Archive for the ‘Datong Travel’ Category

How to visit Datong in one day (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022
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Planning your Datong Tour? Datong is a magnificent city invested with much history, legend and intrigue. It has also has retained a rich collection of ancient relics and architecture. All this will keep you busy for a quite a few days.

If you, for various reasons, only have a full day or two half days for your trip to Datong, and still long for seeing, feeling and touching the highlights of the splendid past of Datong, you may raise the question on how to visit Datong in one day.

Well, I can say, based on my own experience, it is still possible to visit the highlights in Datong in just one day if you arrange your own city transport ( public buses are too time-consuming). So you need either to rental a private car with driver in Datong, or negotiate with a local cab driver for a day trip in Datong.

Now follow me to have a virtual one day tour of Datong. Let’s go!

Drive to Hanging Temple from my hotel Datong

Hanging Temple (悬空寺) is about 4 km south of Hunyuan County (浑源县), 70km southeast of Datong City. The taxi drive takes about one hour and 50 minutes to get to the Jinlong Valley of Hengshan Mountain where the Hanging Temple is located.

Get up early and start out at 7:00 am and meet your taxi driver as scheduled and go on with the trip to Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda and Yungang Caves, then back to the city of Datong, a whole day loop trip.

Datong and Hanging Temple (悬空寺) Road Trip ( Google Map)

The way to the Hanging Temple is not a national-level road, but its road condition is fairly ok.

We are approaching Mt. Hengshan.

Hanging Monastery, located at the foot of the Mt. Hengshan, is the only existed temple hosting worship for the Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists. Built in 491, Hanging Monastery is an architectural wonder because it hangs on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge more than 50 meters above the ground.

Hanging on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge over 50 meters above the ground

Opposite to the Mt. Hengshan, the hanging monastery consisted of over 40 buildings, are evenly distributed and well-balanced in height. On the base of the natural hollows and outcrops along the contour of the cliff, many halls and pavilions were built ,which are connected each other by corridors, bridges, boardwalks.

Climb up to the Hanging Temple

The hanging Monastery has established its unique position among the various temples and monastery with its characteristics of “peril, workmanship and miracle”.

The hanging monastery consisted of over 40 building.

Drive from Hanging Temple to Yingxian Wooden Pagoda

After visiting the awe-inspiring Hanging Temple, continue your day trip to the next destination – Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, another UNECO World Heritage site.

The Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, also called Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple ( also the name recognized by Goole Map), is located in the northwest corner of Yingxian County, about 60 km to the west of Hanging Temple.

Hanging Temple (悬空寺)to Yingxian Wooden Pagoda Road Trip (Google)

Finished in the 2nd Year of the reign of Qingning in Liao Dynasty (year of 1056), the Wooden Pagoda of Yingxian County is considered the first wooden pagoda of this kind in the world. It plays an important role in the history of ancient Chinese architecture.

The Wooden Pagoda behind the Fogong Temple

It is built on a four-meter-high groundwork with a total height of 67.31 meters, and a diameter of 30.27 meters at its bottom.

Ascending the YIngxian Wooden Pagoda

The wooden tower was completely made of wood without a single nail. On each story of the tower is displayed calligraphy. The tower offers valuable information for the research of calligraphic arts and the construction of the wooden tower.

A bird’s-eye view of the temple and the town from the Wooden Pagoda

The tower adopts the structure of secluded chambers in design, presenting a distinctive national characteristic inherited from the Han and Tang Dynasties while leveraging the traditional architectural techniques to the fullest extent.

Drive from Yingxian Wooden Pagoda to Yungang Grottoes

After grabbing a simple lunch at a local restaurant in the downtown of Yingxian County, you go on with the day trip to the next most important sight in Datong – the mind-boggling Yungang Grottoes.

Drive from Yingxan Wooden Pagoda to Yungang Grottoes

Basically it takes one and half an hour’s drive from Yingxian Wooden Pagoda to Yungang Caves, using the National Expressway No.55.

The three main sites in China that are famous for their stone sculpture are Gansu Province Dunhuang, Luoyang Longmen and Datong Yungang. Among these, the Yungang grottoes are considered the first among equals, for their tremendous size, their ancient history and their relatively complete state of preservation and in 2001 the site was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site.

Totally 252 caves and 51,000 status in the Yungang Grottoes

With their 252 caves and 51,000 status, the Yungang cave art represent the successful fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from south and central Asian with Chinese cultural traditions, starting in the 5th century CE under Imperial auspices. The power and endurance of Buddhist belief in China are vividly illustrated by the Yungang grottoes.

The sitting statue of Sakyamuni,13.7 meters high

The caves can be divided into 3 phases: cave 20 is one of the five earliest caves of monk Tan Yao, house of the sitting statue of Sakyamuni, which is 13.7 meters high, with a full and round face, majestic smile, slim up and a high nose, ears that extend almost to the shoulders, radiant eyes, and broad shoulders. It is the representative of the Buddha sculptures of the Yungang Grottoes.

Drive back to Datong and the Nine-Dragon Wall

After viewing the jaw-dropping Buddhist caves and ancient architecture, you drive back to the downtown of Datong for the last destination of your day trip in Datong – See the Nine-Dragon Wall.

Yungang Grottoes Back to the downtown of Datong

The Nine-Dragon Wall is just out there with no entrance fee, so you still need well plan your trip since the sight is closed at 6:00pm.

My lens is not big enough to catch the whole wall.

Datong nine-dragon wall is the biggest and oldest of its kinds in China. Built in 1392 during the reign of Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty, the Nine-Dragon Wall in Datong was built as a screen wall to go in front of the mansion of the 13rd son of the first Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang with 45.5 meters long, 8 meters high and 2.02 meters wide.

A close-up view of one of the dragons

The wall was constructed of glazed tiles and still remains intact today and was engraved with nine dragons. The dragons were painted in different colors and fly swiftly upward.

The clearance among the dragons was filled with stones and float grasses. The bottom of the wall carved 41 groups of pictures of two dragons playing with the pearl. The waist of the wall was compounded with 75 pieces of relieves made up of coloured glaze brick, collecting lifelike cattle, horse, sheep, dog, deer, rabbit and so on .

Tip:  Hassle-free Datong and Shanxi Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for organized tours to Datong and Shanxi Province:

Datong Tour
Datong Great Wall Tour
Datong Car Rental with Driver
Beijing Datong Tour
Xian Datong Tour

Pingyao Tour
Taiyuan Tour
Shanxi Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Datong
Top 10 Attractions in Datong
How to visit Datong in one Day
Where to stay in Datong
How to Get to Datong from Beijing
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Tourist Traps & Scams in Datong
Datong Taxi

Datong Yungang Grottoes
Hanging Monastery in Datong
Yingxian Wooden Tower
Datong Ancient City Wall
Nine-dragon Wall in Datong
Datong Huayan Temple
Shanhua Temple in Datong
Datong Drum Tower
Mt. Hengshan in Datong
Mount Wutai (Tips, Photos & Map)

Datong Great Wall
Datong Great Wall at Shoukoubu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Zhenbianbu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Zhenchuankou
Datong Great Wall at Deshengbu Fortress

Any questions, just drop a line.

Best time to visit Datong (Tips & Photos)

Thursday, January 20th, 2022
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Best time to visit Datong: April to October

Plan your Datong tour? Datong city is located in the Loess plateau, the terrain is complex and diverse, basically a temperate continental monsoon climate. It is very cold and blusterous in winter. So many travellers would go in spring, summer and fall from April to October.

Another striking feature here is the sharp temperature difference between day and night. It is best to bring an extra coat to resist the cold air in the morning and evening.

Sights in Datong for all seasons

People come here to see the ancient buildings, and the enchanting grottoes, so the weather of the changing seasons actually makes no significant difference.

If the cold weather is not a problem for you, or the winter season matches your time schedule, so why not come here in winter? There are some perks if you come in winter – less crowded, more discounts in transport, hotel and entrance fees.

Datong will have a lively Lantern Festival during the Spring Festival (Definitely in winter season). At this time, Datong will be decorated with lanterns, and a festive atmosphere.

Datong Tourist Seasons

High season: April, May, Sept and October
Shoulder season: June, July and August
Lower season: November to March next year

So April, May, Sept and Oct, the four months are considered as high tourist season and you’ll expect the crowds of domestic tourists flocking here from all parts of China. May and October are two highest tourist peaks due to the May Day (May 1-3 Public Holiday) and National Day (October 1-7). Comparatively April and September are less crowded.

June, July and August, the three months are classified as shoulder season. But in July and August, you’ll still expect huge crowds of holiday makers due to the summer vacation which generates much family travel.

The period November to March next year is regarded as the low tourist season. Cold and windy, But still some travellers come here to visit Datong for various reasons – time available, less crowds and descent discounts.

Four Seasons in Datong

Datong in Spring

Spring in Datong is cool, but with big difference in temperature. In spring the temperature of Datong rises up quickly and average temperature is 6°C to 9°C.

After suddenly getting warmer, it always turns cold again. The spring of Datong often flies with snow, but easy to thaw. Visitors can go to Mount Hengshan, one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism in Spring.

Datong in Summer

Summer in Datong is short, cool and comfortable. The average temperature is 19°C to 21.8°C in summer, much cool than other cities of China.

When summer comes, flowers bloom in a riot of color. Datong is a summer resort. Visitors are advised to go to Cailiang Mountain to enjoy the cool weather in summer. Summer is the rainy season of Datong, please take an umbrella with you whenever you go out.

Datong in Autumn

The temperature drops suddenly when entering the autumn, Datong always has blue sky and let you feel a little bit cold in the fall. Visitors are advised to go to visit Yungang Caves in this season.

Datong in Winter

The winter of Datong is a little longer than other seasons, lasting four months. The average temperature is 7 to 12 degrees below zero, and it is often has northwest winds.

In winter, there is little rain and there is much gale. All the mountains, houses and roads are covered with snow. Datong winter is terribly cold. For many travellers, winter is the worst time to visit Datong.

Tip:  Hassle-free Datong and Shanxi Guided Tours

If you don’t want to do a self-guided tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for organized tours to Datong and Shanxi Province:

Datong Tour
Datong Great Wall Tour
Datong Car Rental with Driver
Beijing Datong Tour
Xian Datong Tour

Pingyao Tour
Taiyuan Tour
Shanxi Tour

Further Readings


Best Time to Visit Datong
Top 10 Attractions in Datong
How to visit Datong in one Day
Where to stay in Datong
How to Get to Datong from Beijing
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Tourist Traps & Scams in Datong
Datong Taxi

Datong Yungang Grottoes
Hanging Monastery in Datong
Yingxian Wooden Tower
Datong Ancient City Wall
Nine-dragon Wall in Datong
Datong Huayan Temple
Shanhua Temple in Datong
Datong Drum Tower
Mt. Hengshan in Datong
Mount Wutai (Tips, Photos & Map)

Datong Great Wall
Datong Great Wall at Shoukoubu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Zhenbianbu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Zhenchuankou
Datong Great Wall at Deshengbu Fortress

Any questions, just drop a line.



Datong Great Wall (Tips, Photos & Map)

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
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Have you ever had a bold idea of planning your Datong Great Wall Tour? If you have seen the images of the Great Wall near Beijing, you may believe the Great Wall of China is mainly made of majestic bricks and stones.

Not all the stretches of the Great Wall made of bricks

No, much of the Great Wall we see today were built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which is made of not stone but tamped earth! For the 6700 km Ming Dynasty Great Wall, only over 1000 km section of the Wall is stone.

The Great Wall we see today mainly refers to the Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a massive wall construction era. The Ming Dynasty Government established so-called Nine Frontier Important Towns which were in charge of the whole over 6000 km chunk of the Great Wall from Shanhaiguan Pass to Jiayuguan Pass.

335km Datong Outer Great Wall made of tamped earth

The ancient Datong was one of the Nine Frontier Important Towns, maintaining the 335km Great Wall within Datong and defending against the Mongol raiders. 

Datong Great Wall is also known as “Outer Section of the Great Wall” snaking 335km along the border between today’s Shanxi Province and Inner Mongolia which was a border wall – the frontier between Mongolia and the Chinese heartland in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Datong Great Wall was an important part of the Wall’s central section from the Yellow River to the passes leading to Beijing, vital to the defence of both central China and Beijing. Actually the Great Wall near Datong here doubles and triples like a bit of DNA and Datong lies between two lines – Outer Great Wall and Inner Great Wall.

Along the 335km Datong Outer Great Wall, you still can see much of the remnants of the ramparts, dilapidated forts, crumbling and overgrown; some sections vanish into gaps of roads, quarries, and reservoirs; some give away to camel’s humps or saw-teeth blasted by wind and washed by rain; sometimes no more than a gentle bank a meter or two in height and sometimes nothing at all.

Virtual Tour of Datong Great Wall

Recently, escorted by a local Datong tour guide – Mr.Tao, we had a 3-day hike along the fragmented Datong Great Wall. Now I’d like to give you a general picture with broad strokes of the ancient Great Wall north of Datong. Come to Datong to find its charm and take in fresh air!

Our Datong Great Wall Hike Map

The early morning 45-minute flight from Beijing Capital Airport brings me safely to Datong Yungang Airport. Met by my escort – Mr. Tao and driven directly to Datong’s city center.

On the way, I’m briefed on the great change that has been taken place in Datong, which has been transformed from a polluted base for coal production into a booming city. Now, roads are expanded or reconstructed, new residential apartments popped up, pretty bridges built and even the ancient city wall in Datong has been totally restored! Don’t hesitate to start your Datong Tour Now!

After a simple street food breakfast and a short break, Mr. Tao gives me a general introduction to the Wall near Datong and the travel plan for the 3-day Datong Great Wall trip. The 3-day Great Wall trip without much prearranged logistic supply is a touch work-out for me. A big lunch is arranged to prepare for the harsh days ahead.

Deshengbu Fortress (得胜堡)

Geared with water, food and sleeping bags, at 2:00 pm we start our 3-day trip from Datong’s city center. One hour’s drive takes us to our first destination – Deshengbu Fortress, 45km to the northwest of Datong. We plan to go from Deshengbu Fortress further to the east direction along the Wall either by walk, or hitchhike if necessary, an impromptu trip.

It is recorded that along the 335km Datong Outer Great Wall there used to be 52 fortress and Deshengbu was one of the ancient walled, garrison towns that are the epitome of north China.

Deshengbu Fort was built on the south of the important pass linking Datong to Inner Mongolia, a strategically important passage.

The north entrance to Deshengbu Fortress.
The north entrance to Deshengbu Fortress.

Standing on the top of  the north gate, I have a panoramic view of the village within the compound of the fort circled by the remnants of the ramparts.

A panoramic view of the village within compound of the fort
A panoramic view of the village within compound of the fort

It is a  laid back village with its medieval streets and stone-walled compounds ( some bricks from the walls of Deshengbu  Fortress).

A laid back village within Deshengbu Fort.
A laid back village within Deshengbu Fort.

Wander the dirt roads lined with stone and brick houses, old people idle and chat. To the north end you will see  an unrestored Ming-era gate.

A unrestored Ming-era gate.
An unrestored Ming-era gate

You may hike along the tamped earth wall north of Deshengbu Fort to the east direction for about 13 km and reach the next former garrison town – Hongcibu Fortress. Given 3 days for such a long wall hike ahead of us, to save time and energy we ask our driver to send us directly to Hongcibu Fortress and start our Datong Great Wall trip there.

Hongcibu Fortress (宏赐堡口)

Hongcibu Garrison Town was one of the most famous fortresses along Datong Great Wall. But now not much left for the remnants of the ramparts around the fort. Its south wall is nothing at all. The north archway gate is left with two earth high ramparts with the exterior bricks taken away by the local villagers for building houses.

 The north archway gate is seriously damaged.
The north archway gate at Hongcibu is seriously damaged.

Hike from Hongcibu Fort to Zhenchuanbu Fort (镇川堡)

We start from our hike from the wall north of Hongcibu Fort. Within the 3 hours before dark, it is almost impossible to cover the hike along the 15km tamped earth wall from Hongcibu to Zhenchuankou Great Wall 2.5km north of Zhenchuanbu Fortress.

We need to cross over a steep mountain known as Fangshan (Square Mountain). My escort – Mr.Tao suggests a short cut hiking route leading up to the steep hill. Later it shows this section is most tiring and tough for two of us trudging up the hill with heavy bags filled with food,water and sleeping bags and more.

We plunge on uphill through bushes and saplings and walk along  the tamped earth section of the Great Wall.

We plunge on uphill through bushes and saplings.
We plunge on uphill through bushes and saplings.

Scrambling up the overgrown and even crumbling  earth Great Wall perched on the steep slopes of Fangshan Mountain.

To catch up with the time left before dark, Mr. Tao chooses a short cut away from the Great Wall for a faster  ascent up to the summit. The short cut does reduce our hiking distance, but doesn’t save our energy, a tiring and tough climb!

A tiring and tough climb
A tiring and tough climb

Reaching the summit, we see the sun is setting, blanketing the top  and wall in golden rays. The dilapidated beacon-tower still stands on the summit blasted by wind and washed by rain.

. The dilapidated beacon-tower still stands on the summit blasted by wind and rain.
The dilapidated beacon-tower still stands on the summit blasted by wind and rain.

The rigorous climb awards us with the amazing view of the plateau on the summit with the beautiful sunset. We are walking along the tamped earth Great Wall perched on the plateau with the backdrop of sunset glow.

The rigorous climb awards us with the amazing view.
The rigorous climb awards us with the amazing view on the summit.

Walking on the wild section of the earth Great Wall on the flat summit, communicating in heart  with the soldiers who eked out their lives for the safety of the country over 500 years ago.

Walking on the wild section of the earth Great Wall on the flat summit
Walking on the wild section of the earth Great Wall on the flat summit

It is getting dark and the Great Wall hike after nightfall is risky. So we decide to stop walking along the Wall and hike down the hill. Before we reach a courtyard home in the village down the hill, it has been already dark outside. We knock at the door. It is a cave house with  a spacious courtyard.

The host Mr. Li is very friendly. He agrees to let us  put up for the night  in his cave house. And he even invites us to have dinner with them ( including his son and his son’s wife).

Having dinner with Li's family.
Having dinner with Li’s family.

Spreading the sleeping bags on the kang- a stone bed with a stove both for cooking and warming in the house. Soon we both fall asleep.  With much hiking ahead, we have to get up early. At this moment, we have the chance to see the 4-hole cave house.

The earth houses common in the Loess Plateau in Henan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Qinghai. Cave houses are generally carved out of a hillside, a vertical side of a loess hill, warm in winter and cool in summer.

Li's Cave House
Li’s Cave House

Seeing we have so much to carry on the tough Great Wall hike, Mr. Li is ready to give us a hitchhike using his tractor and brings us to the starting point of Zhenchuankou Great Wall about 2.5km north of his village.

Hitchhike Li's tractor
Hitchhike Li’s tractor

Hike from Zhenchuankou to Zhenbianbu Fortress (镇边堡)

Getting off the tractor, we start our hike at Zhenchuankou Great Wall towards Zhenbian Fortress (镇川堡). The earth rammed wall at Zhenbiankou is hard and firm and are still well kept despite of the wind and rain for the past over 500 years.  The wall mostly made of earth tamped  down between planks in layers one on top of the other.

The wall mostly made of earth tamped down
The wall mostly made of earth tamped down

Guide-towers and beacon-towers are dotted on the wall or by the wall. Blasted by wind and washed by rain, some sections  are just camel’s humps or low banks, or nothing at all.

Guide-towers and beacon-towers are dotted on the wall or by the wall.
Guide-towers and beacon-towers are dotted on the wall or by the wall.

Hike along  the rugged wall ridge with bushes and saplings. Unlike the wall near Beijing built on the summit of the high mountains, most of the earth wall here built on the flat plain or at the base of the mountain with much vulnerability to the raids from the nomads. On the both sides of the wall are fields planted with corns,sorghum and potatoes.

Hike along the rugged wall ridge with bushes and saplings.
Hike along the rugged wall ridge with bushes and saplings.

It is an autumn harvest time and the farmers are busy collecting corns on the fields.

It is an autumn harvest time
It is an autumn harvest time

We continue to walk  on the wild wall top overlooking the farmlands on both sides of the wall below, feeling the silence and tranquility of the yellow dragon snaking extending east and north.

Continue to walk on the wild wall top
Continue to walk on the wild wall top

We reach the next village known as Zhenchuankou Village with over 50 households. In Ming Dynasty was also a small castle for military defense. Now the village looks rundown, dusty and scrubby.  Young people have almost all left the village for migrating to the cities for work. We don’t know how long the village will keep on with old people taking caring of the fields and themselves.

We reach the next village known as Heizuishan Village
We reach the next village known as Heizuishan Village

The local villagers are warm and friendly, worried that we are unable to walk to our next destination – Zhenbianbu  Fortress, still over 10 km away. Seeing we carry so much backpack, they persuade a passing by SUV to give us a hitchhike to Zhenbianbu Fort.

Zhenbianbu Fortress (镇边堡)

Arriving at Zhenbianbu Fortress, we are amazed at the ancient walled garrison town that is still populated by the local village. The fortress was built in 1539.

People live in the stone and brick houses. The scene would have a timeless quality except for a few electricity poles and motorbikes. Year after year people live the same farm life.

Zhenbianbu Fortress
Zhenbianbu Fortress

The ancient gate is dilapidated, showing us its past pride.  The stone and brick gate is under the protection of the local government.

We see some construction is going on and learn that the local government plans to turn Zhenbianbu Fortress into a tourist attraction. So come here early before it is too touristy.

The ancient gate is dilapidated
The ancient gate is dilapidated

After one hour’s visit in Zhenbianbu Fortress, we again hitchhike a van taking us from Zhenbanbu Fortress to Shoukounu Fortress, a 20km drive.  Accompanied by the winding yellow earth Great Wall, it is scenic drive. The wall extends to the east till Beijing.

Accompanied by the winding yellow earth Great Wall, it is scenic drive.
Accompanied by the winding yellow earth Great Wall, it is scenic drive.

Shoukoubu Fortress (守口堡)

We get to Shoukoubu Fort in the late afternoon. “Shoukoubu” literally means “Defending the Ravine Fort”.  Here there is a valley or ravine in the mountain easy for an access by the nomad warlords in Ming Dynasty, hence the fort built in 1546 with bricks and stones for military defence purpose.  The valley or the pass divides the wall here into the east section and west section.

Parts of the ramparts around the fort are still visible. The Shoukoubu Village is within the former castle. Losing no time, we walk to the east side to have better pictures of the Wall in the sunset glow.

the Wall in the sunset glow
the Wall in the sunset glow

The crumbling Great Wall snakes down the steep mountain under the setting sun with a backdrop of colorful autumn leaves.

The Shoukoubu Fortress or the local village is perched on the valley with high mountains surrounded in  three sides.  We have to give up the idea of taking sunset or sunrise pictures due to the high mountains blocking the sun and walk to the village in the castle for staying overnight.  

The fortress or the village now is located on the west side of the valley with the west section of the wall and high beacon towers looming over it.

Shoukoubu Village

Next morning, I climb up the west section of the Wall on the steep hillside. The rammed wall feels hard and firm, going up along the rugged mountain. Eroded by the rain and blasted by rain, the wall appears like undulating saw-teeth perched on the steep slope.

The west section of the Wall on the steep hillside

Standing on the west side of the valley with the section of the hard yellow earth wall running down to the bottom of the valley, have a panorama of the Shoukoubu fortress ( or the village), the wall broken at the mouth of the valley and the east section of the Wall, better understanding the name of the fortress – Shoukoubu ( Defending the valley Castle ).

Wall on the both sides of the valley

Looking at the east direction, I’m amazed by the autumn view of the Wall and colorful apricot trees. The guide-towers and beacon-towers are scattered around the mountain in the east side in a far distant mist with the backdrop of the autumn apricot trees and the courtyards in the village.

The autumn view of the Wall and colorful apricot trees

Here you can find some round beacon towers perched on the west slopes of the mountain rarely seen in Beijing.

Some round beacon towers

Tip:  Hassle-free Datong Guided Tours

Datong Tour
Datong Great Wall Tour
Datong Car Rental with Driver
Beijing Datong Tour
Xian Datong Tour

Pingyao Tour
Taiyuan Tour
Shanxi Tour

Further Readings

Datong Great Wall (Tips, Photos & Map)
Datong Great Wall at Deshengbu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Zhenchuankou
Datong Great Wall at Zhenbianbu Fortress
Datong Great Wall at Shoukoubu Fortress

Best Time to Visit Datong
Top 10 Attractions in Datong
How to visit Datong in one Day
Where to stay in Datong
How to Get to Datong from Beijing
Datong Xian High Speed Train
Tourist Traps & Scams in Datong
Datong Taxi

Datong Yungang Grottoes
Hanging Monastery in Datong
Yingxian Wooden Tower
Datong Ancient City Wall
Nine-dragon Wall in Datong
Datong Huayan Temple
Shanhua Temple in Datong
Datong Drum Tower
Mt. Hengshan in Datong
Mount Wutai (Tips, Photos & Map)

Any questions, just drop a line.