Posts Tagged ‘Datong old city wall’

Datong Ancient City Wall (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, February 12th, 2022
Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Plan your Datong tour? This is my third-time visit to Datong, which has completely changed my previous image 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) !

ABC of Datong Ancient City Wall

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.

How to get to Datong City Wall

Datong City Wall is located in the downtown area, or the city centre of Datong, 70% of tourists choose to stay and dine here.

There are the famous Huayan Temple, Datong Museum, Nine Dragon Wall and other scenic spots to visit within the city wall. The bustling Drum Tower Street is also located here, where you can taste the specialty food of Datong. This area’s catering, shopping, entertainment and other facilities are more developed.

Datong Ancient City ( Yellow Square Line)

Getting here is a breeze, walking from your hotel, or the other places you are visiting in the area. Public buses shuttle to the four gates to the city wall:

South City Wall (Yongtaimen) : Take Bus No. 35 to Jiaochang Jiekou Station or Yongtaimen Station

East City Wall (Heyangmen) : Take Bus No.38, 27, 59 and get off at the south of Heyangmen

North City Wall (Wudingmen) : Take Bus No.35 and get off at Wudingmen Station

West City Wall (Qingyuan Gate) : Take No. 2, 4, 11, 15, 18, 26, 601, 603 and get off at Qingyuan Jiekou Station, Weidu Avenue.

Entrance and Opening Hours

The entrance fee is free of charge

Spring and autumn: 6:00 am — 12am

Summer season: 5:00am -2:00 a.m

Winter season: 7:00a m – 10:00pm

Open area: Datong ancient City wall (including moat and belt park around city wall).

Virtual Tour of Datong Ancient City

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 very much amazed by the ambitious Datong Ancient City Wall restoration plan.

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.

The high city wall with watch towers on the top

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

A two-storey watch tower atop 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.

Transportation at the southern gate to Datong City Wall

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.

Two large pools connecting the city moat on the both sides of the main South Gate

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

Come here for a stroll,  looking for the charm and local life.

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.

Walking up to the city wall 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

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 city wall is just magnificent

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 of the ancient city layout of Datong

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

The famous Shanhua Temple,

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


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.