Home China Guide Datong Attractions Mt. Heng (Hengshan )

Mt. Heng (Hengshan ) — a Sacred Taoist Mountain

Datong’s Mount Heng is in Shanxi Province,62 km from Datong City.Hengshan is the northernmost of the Five Sacred Taoist Mountains in China. It has historically been a sacred place for Taoism and a venue for Taoist activities.The highest peak reaches an altitude of 2,017 meters (6,617 feet).

Mt Heng(Hengshan)Mt Heng(Hengshan)

Hengshan is a moderate and rewarding hike.

Mt. Heng offers some spectacularly beautiful scenery. For example:soaring mountain peaks, undulating curves of the mountain ridges, precipitous cliffs, interesting caves, and nice views of its surroundings.

The hike is smooth and quick with steps. It's a 90-minute walk to reach the top.

Major Attractions of Mt. Heng

The Hanging Monastery

The Hanging Monastery is regarded as "the first view of Hengshan" meaning the finest view. It was built 1,500 years ago and is regarded as one of the most amazing temples in China. The proverb "the Hanging Monastery is just like three horse tails in mid-air" best describes the overall image of the temple.

Mt. Heng (Hengshan )

North PeakTemple

Beiyue Temple (a.k.a. Shrine of the Northern Peak) is Hengshan's only Taoist temple. It is situated on its West Peak, concealing itself in true, humble Taoist fashion, among dense pines.

The Sweet and Bitter Wells

The Sweet and Bitter Wells are located halfway up Mt. Heng. They are the most fantastic natural wonder of Hengshan.Although found together, the water of one well is "sweet" (tastes cool and refreshing), but the other is "bitter" (has a decidedly unpleasant after taste).

Another oddity is that, although the Sweet Well is only a few feet deep, its water is inexhaustible.

Chinese Red Pines

cable carcable car

Many of the evergreen trees —mainly the Chinese Red Pine — on Mt. Heng have craggy, grotesque shapes. Four of the most exquisite old specimens of Chinese Red Pine on Hengshan stand straight and tall ("proudly and elegantly" some would say), their roots visible like claws gripping the rocky mountainside.

Planning Your Visit

  • Best time to visit: April to November
  • Location: 62 km (39 mi)southeast of Datong City(10 minutes' drive from the Hanging Monastery)
  • How to get to the top: by a cable car or by hiking
  • Essential items: good shoes for hiking
  • Recommended visiting time:6–8 hours

Since it is a long drive from Datong City to Hengshan, we can offer private transport and an experienced tour guide for you to get the most from your trip. Our 4-Day Essence of Datong and Pingyao Tour itinerary can be customized to include a hike up Mount.

Hanging Monastery

Recommended Datong Tours:

Further Reading about Hiking in China

If you are a hiking lover,4 Days Trekking in the Yellow Mountains or Wilder Great Wall Hiking Tours would be a great choice. For a tailor-made hiking/China tour, please feel free to tell us your interests and requirements. To guide your way, an experienced private hiking guide can be very useful.