WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT PINGYAO & DATONG
- Explore the pedestrian only lanes of Pingyao old town, lined with red lanterns and traditional courtyard houses
- Visit the Wang Family Compound, a former Qing dynasty residence
- Walk the old city walls of Pingyao, dating back to the Ming dynasty
- Marvel at the 50,000 Buddhist statues found within the Yungang Caves
- See the hanging monastery precariously perched on the cliff face
OUR SPECIALISTS 'MUST DO'
Stay in a traditional courtyard hotel for a quintessential Chinese experience.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT PINGYAO & DATONG
Easily reached by train from Beijing, Pingyao was Chinas most important trading city during the late Ming and Qing dynasties and is now the countries best preserved ancient walled town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The lanes within the old city walls are pedestrianised and full of characterful single storey houses. Home to some 30,000 locals, life within them remains charmingly authentic. The city walls stretch for over six kilometres and the city is home to what is thought to be Chinas first bank as well as a number of interesting museums and temples.
Once an ancient imperial capital, nowadays the main reason to visit Datong is for the nearby Yungang caves. Stretching for around a kilometre the 252 caves are home to some of the country’s most exceptional Buddhist treasures. Dating as far back at AD 460 the beautifully carved Buddha’s and colourful frescoes draw influences from the melting pot of cultures and people who travelled the Silk Road during its heydey. The carved statues range in size and include one 17 metre seated effigy.
Nearby is the Hanging monastery which as its name suggests is built following the curve of the cliffside. Narrow walkways link the monastery buildings.
WHEN TO GO TO PINGYAO & DATONG
Overall, the best time to visit Datong & Pingyao is in the Spring (April / May / June) and the Autumn (September / October).