Archive for the ‘Shanxi Travel’ Category

Best time to visit Datong (Tips & Photos)

Wednesday, February 9th, 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.



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.

Datong Taxi: Datong Taxi Fares, Tips and Phone

Thursday, January 6th, 2022
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Plan your Datong tour? Taking a taxi going around Datong is a good way to visit the sights in Datong. There are more than 6,000 taxis now running in the streets of Datong City and suburbs. Basically, it is quite easy for you to hail a taxi on the streets in Datong.

Taxis running on the streets in Datong

If you want to rent car with driver traveling around Datong, please check out the link: Datong Car Rental.

Taxi Models in Datong

The types of taxi in Datong are Rio, Xiali, Lingyang, Jetta, Fukang, Santan and Qirui in Datong.

Datong Taxi Fares

Datong taxi flag drop charge: 7 yuan ( within 3 km);
1.6 yuan/km beyond the 3 km;
2.1 yuan/km ( at night ), and the night time is divided into summer (May 1st – September 30th) 22:00-6:00 the next day, winter (October 1st – April 30th the next year) 21:00-6:00.

Taxi calls in Datong

Taxi call: 95128

Datong Jiulong Taxi Company  Tel:0352-5025588
Datong Leifeng Motorcade     Tel: 0352-8885638
Datong Yungang Taxi Company  Tel: 0352-2052642
Datong Jiulong Taxi Company  Tel: 0352-5033888

Hailing Datong City Taxi

The best places to hail a taxi is near the Station, Scenic Spots, Hotel.
It is very easy to hail a taxi on the streets. People prefer to hail a taxi near a bus stop instead of those taxi stands.

Datong Taxi rider’s rights

As a taxi rider, you have the rights below:
Direct drive to your destination and no compulsory car pooling
Go to any destination in and beyond Datong
Your car driver knows the streets in Datong and the way to major destinations in Datong. Your driver should know and abide by all traffic laws;
Air-conditioning on demand;
A radio-free trip;
No Smoking
A clean passenger seat area;
A clean trunk
A driver uses the horn only when necessary to warn of danger;
No Tipping

Datong Taxi Stands

There are no particular taxi stands in Datong. People just hail a taxi anywhere it is safe.

Datong Taxi Complaints

If you have any problem with a taxi in Datong, please contact the following: Datong Public Carriage Office
Tel: 0352-2022322;12345

Datong Taxi Useful Information

A maximum of four passengers a taxi;
•4 passenger limit.
•It is always more difficult to get a cab when it’s raining or during peak hours.
•If you want to call for a ride (rather than hail a cab) you will need to contact a taxi company in advance.

Estimated taxi fares for the often used taxi service

Datong – Wutaishan (Taihuai Town): Approx. RMB 600 (330km)
Datong – Hanging Temple Approx. RMB 600
Datong Railway Station  – Downtown: Approx.RMB 15
Datong downtown – Yungang Grottos: Approx. RMB 50

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.