Fun Things to Do in Datong | Travel Guide (2024) | Best Places to Visit
Datong Travel Guide
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Welcome to Datong! Located in the northern part of Shanxi Province, Datong is a city rich in history and cultural heritage. Known as the "City of the Great Wall" and the "Museum of Ancient Architecture," Datong offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore ancient Chinese architecture and immerse themselves in the country's rich cultural traditions. One of the city's most famous attractions is the Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site that houses over 51,000 Buddhist statues carved into the cliffs. Additionally, Datong is home to the Hanging Temple, a remarkable architectural marvel that is suspended on a cliff face and dates back over 1,500 years. With its fascinating historical sites and vibrant cultural scene, Datong is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an authentic Chinese experience.
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Things To Do In Datong
Datong is a city rich in history and culture, offering a plethora of activities for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the main things to do in Datong:
1. Visit the Yungang Grottoes: These ancient Buddhist cave temples are a UNESCO World Heritage site and feature over 51,000 statues. The intricate carvings and stunning architecture make it a must-visit attraction in Datong.
2. Explore the Hanging Temple: Located on the side of a cliff, this unique temple is an architectural marvel. It is suspended 246 feet above the ground and is supported by wooden pillars. The Hanging Temple is a testament to the ingenuity of ancient Chinese builders.
3. Discover the Datong City Wall: Dating back to the Ming Dynasty, the Datong City Wall is one of the best-preserved city walls in China. Visitors can walk or cycle along the wall and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
4. Marvel at the Nine Dragon Screen: This impressive screen is the largest glazed screen in China and is adorned with intricate dragon designs. It is a symbol of power and prosperity and is a popular spot for photography.
5. Visit the Huayan Temple: This Buddhist temple is known for its beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere. It houses a large collection of Buddhist scriptures and offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city.
6. Explore the Datong Museum: This museum showcases the history and culture of Datong through its extensive collection of artifacts. Visitors can learn about the city's ancient past and gain a deeper understanding of its significance.
7. Experience the Datong International Great Wall Marathon: If you're a fitness enthusiast, participating in the Datong International Great Wall Marathon is a unique way to explore the Great Wall of China. The marathon route takes you through scenic landscapes and offers breathtaking views.
8. Sample Datong's Local Cuisine: Datong is known for its delicious cuisine, particularly its hand-pulled noodles and various meat dishes. Be sure to try the local specialties such as Datong roast duck and mutton soup.
9. Attend the Datong Lantern Festival: If you happen to visit Datong during the Lantern Festival, you're in for a treat. The city comes alive with vibrant lantern displays, traditional performances, and a lively atmosphere.
Tours And Activities In Datong
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Best Time To Visit Datong
The best time to visit Datong is during the spring and autumn seasons, which are from April to June and September to October respectively. During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, with comfortable temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The scenic attractions in Datong, such as the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple, are also less crowded during these seasons, allowing visitors to enjoy their sights without the hassle of large crowds. Additionally, the spring season offers the opportunity to witness the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, adding an extra touch of natural beauty to the city. However, it is important to note that weather conditions can vary, so it is advisable to check the forecast before planning a trip to Datong.
Flight Calendar For Datong
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Best Areas To Stay In Datong
Datong offers several great areas for accommodation.
1. Yungang District: This district is home to the famous Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Staying in this area will allow you to easily explore the stunning Buddhist cave art. Yungang District also offers a range of hotels and guesthouses catering to different budgets.
2. Downtown Datong: If you prefer to stay in the heart of the city, downtown Datong is the place to be. Here, you will find a wide selection of hotels, restaurants, and shopping options. The area is well-connected, making it convenient for exploring other attractions such as the Nine Dragon Screen and Huayan Temple.
3. Beijiazao: For those seeking a more tranquil atmosphere, Beijiazao is a great choice. This area is known for its beautiful natural scenery and traditional architecture. Staying here will give you the opportunity to experience the charm of rural China while still being within reach of Datong's main attractions.
4. Nanmen: Located near the southern gate of the city, Nanmen is a popular area for accommodation. It offers a mix of modern hotels and traditional guesthouses, allowing visitors to choose according to their preferences. Nanmen is also conveniently located near the Datong Railway Station, making it a convenient base for exploring the city and its surroundings.
Overall, Datong offers a variety of accommodation options in different areas, catering to various interests and preferences. Whether you are interested in historical sites, city life, natural beauty, or a combination of these, you can find a suitable place to stay in Datong.
Hotels Map Of Datong
All-in-one Map to find Best Hotels, Vacation Rentals, Tours, Activities and Restaurants in Datong.
Transportation To Datong
There are several transportation options to get to Datong.
1. By Air: The nearest airport to Datong is the Datong Yungang Airport, which is located about 15 kilometers away from the city center. There are domestic flights available from major cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an.
2. By Train: Datong is well-connected by train to major cities in China. There are high-speed trains and regular trains available from cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, and Chengdu. The journey time varies depending on the distance and type of train.
3. By Bus: There are long-distance buses available from various cities in China to Datong. The bus journey may take longer compared to trains or flights, but it can be a more economical option.
4. By Car: If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car and drive to Datong. The city is connected to major highways, making it accessible by road.
Once you arrive in Datong, there are local transportation options such as taxis, buses, and rental bikes to get around the city.
Nearby Destination From Datong
1. Pingyao: A well-preserved ancient city known for its Ming and Qing dynasty architecture.
2. Taiyuan: The capital city of Shanxi province, famous for its rich history and cultural heritage.
3. Yungang Grottoes: A UNESCO World Heritage site featuring ancient Buddhist cave temples with intricate carvings.
4. Hengshan: A sacred mountain known for its beautiful scenery and important Taoist temples.
5. Wutaishan: Another sacred mountain and UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its Buddhist temples and stunning landscapes.
6. Jinzhong: A historic city with well-preserved city walls and traditional courtyard houses.
7. Yangquan: A coal mining city with natural hot springs and scenic spots like the Taihang Grand Canyon.
8. Changzhi: A city surrounded by mountains, offering picturesque landscapes and historical sites.
9. Linfen: Known for its ancient culture and historical relics, including the famous Yao Temple.
10. Jincheng: A city with a rich coal mining history and attractions like the Yuci Ancient City.