This 2 days Datong tour from Beijing by high speed train is a perfect Beijing side trip for those who have some more time in Beijing. The Beijing Datong tour of 2 days brings an amazing excursion to the splendid Yungang Grottoes, Shanhua Temple, The Nine-Dragon Wall, Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, introduces you the hidden history and culture of Northern China!
- Day 1: Beijing-Datong by High-speed Train (L)Yungang Grottoes, Shanhua Temple, The Nine-Dragon Wall
In the morning, the Beijing local driver will pick you up from the downtown hotel and drive around 1 hour to Beijing West Train Station for your high-speed train to Datong. The train rides around 2.5 hours, you can have a nap on the train.
When you arrive at Datong South Train Station, there will be the local English speaking tour guide and driver waiting for you at the exit gate by holding a welcome board with your name.
Firstly, drive westwards to Yungang Grottoes. As the first batch of key cultural relics under state protection, also on the world heritage list, Yuagang Grottoes has a highly cultural and artistic meaning. It not only shows the traditional Chinese artistic style, but also incorporates the art characteristics of ancient India, the western regions and the Central Plain. Yungang Grottoes is the beginning of the "sinicization" of Chinese grotto art which mainly stores 45 grottoes and 51,000 stone statues.
Later, continue your visit to Shanhua Temple which is a Buddhist temple with great fusion Han culture in Song Dynasty and ancient northern ethnic culture of Jin and Liao Dynasties. Although it’s lesser visited compared with other Datong attractions, the artistic level of relics there including sculptures, wall paintings and ancient architectures show a pretty high level.
Last, pay a visit to The Nine-Dragon Wall, built in late Ming Dynasty, is composed of colored glaze. Nine dragons are different in shape and form, each of which is connected by water grass, white clouds and rocks. It presents the superb sculpture skills of ancient China.
Accommodation: Overnight in Datong
- Day 2: Datong-Beijing by High-speed Train (B, L)Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda
Today the first site will be Hanging Temple. Located between the cliffs of Mt. Hengshan, it is the only unique temple in China that integrates Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The whole monastery is built in wooden framework structure. Though not very big, it astonishes people by the building design that relies on a mortise joint and embeds into the cliff without falling down. Owning a history over 1,500 years, Hanging Temple have earned compliment from many notable literati and poets in their works.
Later, come to “China’s First Wooden Pagoda”, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda which shares the same fame of “Three Marvelous Towers in the World” with Leaning Tower of Pisa and Eiffel Tower. Built in 1056 of the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty, it is a well-deserved miracle in the architectural history, just imagine: a complete wooden-structured tower of 65.84 meters (like a 20-floor modern building) without a single iron nail survived in 40 earthquakes, 200 shooting and bombarding as well as countless thunder and lightning…amazing, right? Maybe the precious relics of Sakyamuni’s 2 teeth stored here echoed the Pogoda’s tough personality and bless it with immeasurable Buddhist power.
After the visit, you will head to train station to catch the 2.5-hour high-speed train to Beijing. When you arrive at Beijing, there will be the local driver picking you up and transfer back to your hotel.