Datong, as the second largest city in Shanxi Province, is a historical and cultural city. Located in the center of Datong Basin in the north of Shanxi Province and the junction of Inner Mongolia, Shanxi Province and Hebei Province, Datong had always been of vital importance in military view due to its strategic position. It’s the capital city of Northern Wei Dynasty (386 ~ 557). The city is low profile, yet it contains infinite energy. From the magnificent Yungang Grottoes of Northern Wei Dynasty to Huayan Temple and Shanhua Monastery of Liao Dynasty (907 ~ 1125) and Jin Dynasty (1115 ~ 1234), from the mysterious Hanging Temple which combines Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism into together to the Taoist Mount Heng, Datong has perfectly mixed the multi-ethnic cultures into one and create a new and unique Datong.
Datong is a famous historical and cultural city. Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple represent the culture of Northern Wei Dynasty; Huayan Temple and Shanhua Monastery manifest the culture of Liao Dynasty and Jin Dynasty; Nine Dragon Screen embodys the culture of Ming and Qing Dynasties. The culture of Datong has distinctive regional features, and Buddhism is one of the highlights in its culture. For more Datong attractions, please see All Attractions in Datong>>
One of the top four grottoes in China, it’s a World Heritage Site and a holy Buddhism palace created by generations of skillful craftsman….
The precipitous temple which is built on a cliff is the only existing temple which combines Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism together in China…
As the oldest and tallest wooden Buddhism pagoda in the world, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda has existed for over 940 years after earthquakes and storms… .
Datong is featured in temperate continental monsoon climate with a distinctive four seasons. The climate in Datong is dry, cold and windy. Average annual temperature is 6.4℃, with minus 11.8℃ for January and 21.9℃ for July; the lowest temperature is minus 29.2℃; and average annual rainfall is from 400 to 500 millimeters.
Best time to visit Datong is from April to October. Most travelers come to Datong to see the historical sites, ancient building, and grottoes and to clime the Mount Heng, so weather doesn’t influence the attraction much, as long as travelers don’t visit Datong in the cold winter, it will be fine. The cool summer and cozy spring and autumn are also good. Besides, Datong will hold lantern show during the Spring Festival, and travelers can experience the local festival atmosphere at this time.
Notice: there is a large temperature difference between day and night in autumn, so bring some warm clothes to resist the cold in night. May to September is the rainy season in Datong, so make sure you bring rain gear during this time.
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Get to Datong
By Flight: Datong only has one airport – Yungang Airport, which is 17km to the city center. At present, Yungang Airport has flights to major cities in China, like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Shenyang, Xiamen, Chengdu, Hong Kong, etc.
By Train: Datong Railway Station is located in the city center, and at present, it has trains to Beijing, Xian, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Qingdao, Tianjin, Nanchang, Shuozhou, Ningwu, Taiyuan, Zhangjiakou, Baotou, Yuncheng, Erlian, Dongsheng, Linfen, Hangdan, Wuhai, Qinhuangdao, Hohhot, Lanzhou, etc.
The best way to transfer among the attractions in Datong is chartering a private car. Though it will be more expensive than other transportation tools, taking a private car will save you plenty of time. If you book a tour with us, we will provide you a private car together with a private driver and tour guide.
For Yungang Grottoes and other attractions in the city, there is one bus line which connects those attractions. The ticket for the tour line is ¥2 and it will departure every 12 ~ 15 minutes.
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Although the Hanging Temple and Mount Heng is located in Hunyuan County (only one hour drive from Datong), most travelers will still choose to accommodate in Datong city center, for most hotels and hostels are located in the city center (most attractions in Datong is near the city center). Datong provides various accommodations for tourists, from luxurious five-star hotels to cheap and popular youth hostels. In the peak seasons, the price for the five-star hotels is from ¥450 to ¥2000, for four-star hotels is around ¥400, while three-star hotels and regular economic hotels charge about ¥150 per night.
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To help you to know more about Datong attractions, we have selected some useful Datong maps for you. Please feel free to use them. For more maps of Datong, please see Datong Maps.
For those who plan on a long travel, here are some wonderful destinations near Datong, including Pingyao, Taiyuan, Mount Wutai and Xian.
Chinese Name: 大同
Chinese Pinyin: Dà Tòng
English IPA: ['dɑ:'tɔŋ]
Population: 3.37 million
Language: Mandarin & Datong Dialect
Tel Code: 0352
Zip Code: 037000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Normally, traveler will spend 2 days to explore the highlights of Datong. One day to visit Yungang Grottoes and other attractions around the city center, like Huayan Temple, Fahua Temple and Nine Dragon Screen, another day to visit the Mount Heng, Hanging Temple and Yingxian Wooden Pagoda.
After visiting Datong, travelers can keep touring other highlights of Shanxi, like Hukou Waterfall, Pingyao Ancient City, Wang Family Compound, and Taiyuan. Beijing and Xian can be also added into the itinerary for they are very close to Shanxi Province.
Datong / Pingyao
Datong / Wutaishan / Taiyuan / Pingyao
Beijing / Datong