Things to Do in Datong
Located in Shanxi Province, the Yungang Grottoes (Yungang Shiku are an impressive example of Buddhist cave art. Dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of 252 caves and niches, holding more than 51,000 statues ranging in size from one inch (two centimeters to 89 feet (27 meters.
Sometimes known as the Hanging Monastery, the Hanging Temple (Xuankong Si) is built into the cliff-side of the mighty Hengshan (Mt. Heng) near Datong city in Shanxi Province. Held up by oak stilts slotted into holes chiselled out from the rock, the rest of the structure that supports the temple is hidden inside the bedrock. Built in 491, the Hanging Temple has survived more than 1,500 years. The face of the building hangs from the middle of the cliff under the summit, which has protected it from the elements over all the years.
The Hengshan Hanging Temple is the only temple that incorporates all of China’s traditional religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Visitors to the temple come in their droves to marvel at this architectural feat for themselves, and to peer over the railings onto the rocks 50 meters below.