Posts tagged “Hanging Monastery

[Datong Photos] Weekend Trip to Datong in Shangxi Province

I’m once again behind on posting updates! This was a trip I went on almost 3 weeks ago over to Shanxi Province, just a 5 hours bus ride away from Beijing. After coming to Beijing this was the furthest away from Beijing that I have been to. To put everything in a nutshell I’m really thankful for what I have in Beijing since Datong to me was one of those cities that I’ll probably never go back to. The city itself is ran by the coal industry and you could tell  the air quality there is even worse than Beijing. The tremendous number of  trucks carrying coal back into Beijing was memorable during my stay there.  Datong is a small northern city in Shanxi Province, well, I take that back, this city still has 3 million people bordering Inner Mongolia to the north west and Hebei Province to the east. I like how a small weekend trip is a 5 hour bus ride away in China. Datong is also recently well-known for the infamous 60mile traffic jam from Inner Mongolia to Beijing. While in Datong, the first thing I noticed was the change in temperature. I looked out my window and almost everyone was wearing a jacket even in mid-August! After doing more research I found out that Datong is located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters, making it extremely cold at night and morning. I had no idea about this and was freezing having only one layer of t-shirt and shorts. The next day we enjoyed the main tourist destinations of Yungang Grottoes, or Cloud Ridge Caves (云冈石窟 Yúngāng Shíkū). It  was interesting to see the coal mines during our bus ride and to see the new highways being built in the region. The whole city was under construction. Every location within the city had some kind of construction going on. It’d interesting to see how much the city has changed in the next couple years. After enjoying the caves,we took a taxi out to the Hanging Temple (悬空寺 Xuán Kōng Sì) built into a cliff face near Mount Heng. You might know this temple if you have seen the latest Kongfu Kid, I meant Karate Kid. Due to the construction of highways we had to take a detour which entailed the taxi driver pulling numerous numbers of getting stuck in mud and pulling moves that you would only see in the movie Dukes of Hazzards. The bus ride back to Beijing took a lot more time as we spent almost 7 hours on the bus coming back to Beijing. But again, it could have been a lot worse. That’s enough of me talking for the night, enjoy the photos below!

Garbage and dumps welcomed us into the city of Datong in Shangxi Province

Old Adverstisement

City center

One of the nine dragons on the 9 Dragon Wall

9 Dragon Wall

Flowers by 9 Dragon Wall

Datong Station


Highway construction continues in the outskirts of the city

Rapid apartment construction takes place in the city of Datong

Heading south from Datong to see the Hanging Monastry

It took 3 hours round trip on a chartered cab due to the bad conditions of the road caused by the highway construction site.

Hanging Monastry

Hanging Monastry

From up top it was higher that I thought it would be. With low guard rails its pretty easy for anyone to get pushed off the monastry. Be careful if you ever go!

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Go Katayama – Photojournalist in Beijing by Go Katayama is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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