Pingyao and Datong are Shanxi Province's two star tourist destinations both with lots of cultural wonders to explore. It is a classic route to travel Pingyao and Datong together. In Pingyao, you have an opportunity to get a glimpse of the traditional dwellings and life of ancient people in Pingyao Ancient City. After that, it's a good idea to travel to Datong where you can be amazed to the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Cultural Heritage - Yungang Grottoes, famous Buddhist Hanging Temple which is magically built into the side of a cliff, as well as other cultural sites in Datong city, like Huayan Temple, Shanhua Temple, Nine Dragon Screen, etc. You can click our best-selling Datong Pingyao Tour for more inspiration。
Pingyao is a county located in Jinzhong city, central Shanxi province, only about 100km away from Taiyuan - provincial capital of Shanxi. Pingyao Ancient City, the main attraction of Pingyao County, is usually referred as Pingyao by tourists. Datong is a city located in northern Shanxi, about 280km away from Taiyuan. The distance between Pingyao and Datong is around 380 kilometers (236 miles).
Traveling from Pingyao to Datong, you can choose to take a high speed train, a normal train or drive directly. Taking a high speed train is most frequently chosen because it takes less time and allows you to enjoy the moving scenery out of the window.
Pingyao to Datong Train Route Map
Currently, there are 3 high speed trains running from Pingyao Ancient City Railway Station (平遥古城站) to Datong South Railway Station (大同南站). The whole trip takes only about 3 ~ 3.5 hours. The trains also take stops in Taiyuan, Xinzhou and Yingxian County. There are also 2 normal trains operating from Pingyao Railway Station (平遥站) to Datong Railway Station (大同站), and the train journey takes 7 ~ 8 hours. If you have enough time and want a budget tour, it is available to choose a normal train.
√ 6 Days Essence of Shanxi Tour (Datong - Wutaishan - Taiyuan - Pingyao)
Note: Train information is subject to final confirmation due to the delay of data occasionally.
▶ Datong South Railway Station Transportation
If you take a high speed train to Datong from Pingyao, you will arrive in Datong South Railway Station, which is 8 kilometers (25 minutes’ drive) from city center. It is also convenient to take a public bus to the city.
Datong South Railway Station to Yungang Grottoes: If you want to travel from Datong South Railway Station to Yungang Grottoes (about 25 km away), it needs to drive about 40 minutes or take a 1 hour's public bus with one transfer.
Datong South Railway Station to Hanging Temple: For travelers who plan to visit Hanging Temple (about 65km away) upon arrival, it needs to drive about 1 hour and 20 minutes usually. If you want to public transportation, you can take a public bus to Datong Bus Station and then take a coach to Hainging Temple.
▶ Datong Railway Station Transportation
For passengers who take normal trains from Pingyao to Datong, you will get to Datong Railway Station which is just located about 10km (about 30 minutes' drive) away from the city center of Datong. So you easily take a public bus to the nearby attractions like Nine Dragon Screen, Huyan Temple, Shanhua Temple, etc.
Datong Railway Station to Yungang Grottoes: With a distance of 18 kilometers, it takes about 40 minutes to drive from Datong Railway Station to Yungang Grottoes. It is also available to take a public bus which needs about 1 hour and 20 minutes usually.
Datong Railway Station to Hanging Temple: The distance between Datong Railway Station and Hanging Temple is about 90km and it need around 1.5 hours drive. You can also transfer to Datong Bus Station and take a coach to Hanging Temple as well.
Book, Collect, Alter and Cancel: Foreign tourists can book train ticket online or ask help from ticket agency, or buy the tickets physically at the train station with your valid passport. If you want to cancel, alter your train tickets, you are required to bring your passport to the ticket counter and make the adjustments. Check details about How to Book, Collect, Alter, and Cancel Train Tickets>
Board & Get off
1) Prepare your documents well (valid passport with China Visa); 2) Get to the right train station in advance; 3) Collect train tickets; 4) Read your train ticket; 5) Pass the security control; 6) Pass through Security & Luggage Checks; 7) Find the right waiting room; 8) Cross the ticket checking gate; 9) Get to the right platform; 10) Get on your train. Keep the ticket well, because the ticket will be checked again to leave the station after you get off. Check details about How to Board & Disembark a Train>
Baggage Allowance: Each passenger with a train ticket is allowed to carry luggage in certain weight and volume, but without limitation of amount and types. Though there are written regulation and rules about the luggage allowance, in practice, passengers can take as much luggage as you can if only you handled them properly. Check detailed Baggage Allowance & Policy to Take China Train>
Facilities and Service: There are different places you can put your luggage onboard, racks and specialized luggage storage areas. Besides, the air-conditioner train offers you plug under the seats to charge your phone or laptop, sightseeing window to view the outside scenery as well as western-style toilets. There is also available dining area you can get some supplies. Check All Facilities & Service on China Train>
Taking a high speed train to travel from Pingyao to Datong is convenient and efficient, but driving between them gives you more freedom to stop for sightseeing and photograph on the way. If you want to travel the midway tourist destinations like Taiyuan and Xinzhou, you can choose a private tour with driving service from China Discovery. With a distance of 360km, the whole driving from Pingyao to Datong takes about 4.5 hours. It is recommended to take a short visit to Jinci Temple, Shanxi Museum or some other sites in Tiayuan before reaching Datong.
Pingyao to Datong Driving Map
Best time to visit Datong: March to mid-June, mid-September to November
Where to Stay in Datong: It is most recommended to stay in Datong downtown near Huayan Temple where there are many choices from 5-star luxury hotels to 3-star economy ones. What's more, it is convenient to get to main attractions in Datong such as Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple from this area.
It usually needs 2 days to cover the highlights in Datong. Without any doubt, Yungang Grottoes are a must. It consists of 53 grottoes with 51,000 statues and is a real treasure of traditional Chinese art. After that, you can go to Shanhua Monastery to appreciate a set of well-preserved buildings of Liao Dynasty (905-1125). Then, continue to have a look at Nine Dragon Screen, the oldest and largest glazed screen in China and later head to Huayan Temple, which keeps the largest wooden structure of Buddhist temple hall with elegant mural and scriptures. The next day is for the attractions a little far from downtown such as Hanging Temple, an unusual temple standing on the precarious cliff built over 1500 years ago, and Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, the highest wooden pagoda in the world.
In addition, the convenient transportation of Datong provides opportunities to discover more of Shanxi to Taiyuan, sacred Buddhist mountain Mount Wutai, world heritage site Pingyao Ancient City, magnificent Hukou Waterfall, etc.
If you have more days and want to travel outside Shanxi, it is highly recommended to extend your tour to capital Beijing (Great Wall, Forbidden City), time-honored Xi’an (Terracotta Warriors), and modern metropolis Shanghai (the Bund).
Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple, Pingyao and Mount Wutai in Shanxi
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