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Introducing Dàtóng

Its coal-belt setting and socialist-era refashioning have robbed Dàtóng of much of its charm. The city has, however, ploughed mountains of cash – an estimated ¥50 billion – into a colossal renovation program of its old quarter. But even without its pricey facelift, Dàtóng still cuts it as a coal-dusted heavyweight in China’s increasingly competitive tourist challenge. The city is the gateway to the awe-inspiring Yúngāng Caves, one of China’s most outstanding Buddhist treasures, and close to the photogenic Hanging Monastery, the world’s oldest wooden pagoda, and crumbling earthen sections of the Great Wall.