Follow our professional guide to explore the cultural and natural wonders of Datong and Wutaishan, two of the most famous historical and religious destinations in China. On this 4-day tour, you’ll discover the Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Screen Wall, and Huayan Temple in Datong, immersing yourself in ancient Buddhist art and architecture. Experience the thrill of walking on the Hanging Temple, marvel at the Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, and delve into the spiritual ambiance of Mount Wutai’s temples, the revered home of Manjusri Bodhisattva.
2. Walk on the edge at the Hanging Temple near Mount Heng, offering an exhilarating experience and a unique perspective on Chinese religious architecture.
3. Immerse yourself in the sacred temples of Mount Wutai, the global center for worshipping Manjusri Bodhisattva, for a profound connection to Chinese history, culture, and religion amidst breathtaking landscapes.
- Day 1: Arrival in Datong and Exploration (L)Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Screen Wall, Huayan Temple
Start your Datong adventure with a morning pickup from your hotel or Datong airport/train station by your guide and driver. Your first destination is the Yungang Grottoes, a renowned Buddhist cave art site boasting 252 caves and 51,000 statues dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries. Marvel at the intricate carvings and paintings of various Buddhas and bodhisattvas, delving into the rich history and culture of the Northern Wei dynasty.
Next, explore the Nine Dragon Screen Wall, a unique structure adorned with reliefs of nine different Chinese dragons. Dating back to 1392 during the Ming dynasty, this wall is the oldest and largest of its kind in China. Admire the vibrant colors and detailed designs of the glazed tiles, unraveling the symbolic meanings embedded in the dragons within Chinese culture.
Continue your day with a visit to Huayan Temple, a Buddhist temple established in 1038 during the Liao dynasty. Divided into upper and lower sections, the upper temple remains an active monastery with one of China's largest main halls, while the lower temple stands as Datong's oldest structure, showcasing impressive examples of Liao dynasty sculpture and design. Explore the halls and pavilions, discovering statues of Buddha, bodhisattvas, and other deities from various religions.
Conclude your day's exploration with a transfer to your Datong hotel.
- Day 2: Datong to Wutaishan (B, L)Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, Mount Wutai
Kick off today with a delicious breakfast before embarking on a journey to the Hanging Temple, perched 75 meters above the ground near Mount Heng. Constructed in 491 AD by the monk Liaoran, this temple has withstood earthquakes and wars, uniquely combining Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Wander along the plank roads, marveling at statues and sculptures representing different religious figures.
Next, head to the Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, China's oldest and tallest surviving wooden pagoda built in 1056 during the Liao dynasty. Also known as Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple, it houses two tooth relics of Sakyamuni, constructed without nails or screws, showcasing remarkable engineering. Climb the nine stories, appreciating the wooden architecture and Buddha statues.
Conclude your day with a drive to Mount Wutai, one of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 53 monasteries and temples. Immersing yourself in the spiritual ambiance of the mountain.
- Day 3: Full-day Exploration of Wutaishan (B, L)Wutai Mountain
Commence your day with a hearty breakfast before delving into the rich Buddhist culture of Wutai Mountain. Explore some of the most significant and beloved temples on Mount Wutai, including:
Tayuan Temple: Stand before the iconic Tayuan Temple, a standout feature in Wutai Shan. Admire the 50-meter-high white stupa housing Buddha relics, constructed in 1582. Surrounding the stupa are 500 small iron Buddha statues. Explore the bronze hall, bell tower, and drum tower within the temple's premises.
Xiantong Temple: Venture to the largest and oldest temple in Wutai Shan, dating back to AD 683. With over 100 halls and pavilions, Xiantong Temple is a treasure trove of precious statues, scriptures, and paintings. Immerse yourself in the diverse architecture and art spanning different dynasties. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Buddhist library and museum within the temple.
Luohou Temple: Uncover the roots of Chinese esoteric Buddhism at Luohou Temple, established during the Tang dynasty. This temple boasts a distinctive layout featuring three courtyards and nine halls. Explore its unique elements, including a stone pagoda, bronze bell, and stone stele, while gaining insights into the history and rituals of esoteric Buddhism.
- Day 4: Exploration of Wutaishan & Departure (B)Dailuo Ding Temple, Foguang Temple
Following a satisfying breakfast, embark on a visit to Dailuo Ding Temple, the highest-altitude temple in Taihuai Town. Positioned on the East Terrace slope, revel in a panoramic view of other temples and Taihuai Town. This temple is home to all five clones of Manjusri Bodhisattva, offering pilgrims a convenient alternative to trekking to the five peaks for worship.
Next, journey to Foguang Temple, an extraordinary Buddhist temple dating back to the Tang and Ming dynasties. Marvel at the third-earliest preserved timber structure in China, the Great East Hall, featuring a statue of Sakyamuni and colorful statues of arhats. Explore the Manjusri Hall with its remarkable 15th-century frescoes of arhats, and witness the hexagonal ancestral pagoda constructed with white bricks in the 5th century.
Conclude your exploration as your guide and driver accompany you to the airport or train station for your departure flight/train. Wishing you a pleasant journey, and we hope to welcome you again soon!