 1234). It was 14 meters high with a perimeter  of 7270 meters and  4 main gates, 4 turrets and 46 watch towers.

In Ming Dynasty, the ancient Datong was designated as one of the nine military towns along the Great Wall of China defending against the steppe nomads from the north. Datong was strategically important since it was situated on the mid-section of the Great Wall of  China with the essential task of confronting the galloping Mongols and safeguarding Beijing and China as a whole.

My passion for sunrise photos wakes me up in the early morning and a 20-minute walk from my lodging hotel on Yingbin Avenue brings me to the south wall of Datong’s restored ancient city wall.

Seeing the sun glow over the high city wall, I’m much admired for the ambitious Datong Ancient City Wall restoration plan proposed by Datong former mayor – Mr. Geng Yanbo who inaugurated the project in 2008 despite of the flooded debate on the necessity of the restoration of the Wall.

Morning Sun Glow over the ancient city wall in Datong

Morning Sun Glow over the ancient city wall in Datong

Morning Sun Glow over the ancient city wall in Datong

The high city wall with watch towers on the top surrounded by a city moat 5 meters deep and 10 meters wide.

High City Wall, Watch Towers and City Moat

High City Wall, Watch Towers and City Moat

A two-storey watch tower atop the wall with a clear look at the battlements on the wall.

Watch Tower and Battlements on the wall

Watch Tower and Battlements on the wall

The main south gate is closed to the public transport, which is replaced by the two south side gates. This picture is taken of the west south side gate.

The West South Side Gate

The West South Side Gate

Two large pools connecting the city moat on the both sides of the main South Gate. With beautiful reflections on the water, the restored wall really injects much life into the ancient city of Datong.

 Beautiful reflections on the water

Beautiful reflections on the water

The picture taken from the east angle of the main south gate which includes an inner city for defense purpose. Come here for a stroll,  looking for the charm and local life.

 East angle of the main south gate

East angle of the main south gate

This is the south main gate named Yongtai Gate ( Everlasting Peace Gate ).  The original ancient city wall of Datong had four main  gates ( east, south,west and north). The restored wall has added two side gates for each side wall for the smooth traffic flow.

The green belt along the city is a huge city park, giving the locals much spaces for morning exercises and other activities.

The green belt along the city is a huge city park

The green belt along the city is a huge city park

Paying a ticket fee of RMB 30 allows you to have a stroll on the top of the wide city wall where you are able to have a panoramic view of Datong City.

Ascending the city wall

Ascending the city wall

Ascending the city wall

On the top of the wide city wall

On the top of the wide city wall

On the top of the wide city wall

The 14-meter high city wall is just magnificent.

The 14-meter high wall

The 14-meter high wall

The pavilions and towers on the city wall top

The pavilions and towers on the city wall top

The pavilions and towers on the city wall top

Standing on the mid-south wall, you will have a clear picture of the north-south axis of the ancient city layout of Datong with a distant view of Drum Tower.

 The north-south axis

The north-south axis

Below the mid-south city wall ( slightly to the west side) is the famous Shanhua Temple, originally built in Tang Dynasty.

Shanhua Temple

Shanhua Temple

Tip:  Hassle-free Datong Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for Datong guided tours:

Datong Great Wall Hike Day Tour  from US$105 p/p 
Datong Great Wall Hike 2 Day Tour  from US$195 p/p 
Datong Great Wall Hike 3 Day Tour  from US$290 p/p

Datong City Highlight Day Tour  from US$ 90 p/p
Datong One Day Excursion Tour  from US$ 90 p/p
Datong 2 Day Private Tour Packages  from US$ 205 p/p

Beijing Datong 2 Day Round Trip by private car or van  from US$ 260 p/p
Beijing Datong 4 Day Round Trip by Daytime Train  from US$ 370 p/p

Beijing Datong Day Trip by Flight  from US$ 290 p/p
Beijing Datong 2 Day Tour by flight   from US$ 400 p/p

Further Readings


Best Time to Visiit Datong
Top 10 Attractions in Datong
How to Get to Datong from Beijing
Datong Xian High Speed Train

Any questions, just drop a line.