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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2023.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.
"Highest Standards of Quality and Honesty" is the core value of each specialized team at China Discovery.
Eveyone in our company is working hard for only one goal, which is to ensure the highest level of service, luxury, and attention to detail from the minute you begin planning your trip, to the day you return home.
Our travel consultants are professional, experienced and responsible, helping you from the very beginning to the end of your China trip!
After sending us an inquiry, one of our travel consultants will get back to you within 0.5~23.5 hrs. In the next few days, he/she will be working closely with you to formulate a customized tour plan, as well as providing professional suggestions based on your travel interests, time, and budget.
Beside, he/she will keep in contact with you during your entire tour in China, continually checking if everything is going well as planned.
We're working at Chengdu Bamboo International Tours, local based in Chengdu.
Our local guide in every destination is not only very friendly, enthusiastic but also very informative and knowledgeable.
Once you arrive in the destination, the patient and punctual guides will pick you up and take you to get under skin of the city at your own pace. By in-depth discovery and explanation, they’ll show you more about the history, culture, customs and authentic local life. Throughout the journey, they're not only expert guides who take care of all the details but also fellow travelers who are dedicated to help you explore in comfort and style.
Our guides are passionate about what they do, and it shows all the way!
Using our private transfer service makes you comfortable, relaxed and worry free all the way!
Our private service includes licensed drivers with many years’ driving experience and air-conditioned, non-smoking, clean and well-maintained cars/vans. Drivers are local, polite, friendly and helpful, taking you to your tourist sites, hotels, airport/train stations in safety. All kinds of vehicle are offered, and yours depends on the size of your group. Usually, we offer sedan cars, SUVs, business vans (MPV) and different types of buses, all with extra space for your luggage.
Our private transfer service guarantees you the highest comfort!
In each destination, you’ll enjoy a comfortable stay in a great location!
The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.
If you have already got an ideal hotel, please feel free to tell our travel consultants and they'll book the hotel for you.
Have good sleep in our well-selected hotels in all the destinations of China.
We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.
All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!
Datong Yungang Grottoes (Cave No. 20)
Nine Dragon Screen Wall
Magnificent Huayan Temple in Datong
Customer in Hanging Temple
Yingxian Wooden Pagoda - Tallest Wooden Multi-storey Structure
Tayuan Temple of Mount Wutai
Peaceful Scenery of Mount Wutai
Monks of Tibetan Buddhism in Pusa Ding Temple
Dailuo Ding Temple
Buddha Statues of Tang Dynasty in Foguang Temple
Ming and Qing Dynasty Street
Tunnel in Zhangbi Ancient Castle
Wang's Family Compound
Hukou Waterfall (Shanxi Side)
Hukou Waterfall (Shanxi Side) - Wonder on the Yellow River
We are happy to answer your questions.
1. Our travel consultant, Vivien, was outstanding and exceeded our expectations. Due to covid travel restrictions, our trip had to be changed and postponed several times but Vivien dealt with this efficiently and respectfully despite at times having to change plans at the last minute. Without Vivien, we would have cancelled our wonderful trip. Every request we made was met and everything was highly organized and communicated with us downtown to the finest detail. The guides and drivers arranged were excellent and we felt relaxed throughout our trip.Vivien is a credit to the company and an exemplary representative.
2. Our tour guides had excellent English and were very knowledgeable. Especially appreciated was their patience and flexibility as I have a bone disease and often struggle to walk. They let me rest without complaint and went above and beyond in all regards even to Yenny ordering us some sesame rice balls to be delivered to the hotel because I had enjoyed them so much at lunch and Ellen taking us for hotpot for lunch at our request. Nothing was too much trouble.
3. We are leaving China this year and despite not usually using a travel agent when we travel, we hope to return to China in the future and will use China Discovery and hopefully Vivien without a doubt.
Vivien, words cannot express how grateful we are for everything you have done for us to ensure we managed a break away. Personally, we needed a holiday and you provided us with the most amazing trip.
Even though we have never met you and do not even know what you look like, you will hold a place in our hearts forever. You have truly been a blessing and we are eternally grateful for your patience, kind and caring attitude and professionalism throughout the last year.
Thank you so much.
I have attached some photos and you can use these if they are any good as well as our recommendations.
Val and Steve Hart
Yes, thank you Rita, it was great.
We had a nice time in Guizhou. Everything went out well.
No problem we are back in Shanghai now. The trip was wonderful!
We appriciate all of your support for the arrangement of our trip. We had great experience during our stay in Guilina and Yangshuo. We were impressed by our guide, Steven. He is very experienced. We learned a lot from him. Many thanks for arranging our trip and thanks especially for sending Steven as our guide! Guilin was very beautiful and lots to learn. We were very impressed by Steven's professional and imformative guidance, flexibility, and sense of humor. He was perfect in English too. We will definitely recommend him to our friends‼
“Very good experience”
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