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Between Beijing and Xian there are several superb cultural treasures yet to be discovered by the tourist hordes. Datong can be reached easily by train from Beijing, and is home to the outstanding Yungang Caves, also known as the ‘Cloud Ridge Caves’.

Yungang stone Buddhas, DatongThese grottoes, among the finest in China, are cut into a kilometer stretch of cliff with beautifully-colored frescoed walls framing more than 50,000 Buddhist statues, ranging from miniature to monolithic.

South of Datong the Wooden Pagoda, precipitous Hanging Monastery and the caves of the troglodytes all make intriguing stops on the journey to sacred Mount Wutai.

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    Places near Datong

    Our expert guides to exploring Datong

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Datong, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Datong at its best.

    • China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains
      Songzanlin Monastery, Zhongdian

      China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains

      China’s spiritual side: the best temples, grottoes, mosques and mountains

      You can explore spiritual China in country specialist Anthony’s guide to the Middle Kingdom’s most intriguing holy places. He shares his thoughts on the why and how of visiting Buddhist monasteries, temples and cave art, and even sacred mountains.

      7 min read

      Read this guide