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 metres 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.