Datong Facts

Name: Datong (大同; Dàtóng (/da-tong/))
Meaning: "great alike and together:" an idealized society in Confucian philosophy
Previous names: Pingcheng
Most popular food: millet cakes, Guangling dry tofu, stinky tofu


  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Yungang Grottoes
  • Abundant in historical sites
  • Now it is an industrial and coal mining city.
  • Transportation crossroads between Beijing and the coast and the north and west

Main Attractions


It was and still is a crossroads between Beijing and the coast and the west and north, and now it is a big coal mining city.

  • ~200 BC A town called Pingcheng was founded there after a battle between the Han Empire and the Xiongnu.
  • 398 AD It became a capital city of the Northern Wei Dynasty.
  • 460 Construction started on the Yungang Grottoes.
  • 1048 The city was named Datong.
  • 1277 It is recorded that Marco Polo visited Datong under the Yuan Dynasty and praised its weapons manufacturing industry and the Yungang Grottoes.


  • Significance of city: one of China's largest coal mines is in the vicinity. The city has abundant historical sites.
  • Nearby cities: Taiyuan (280 km/174 mi), Beijing (165 km/264 mi), Hohhot (152 km/94 mi)
  • Municipality terrain: The city borders Inner Mongolia and is on a high basin with mountains on three sides.
  • Average altitude: 1,042 meters (3,419 feet)
  • Main rivers: Yu River

Location Information

  • Municipality location: 40.07N, 113.30E, northern China.
  • Municipality Population: 3,300,000
  • Municipality Area: 14,176 sq km (5,473 sq mi)
  • Metro area: 1,074 sq km (414 sq mi)
  • Metro population: 1,447,000
  • Metro population density: 1,347/sq km (3,490/sq mi)
  • North to south distance of main urban area: 13.5 km (8.5 mi)
  • East to west distance of main urban area: 13 km (8 mi)


  • Average high temperature in July: 28.2 degrees Celsius (82.8 °F)
  • Average low temperature in January: -16.6 degrees Celsius (2.1 °F)
  • Continental dry climate with four seasons; annual precipitation: 1,120 mm (44 in)

Known for cold dry winters, much sunshine, and smog.


  • Average annual income: (2008) 17,852 RMB (2,570 USD)
  • Development: developing; the city is a major producer of coal and has related industries such as chemical and metallurgical industries. It was a major stream locomotive producer until the 1970s and now produces regular electric locomotives.
  • Industry: 47.2% tertiary industry (services), 47.7% secondary (mining, manufacturing), 5.1% primary (agriculture)
  • CBD: 40.07N, 113.29E in Xinwangshang District
  • Shopping Streets: Daxi Street


  • Datong Airport served about 6.3 million passengers in 2010.
  • 3 expressways intersect there
  • 1 encircling ring expressway

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Hi, I'm Candice Song
I updated this article on December 16, 2012
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