Archive for the ‘Datong Travel’ Category

When is the best time to visit Datong?

Sunday, November 12th, 2017
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Are you planning your Datong tour? Datong, in Shanxi Province, is about 300 kilometres west from Beijing. It is one of the 24 historical and cultural cities in China. The famous Yungang Caves and Mount Heng are in Datong City.

Datong has a warm continental monsoon climate with four distinct seasons. There is difference in temperature during day and night in Datong. April to October is regarded as the best time to visit Datong. Coming from different places, people have their own favorite time or seasons to plan Datong Tours.

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

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. Winter is the worst time to visit Datong.

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.

Shoukoubu Fortress

Monday, October 27th, 2014
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Shoukoubu Fortress was once one of an essential fort along the Ming-era Datong Great Wall.  “Shoukoubu” literally means “Defending the Ravine Fort”.  Here there is a valley or ravine in the mountain, a mountainous corridor connecting the Inner Mongolia and Datong ( Shanxi). The ravine was an vulnerable area easy for an access by the nomad warlords in Ming Dynasty, hence the fort built in 1546 with tamed earth and later with bricks and stones in 1572.  The valley or the pass divides the wall here into the east section and west section.

A stream is winding through the ravine from north to south and the fort is located just on the west of the stream. Today the same name village – Shoukoubu Village is within the dilapidated castle. Parts of the ramparts around the fort are still visible.

The whole fortress or the local village is perched on the west valley surrounded by mountains almost  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.

On 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.

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 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 ).

Looking at the east direction, you will see 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.

Here you can find some round beacon towers perched on the west slopes of the mountain rarely seen in Beijing.
Shoukoubu Village is perched  the west side of the stream in the valley.

Shoukoubu Village is perched  the west side of the stream in the valley.

Shoukoubu Village is perched the west side of the stream in the valley.

Small bits of the original ramparts can still be seen in the northeast corner of the village.

Small bits of the original ramparts

Small bits of the original ramparts

The east and west sections of the Wall guided the ravine or the valley, an easy access linking the Inner Mongolia in the north and Datong in  the south.  By the south of the wall is the former old Shoukoubu Fortress.

The east and west sections of the Wall guided the ravine or the valley

The east and west sections of the rammed earth Wall guided the ravine or the valley

If you stand on the high hillside of the west of the valley, you can have a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

a clear picture of the village and the east section of the earth wall.

The west section of the earth wall winds steeply down to the valley from the hill.

The west section of the earth wall

The west section of the earth wall

 

The round beacon towers seldom seen in Beijing are quite popular along the earth wall in Datong. You see the two high round earth beacon towers atop the hills looming over the castle and village.

The round beacon towers

The round beacon towers

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wall.

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wal

The beautiful autumn view of the east section of the earth Great Wall

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill near the east section of the earth wall.

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill

A lonely beacon tower stands on the hill

A  broken rampart with the autumn hues

A  broken rampart with the autumn hues

A broken rampart with the autumn hues

Any questions, just drop a line.

Zhenbianbu Fortress

Sunday, October 26th, 2014
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Zhenbianbu Fortress was one of the five most important forts along Datong Outer Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty ( 1368-1644). The fort was originally built with earth walls in 1539 during the reign of Jiajing Emperor in Ming Dynasty. In 1583 the earth walls surrounding Zhenbianbu Fortress was reconstructed with bricks and stones.

The walled garrison city is  rectangle in shape, 312 meters long from north to south and 312 meters wide from east to west with a perimeter of 1054 meters. The wall is generally 5 meters high and 3.3 meters wide on the wall top.

The exterior bricks and stones on the city wall have almost been taken away by the local villagers for building their houses. Today the same name village – Zhenbian Village is located inside the fort.  There are over 3 hundred  households with over 1000 villages.

The north city wall of the fort is now better preserved than other three sides. Many of the walls have collapsed or vanished. Recently the local tourism administration has invested in the restoration of the old fortress, attracting tourists to come here in a hope for developing the village economy and upgrading the life quality her. So it is better to visit here at an early date before the old for become too touristy.

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The east city wall of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

The wall at the northeast corner of Zhenbianbu Fortress

Standing on the east city wall and taking a picture of the village area along inside and outside the Wall

Standing on the east city wall

Standing on the east city wall

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

The dilapidated east gate coated with bricks and stones.

Autumn is the harvest time. We see the local villagers are busy doing their far word, threshing millet,corns and more.  The couple are threshing millet.

 The couple are threshing millet.

The couple are threshing millet.

One village’s family house

One village's house

One village’s house

Chatting with the local villagers

Chatting with the local villagers

Chatting with the local villagers

Threshing millet

Threshing millet

Threshing millet

Any question, just drop a line.