Datong Travel Guide

Datong City, located in the north of Shanxi Province about 240 kilometers due west of Beijing and some 20 kilometers south of the Great Wall, which follows, roughly, the border between present-day Shanxi Province and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, is one of the famous historic and cultural cities of China. In ancient times, Datong was a military stronghold whose mission was to hold back the hordes that frequently pushed south into China proper, from Mongolia. Indeed, this was the very raison d'être of the Great Wall. Today, however, Datong, alongside its tourism-oriented role as an important Chinese historical venue, provides one of the country's primary sources of energy, as significant coal deposits have been found here, giving Datong the somewhat dubious title of China's "coal capital".

But the city of Datong is of course more than just a burgeoning industrial zone, it boasts a unique landscape and is the venue of some of China's most valued historical treasures, such as: Yungang Grottoes (see the link to Yungang Grottoes here); Hengshan Mountain, one of the five sacred mountains in Taoism/ Daoism; the Nine-Dragon Screen Wall, the largest dragon screen wall in China; the Hanging Temple, a Buddhist temple complex built into a cliff face that is both a thing of beauty and a marvel of engineering; the Wooden Pagoda of Fogong Temple, the oldest and tallest wooden pagoda in China; Shanhua Temple, whose buildings and statues date back to the Liao (CE 916-1125) and Jin (CE 1115-1234) Dynasties; Daxiong Palace, one of the largest ancient Buddhist shrines in China, and Bojia Palace, whose statues also date back to the Liao Dynasty, both of which palaces belong to the Huayan Temple complex, as does Tiangong Pavilion, making Datong City rich in cultural heritage.

In addition to these cultural highlights, Datong City has a past that is also linked to the overland Silk Road route (to distinguish it from the later "Silk Road" sea route). The city was founded around BCE 200 during the Han (BCE 206 – CE 220) Dynasty under the name Pingcheng. Pingcheng was a stopping-off point for camel caravans heading west along the Silk Road route.

Datong Restaurants

Questions and Answers About Datong Travel Guide

Teng Sen 2013-04-26
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Hi, I am travelling to Datong/Wutaishan/Pingyao and then Xian. Can someone advise how I can get to the various places (either public transport or private car).
Hi Teng Sen, It is about 3 hours drive from Datong to Wutaishan, Wutaishan to Pingyao. For a convenient tour, a private transfer between each is suggested. From Pingyao to Xian, we always suggest over night train travel. When would you want to take this tour? How many people will be in your group? I would like to tailor a Datong, Wutaishan, Pingyao and Xian tour for you. You could take this tour package http://www.chinahighlights.com/tour/cht-ob-02/ for reference. If anything, just let us know. Regards, Coco guest replied on 2013-04-26
Chris similon 2012-09-12
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Hi ,my name is Chris,iwant to hire a taxi in Datong on october 12 .for a one day trip,covring hanging monastry&the yungang grotoes.Anyone can advise us how much tis will cost.We are 2 pers ariving on the airport am 8 h 20 on october 12Thanks Chris
Hello Chris, it is about 80 km from Datong to Hanging Temple, so it should be US$150 to US$200 to rent a taxi to the places you want to see. guest replied on 2012-09-12
sebbytan 2011-05-01
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One Day Trip in Datong...I want to hire a taxi to cover hanging Temple, Yungang Grottos and Yingxian Wooden Pagoda for one day trip in December. anyone can advise how much it will cost and what time will be the train ticket counter open as I will arrive Datong at 0435am, so that I can leave Datong in the evening...
Sebbytan, Usually the railway station will start the sale at 6am. If the train tickets are round way (e.g. Beijing-Datong-Beijing), you may try to buy them both at Beijing railway station. For your plan one day Datong tour, it will a 230km (4-5 hours), taxi may ask from CNY600. Considering the regular opening period for scenic spots (9am-5pm), it might be probelm to finsih all during the day time. Good luck! Karen Karen Yang replied on 2011-05-04
Thanks Karen... I will be traveling from Pingyao to Datong ... so can't get the round trip back to BJ... BTW do you company in Datong has a day trip in Datong and how much it cost per person ... thanks sebbytan replied on 2011-05-06
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