China Trip – 5th Stop Datong

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Datong - dragon No 7 542
▲ Datong has the biggest Nine Dragon Wall in China. It’s impressive, this is dragon number 7.

Datong - Huayan door guardian 271I flew in to China from San Francisco to Beijing, took another flight to Taiyuan, continued by train to Pingyao, made a little bicycle side trip out to the Shangluin Temple and then tracked back to Beijing, stopping for a couple of nights in Datong en route. The Lonely Planet China guide description of Datong as a ‘coal-dusted’ city in a ‘coal-belt’ setting makes it sound like a less than interesting destination. Well I enjoyed it!

◄ After the nine dragons I continued to the city’s two important temples, the Huayan Temple with it’s expressive door guardians. This is one of them. And then on to the older feeling and more serene Shanhua Temple.

Datong - city walls 542
▲ The old city centre is certainly going through some major refurbishment and indeed there is a twee ‘Ye Olde Qing Quarter’, but it’s still an interesting place to wander around. Plus the city walls are huge and very impressive. Nevertheless the real Datong highpoint is the nearby Yungang Caves, now they truly are amazing. Next report.