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7 Days Shanxi Diversity Tour including Hukou Waterfall

In-depth Shanxi Exploration


Shanxi is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization. It is one of the best places to explore authentic Chinese culture which is quite different from what you experience in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, also a great place to marvel at natural wonders especially the mighty Yellow River, the 5th longest river in the world. Our 7 Days Shanxi Tour takes you to explore the spectacular diversity of Shanxi from the ancient Buddhist grottoes to hanging temples, royal palaces to ancient folk city, plateau mountain to breathtaking waterfall. Enjoy private and considerate tour services with the best local price!

Highlights of this tour

  • Datong - visit beautiful Buddhist grottoes group in Yungang Grottoes and witness the incredible Hanging Temple inserted on the cliff;
  • Mount Wutai – experience the divine atmosphere of Buddhist pilgrimage in Mount Wutai and get up to a high peak to enjoy beautiful plateau landscape;
  • Pingyao – admire exquisite traditional Chinese architecture in Pingyao Ancient City and find out what is the living of rich Chinese family like in the old days.
  • Hukou Waterfall – witness how the Yellow River creates an overwhelming natural wonder.

Basic Trip Information

  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
Travel Route:
Datong / Wutaishan / Pingyiao / Hukou Waterfall
Travel Length:
7 Days and 6 Nights
Tour Code:
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Any day you want

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Datong Arrival & Sightseeing

Welcome to Datong! You will be greeted by local tour guide at Datong Yungang Airport or Datong South Railway Station or your hotel directly.

Today, you will drive about 50 minutes (23 kilometers) to Yungang Grottoes, a World Heritage site dating back to 5th century. Containing 254 Buddhist caves, Yungang Grottoes stretches about 1 km long. It is filled with about 5,100 precious sculptures - the height of the largest Buddha statue reaches 17 meters and the smallest is only 2 centimeters tall. Most of the sculptures are Buddhas, from which you can be awestruck at their life-like features and blissful smiles. You won't miss Cave No.5 and Cave No. 6 - the highlights of Yungang Grottoes with the entire interiors carved and colored. Facing these jaw-dropping celestial beings in different shapes, you can imagine the painstaking effort taken to produce them.

In the afternoon, drive back to Datong city to visit Nine Dragon Screen Wall, made of colorful glazed tiles and depicting nine dragons. It was served as a temple's spirit wall placed in the entrance to inhibit the evil spirit's coming. Now it is the biggest and oldest glazed dragon wall in China. Next, you will visit Huayan Temple - the largest and best preserved monastery built by Khitan during Liao Dynasty. Unlike most traditional Chinese buildings, it interestingly faces east not south, because the Khitan were Sun worshipers. Indulge yourself in the palatial buildings, exquisite frescoes, valued inscriptions in the temple.

Stay overnight in Datong.

Optional Activity: It is available to take a leisurely walk or ride a bike on restored City Wall of Datong. Both new and old city of Datong can be viewed on the wall, showing a drastic difference. The night view seen from the City Wall is more amazing.

Datong Yungang Grottoes (Cave No. 20) Nine Dragon Screen Wall Magnificent Huayan Temple in Datong
Day 2 Datong - Wutaishan (B, L)

After breakfast, you will get to Hanging Temple after 1.5 hours' driving (80 km). Built in 491 during Northern Wei Dynasty, it enjoys a history of over 1,500 years. Miraculously carved into the sheer cliff of Hengshan Mountain, Hanging Temple is one of the most incredible sights in China. Its 40 perilous halls and pavilions lean straight over the canyon. Seeing it from the ground, travelers can't help admiring at the ancient people's wisdom. Moreover, Hanging Temple is featured as the only existing temple with the combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

After the exciting experience in Hanging Temple, drive 1 hour to Yingxian Wooden Pagoda - the oldest and tallest wooden multi-storey structure in the world. Built in 1056 during Liao Dynasty (907 ~ 1125) and standing at 67.31 meters high, it shocks travelers most that the whole structure was made without any nails, screws, or bolts. There are lots of elegant Buddha statues and Bodhisattva statues to worship. Among them, a 11m high Sakyamuni statue is sitting solemnly in the pagoda on the first floor, it is the grandest one.

After the tour, drive about 3 hours to Mount Wutai. Stay overnight in Wutaishan.

Customer in Hanging Temple Yingxian Wooden Pagoda -  Tallest Wooden Multi-storey Structure
Day 3 Wutaishan Day Trip (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide will take you to explore Buddhist culture in the most influential temples of Mount Wutai - Tayuan Temple, Shuxiang Temple, Xiantong Temple, Pusa Ding Temple which are all convenient located in Taihuai Town.

- Tayuan Temple (Pagoda Courtyard Temple) is named after the Great White Pagoda, a symbol of Mount Wutai. This big white pagoda is 75.3 meters high and 83 meters around. It is said there is a stupa of Sakyamuni’s sarira built by ancient Indian King Ashoka and hair of Manjushri inside the Great White Pagoda.

- Shuxiang Temple (Temple of Manjushri’s Statue) was established in East Jin Dynasty (AD 317~420). It houses the biggest statue of Manjusri Bodhisattva which is nearly 10 meters high. It used to be visited by many ancient emperors and queens.

- Xiantong Temple is the largest as well as the oldest temple in Mount Wutai. Its Bronze Hall, built in 1610 and made of 50,000 kg bronze, is one of the best preserved bronze halls in China. Most of the biggest Buddhist events and ceremonies are usually held here.

- Pusa Ding Temple (Bodhisattva Summit) is the largest Tibetan monastery in Mount Wutai. It is said to be the real residence of Manjusri Bodhisattva, and featured in grand royal-style halls and temples. The ancient emperors in Ming and Qing Dynasties lived in the temple during their pilgrimage to Mount Wutai.

After the temples visit, you will take a tourist bus to the beautiful South Terrace of Mount Wutai which pleases you with more than 100 species of rare flowers and plants. In spring, the mountain is filled with red, yellow, blue, white, purple, etc. And during the midsummer, you can see numerous sheep and cows grazing on the mountain.

After some leisure time on the South Terrace, take tourist bus back to Taihuai Town.

Optional Activity: Watching a heart-touching Buddhist show - Encore Mount Wutai which combines grand ceremony with thinking of Buddhism philosophy during 20:00-21:30 (advance reservation is required).

Tayuan Temple of Mount Wutai Peaceful Scenery of Mount Wutai Monks of Tibetan Buddhism in Pusa Ding Temple
Day 4 Wutaishan - Pingyao (B, L)

Wake up in the peaceful morning full of heart-touching Buddhist atmosphere. After breakfast, you will go to visit Dailuo Ding Temple which is located on a slope of East Terrace from where you can enjoy a panorama of other temples and Taihuai Town. This temple houses all the five clones of Manjusri Bodhisattva so that pilgrims who are short on time or energy don’t have to hike 2 days to worship to the Manjusri Bodhisattva on the five terraces. One has to climb 1080 steps or take a cable car to get to Dailuo Ding Temple.

Next, you will be driven about 50km (40mins) to visit Foguang Temple (Buddha Light Temple) which is a hidden treasure but forgotten by most of tourist groups. Its Eastern Hall is one of three survived wooden architecture of Tang Dynasty (AD 618~907) in China, and best preserved of its kind. The Tang Dynasty architecture, sculptures, murals and inscription have high value of history and art, and praised as “four wonders”. The famous Chinese architect Liang Sicheng praised it as “the No. 1 Treasure of Chinese Architecture” because defeated the option of some Japanese scholars that only Japan is the only place on earth to witness wooden architecture of Tang Dynasty.

After the temples visit, drive about 3.5 hours to Pingyao. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to relax and take rest.

Dailuo Ding Temple Buddha Statues of Tang Dynasty in Foguang Temple
Day 5 Pingyao (B, L)

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up to start Pingyao Ancient City exploration. As one of the best-preserved ancient cities in China, Pingyao Ancient City is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site because of its brilliant cultural magnificence. With a history over 2700 years, Pingyao Ancient City still keeps its intact charm: ancient city walls, elegant courtyards, scattered temples, all reflecting the urban planning style between 1368 and 1911 during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Your tour starts from the Ancient City Wall of Pingyao, where you can have a panorama view of the layout of this town. Then you will move on to the Rishengchang Former Bank, which shows you the original bank system in the past. Next, stroll on the traditional Ming and Qing Street, a cobbled road with old buildings on either side. It's much like tracing back to the former bustle bazaar in the old days. Later, visit the Temple of City God to appreciate the wonderful wood carvings, paintings and sculptures in the old temple.

After Pingyao Ancient City exploration, drive about 15 minutes to visit Shuanglin Temple, where you will be impressed by its large number of clay figures and wooden sculptures of various gods, goddesses and saints.

Return to your hotel after Shuanglin Temple visit.

Optional activity: Enjoy the excellent drama show of Another Glance at Pingyao (19:00~20:30) which presents local life, prosperity and recession of Pingyao during Qing dynasty vividly.

Ming and Qing Dynasty Street Shuanglin Temple
Day 6 Pingyao - Linfen (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 1 hour to Zhangbi Ancient Castle, which is a series of tunnels dug to hide out in times of war in over 1380 years ago. You will be amazed by the fabulous feat of architecture and engineering in ancient time.

Later, move to Wang's Family Compound which is reputed as an art museum of traditional Chinese architecture and “Forbidden City in Folk”. It is a building complex of multi-generation endeavor of Jingsheng Wang family through the Ming and Qing dynasties for more than 300 years, including five lanes and 6 forts and 231 courtyards, 2,078 rooms and a street with a total area of 250,000 square meters. Within the courtyards are rooms, kitchens, schools, and prayer pavilions. The architectural layout of the Wang Family Compound inherits the courtyard style formed in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC~771 BC) – halls in front and bedroom at back which not only provides enough space for social activities, but also satisfies the requirements of the family privacy. Young and orderly, men and women, hosts and workers are accommodated in different areas, which fully reflects the majesty of the official family and the regularity of the patriarchal etiquette in ancient China.

After visiting, drive about 3 hours to Linfen City which is the most popular base city to Hukou Waterfall. Check in to your hotel. The rest time is free for you to relax.

Tunnel in Zhangbi Ancient Castle Wang's Family Compound
Day 7 Hukou Waterfall & Departure (B, L)

Get up early to have breakfast, then drive about 2 hours to visit Hukou Waterfall with your tour guide.

After arrival, your guide will bring you to the best location to view Hukou Waterfall which is the largest yellowish waterfall in the world and the second largest waterfall in China. When Yellow River cleaves Shanxi province and Shaanxi province at the point where riverbed abruptly narrows down, the thunderous water splashes on the rock form spectacular Hukou Waterfall naturally. Hukou Waterfall gets its name of Hukou (meaning kettle spout literally) because the it seems pouring down from a huge kettle. As the water stirs up a mass of smoke and clouds, the scene of Hukou Waterfall is extremely overwhelming. In the sunny days, the mist is refracted by sunlight to create a rainbow like a beautiful bridge spanning river.

After the waterfall visit, transfer to railway station to catch your flight to next destination. Currently you can take high speed train to Beijing, Xian, Pingyao, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, etc.

Notes: 1) May to October is the best time to see the powerful waterfall but you can see calm glacier fall in cold winter; 2) you can pay an optional visit to the Dragon Cave (CNY 20) beneath Hukou Waterfall to get a different view.

Hukou Waterfall (Shanxi Side) Hukou Waterfall (Shanxi Side) - Wonder on the Yellow River

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