How to get there?
We took a train from Beijing West Station to Datong for 152¥. It lasted 6 hours, and we arrived at 5:00am to Datong, ready to start our tour. There are also national flights, check them here.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Green Island Youth Inn (2 double private rooms for 370 Yuan). It was clean, with big rooms, free wifi, a little coffee shop, bikes to rent and with a staff that makes an effort to speak english with the tourists (very rare in this area).
Also it’s very close to the train station. It took us 10 minutes to find it and walk to it.
What to see?
We booked a car with the Hostel to see the Yun Gang Grottoes, Fogong Temple and Hanging Monastery. All of these can be visited by bus, but due to our tight schedule and the good prices (400¥/car, 100¥ per extra person) we prefered to take this tour.
I thought that after visiting the Great Wall nothing else would amaze me that much. But the Yun Gang Grottoes did. One of my friend described as her own 8th wonder of the world. The entry cost 125¥ per person and they let you barrow an audioguide with a 100¥ deposit. Try the wild walnut cake outside the Grottoes, it was delicious.
Around 1 hour later driving, we stopped at the Fogong Temple (Wooden pagoda). It is surrounded by a little town, where everyone was impressed about us (the westerns). We bought some snacks in a market before heading to the Hanging Monastery.
The Hanging Monastery is beautiful. Also, you will have enough time to visit the old town, worth it.
- Very important to have cash before going to Datong. It took us hours to find one that takes international cards
- We went in August (summer) and it was a little cold for some of us
- We were tired and didn´t feel comfortable enough to eat the street food, so we went to the KFC below our hostel
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