Datong Travel Guide
大同Datong is famous for two things: its coal mines and its magnificent historical relics. It is a center of economic importance due to its abundance of coal and its modern industrialization. The city was the capital of the Northern Wei and Jurchen Jin dynasties, revealing its long history of strategic importance.
This long history has blessed the city with some great attractions, the principle being the Hanging Monastery. Located at the base of Mount Heng, the monastery is a remarkable feat of engineering, perched 50 meters above the ground on a sheer cliff face. Bridges and boardwalks link the six main halls of the monastery, allowing visitors to soak up the view from high up the cliff face. The monastery is also unique in that it combines three of China’s great scholarly and philosophical traditions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
Not far from the Hanging Monastery (65 kilometers south of Datong city main) is Yingxian Wooden Pagoda. Built by the Khitan Liao Dynasty in 1056, the pagoda is famed for surviving numerous earthquakes and a barrage of bullets from Japanese invaders in World War II, making it the oldest surviving fully wooden pagoda in China.
The Yungang Grottoes, one of China’s famous Buddhist cave complexes, is described by UNESCO as a "masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art... [representative of] the successful fusion of Buddhist religious symbolic art from south and central Asia with Chinese cultural traditions, starting in the 5th century CE under Imperial auspices." Situated to the west of Datong, the complex stretches over 1 kilometer and consists of hundreds of remarkable sculptures and paintings.
Datong has many more temples, walls and a museum that all warrant a visit. The city tells a story of long-lasting multiculturalism with its southeast Asian Buddhist influences, Khitan, Jurchen and Mongolian occupancy, and of course, Chinese Han culture.
This tour will take you to Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai, otherwise known as China’s Golden Triangle! And of course, you will also board a cruise ship that will take you all the way along the Yangtze River. Your Beijing adventure will feature must-see sights like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, as well as excursions around the city streets to see what day-to-day life is like...
Beijing → Xi'an → Chongqing → Yangtze River Cruises → Yichang → Shanghai
4 days • CNY 2,000
So, you want to see Beijing, but only have a few days to spare; we have the perfect tour for you! We will whisk you off to all of the capital’s must-see sights as well as a few lesser-known spots, to give you the full Beijing experience. Of course, you can’t come to China without seeing the Great Wall. However, if you don’t feel like the climb, we include cable car tickets up and a...
2 days • CNY 1,060
Two days in the Chinese capital may not seem like very long, but it’s just enough to tick off a few of Beijing’s must-see sights. Let your imagination run wild in the Forbidden City, holiday like an emperor at the Summer Palace, and whizz down the side of the Great Wall in a toboggan. Make the very most of your short stay in Beijing by tucking into real Chinese cuisine, in a restaurant...
1 day • CNY 690
This tour takes you to three historically important sights outside Beijing's bustling city center. Mutianyu is a section of the Great Wall known for its fabulous views and the toboggan that you can take down the mountainside! We will make two stops at the Ming Tombs; the first is the underground tomb of the Wanli Emperor (the only Ming tomb to have been excavated,) and the other is...
1 day • CNY 800
This day trip will take you from the celebrated Terracotta Warriors to the lesser-known Banpo Ancient Town, with some beautiful sights in between. What makes this tour special: The Terracotta Warriors are widely regarded as the most significant archaeological find of the 20th Century, and for good reason. The fully excavated Banpo Ancient Village also draws in archaeologists from...
If you want to see a more remote and authentic part of the Longsheng Rice Terraces, then a visit to Tiantouzhai Village is a great choice. The (uphill) walk takes 45 minutes to an hour and there is beautiful rice paddy scenery all along the way. You will stay overnight in a small inn and wake up to see the remarkable sunrise. What makes this tour special: Tiantouzhai is quiet and clean,...
Guilin → Longsheng Rice Terraces → Guilin
When most people hear the words ‘Beijing art scene’, they imagine ancient architecture, Chinese calligraphy and ink paintings; but there is so much more going on than that. Beijing is home to over 10 art districts, each full to the brim with incredible contemporary art. We will take you to one of Beijing’s most celebrated art districts, known simply as 798. The galleries and...
Pamper yourself with this Great Wall and hot spring tour. Not far from Beijing, Mutianyu is one of the most easily accessible sections of the Wall that is not overrun with tourists. Spend a morning marveling at the vistas of the Wall followed by an authentic Chinese meal, complete with the local specialty – freshly caught fish. The elegant Chunhuiyuan Hot Spring Resort offers an all-out...
2 days • CNY 980
This activity-filled tour is a great way to sample the rich culinary and cultural heritage of Sichuan in its boisterous capital, Chengdu. Activities include a Sichuan cuisine cooking class, visiting a traditional Chengdu teahouse, tasting the tongue-numbing Sichuan hotpot, witnessing the ancient art of face-changing, and sampling the many flavors available at one of the city's most famous...
For a great little taste of Guizhou, the Sanjiang cluster of Dong villages is ideal for those looking for a taste of minority life in China. The incredible wooden bridges and drum towers of the villages set in the idyllic rolling hills of northern Guangxi makes for a wonderful day trip. Sanjiang can be accessed by 1.5 hour drive from Longsheng or 3.5 hour drive from Guilin. If traveling from...