Datong, the second largest city in Shanxi Province, is located at the northern border near Inner Mongolia. It is an ancient cultural city dating back 2,000 years and known both in China and abroad for its many places of interest, such as the Yungang Grottoes and the Overhanging Monastery on Mt. Hengshan, one of the five holy mountains of Taoism.
Datong is a very interesting city resplendent with architectural treasures, spectacular carvings, exquisite embroidery, intriguing paper cuttings, and oodles of old furniture and pottery. You can get to Datong and surrounding scenic spots from Beijing, Taiyuan, Qinhuangdao and other cities by convenient highways or trains.
The Yungang Buddhist Grottoes are located in the suburbs of northern Datong Shanxi. They were built more than 1,500 years ago during the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Yungang Grottoes are a treasure house of ancient Buddhist art with 53 rock caves and 51,000 statues. It is as famous as the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, Gansu Province, and the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, Henan Province. The main Buddha statue in Cave 20, measured at approximately 55.7 feet high, is one of the biggest statues in all the grottoes. Unfortunately, the front wall of the cave has long been dilapidated and the statue is now unsheltered. The minor statue is only three-quarters of an inch tall now. The striking contrast in size makes the grottoes a panorama of dazzling variety.
Mt. Hengshan, 37 miles south of Datong, is one of the five most famous mountains in China. The mountain is a holy mountain for Taoists. Zhang Guolao, one of the Eight Immortals in Tao, practiced on the mountain and attained immortality. Mt. Hengshan is a magnificent sight with its precipitous cliffs, old pines, and rolling hills. There are many relics on the mountain, among which the Overhanging Monastery, built 1,400 years ago, is the most famous.
Wooden Pagoda in Yingxian County
Erected 900 years ago, during the mid-Liao Dynasty, the Wooden Pagoda is the oldest and the highest wooden pagoda in China. The Wooden Pagoda is made completely of wood and does not have a single nail embedded in it.
The Upper and Lower Huayan Temples, the Nine-Dragon Wall, Shanhua Temple, and the ancient Great Wall
Following is a list of all the cities:
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