Welcome to Shānxī

Travellers shouldn't overlook Dàtóng, a forward-thinking city with a brand-new city wall and a great-looking old town, but it's the astonishing cave sculptures at Yúngāng outside town that give expression to the province's other great source of magic: a rich vein of Buddhist heritage, which splendidly litters the rolling mountain fastness of Wǔtái Shān with temples. Add the time-warp walled village, Guōyù, and the still-inhabited cave dwellings of Lǐjiā Shān, and you could find yourself staying longer than planned.

Top experiences in Shānxī

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Starting at $45.49

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Shānxī activities

$40 Day Trips & Excursions

Datong Classic Day Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel in Datong or railway station at 9:00 am in the morning and transferred to the Yungang Grottoes (approx. 60 km). The Yungang Grottos, one of the three leading grottoes in China, is located in the south of Wuzhou Mountain. There are 254 grottos and 51,000 stone sculptures representing the highest level of world carving art in the fifth century and considered the peak of the Chinese Buddhism artwork. If you would like to stop by for lunch, your guide can give you some lunch recommendations at your own expense. After lunch continue to the Hanging Temple in the early afternoon. The Hanging Temple was first built 1400 years ago in the Northern Wei Dynasty and rebuilt in the Tang, Jin, Ming and Qing Dynasties. This temple is unique not only for its constructional techniques and elaborate design, but also because it combines different concept of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. After visiting the Hanging Temple for about 2 hours, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

$112 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Day Trip to Yungang Grottoes and Hengshan Hanging Temple from Datong

After pickup from your hotel in Datong at 8:30am, you will be transferred to the Hengshan Hanging Temple, also called the Hanging Monastery (approx. 1.5 hours). The Hanging Monastery is one of China's most unique and remarkable feats of wooden architecture. The monastery is also the only one built in honor of Sakyamuni, Laozi, and Confucius, who are founders of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, respectively. The monastery was founded during the Northern Wei period (386-584 ad), boasting a history of over 1,400 years. An architectural complex was built on the base of the natural hollows and outcrops along the contour of the cliff. Enjoy a traditional Chinese cuisine lunch at a local restaurant and then proceed to the Yungang Grottoes. In 2001, the site was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site. There are 53 grottoes remaining in Yungang with 45 major caves and more than 51,000 stone statues. The Yungang Grottoes are one of China's largest ancient grottoes, alongside the Dunhuang Mogao grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes and the Tianshui Maiji Mountain Grottoes, which are called China's four big grottoes. When the tour ends, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

$200 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour: Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Monastery Day Trip from Datong

At 9:00 am, your car, driver and tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in Datong to start today’s historical tour. Your first stop is Yungang Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's construction spanned 40 years in the 5th century. It stretches over half a mile (1,000 meters) continuously from east to west. 45 grottoes remained out of the original 53, and overall they contain 250 niches and 51,000 Buddhist statues with murals and frescoes which are all masterpiece of ancient Chinese carving art and embodiment of ancient people’s religious faith. After having Chinese lunch at a local restaurant, head to Hanging Monastery at the foot of Hengshan Mountain, one hour drive away from city center. The monastery is the only one that enshrines Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism within one establishment. The architecture is amazing and it literally hangs on the mountain cliff about 164 feet (50 meters) above the ground. You will have a look from the outside as climbing up the monastery at the moment is forbidden.After the tour, you will be transfer back to your hotel at around 17:30pm.

$180 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour: Wang Family Mansion and Shuanglin Temple Day Trip from Pingyao

At 9:00 am, you will be greeted by your private tour guide at your hotel in Pingyao start the day.Also known as "Double Forest Temple", Shuanglin Temple is located about a 20-minute drive from Pingyao Old Town. Shuanglin Temple was built about 1,500 years ago and renowned for its ancient locust trees, steles, frescoes, and particularly over 2,000 vivid and well preserved color-painted mud sculptures.After a Chinese lunch, drive about one hour to visit Wang Family Mansion. This huge magnificent courtyard complex occupies a higher ground overlooking a broad landscape. It boasts 123 courtyards and 1,118 rooms which entails all the major architectural features of north China peasant homes. It's buildings and decorations reflect strict social hierarchy of the time, and all of the carvings and statues have lots of meanings and stories behind them.After the tour, return to your hotel in Pingyao at about 16:00pm.

$79 Private & Custom Tours

Essential Private Tour around Pingyao Ancient Town - Shuanglin Temple - Wang Family Mansion - Zhangbi Ancient Castle

Picked up by your guide and driver from the hotel, you will be transferred to get to the well-preserved Shuanglin Temple, which is famous for the colorful carving craft. Take a close look of the exquisite hanging sculpture and vivid reliefs with your knowledgeable tour guide. Besides you can go up to the distinctive wall to enjoy the whole view of the temple. Afterwards, it takes about one-hour drive visit Wang Family Mansion,  which is a well-constructed art museum full of Han nationality culture. Wang family was devoted to building the stunning Courtyard in Ming and Qing dynasties. Explore the glorious design inspiration and look around  a variety of compounds detail by detail to admire the spectacular architectures. What’s more, you can discover the treasures left in the house and know more about its phylogeny, business customs, folk customs and etiquette. Departing from the grand mansion, drive to explore Zhangbi Ancient Castle, an intact ancient military castle combined with living, production and religious activities. The whole castle remains its original pattern and presents the glamorous rusticity. The prestigious military use is worth mentioning, here you can enjoy a special experience walking through the special-designed tunnels, which is the mysterious underground defense system of the ancient fort. Besides, delight in the tranquil ancient village while strolling leisurely on the country path and appreciate the rich cultural history. The memorable tour will finish at approximately 6pm. You will be transferred back to the hotel.

$120 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Day Tour to Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple with Lunch from Datong

You will be picked up by your private tour guide at 8:00 am and transferred to the Hanging Temple, about 1.5hours’ driving. You will visit the temple for about 1.5hours. In summer time during the peak season (from July to August), it may takes a longer time and early start, since the Hanging Temple really is a hot spot. We will arrange you the lunch in the local restaurant in Hunyuang County. If the time is early for lunch we will drive you back to Datong City to have lunch, and it will be a 1.5 hours’ driving. After lunch you will be transferred to Yungang Caves The stone carving was done in three separate stages. In the first stage, the five caves were carved under Monk Tanyao’s conduction, which are called Tanyao Five Caves now. Since it is the beginning of the stone carving, the carving style have been greatly influenced by Indian and Western Asian art style, even by the Greek art style, the statues looks much different from the later ones. In the second stage, the caves are renowned for the delicacy and details, which are the manifestation of the art style from the Northern Wei Dynasty. The caves sculpted in the later time are much smaller in sizes but the statues from this period are designed thinner but with fine appearances and handsome features, which is a reflection of Northern China’s art style as well as the beginning of figures’ design style called elegant skeleton and delicate features. Moreover, lots of caves are decorated with carvings of music instruments, flying Apsaras in dancing and statues performing Chinese ancient miscellaneous acrobatics, which is a reflection of social life and the Buddhist practicing trend at the Northern Wei Dynasty. and then visit there for about 3 hours. The scenic area of Yungang Caves has been renovated and enlarged, so it will take 40 to 50 minutes for walking in and out and you will spend 1.5 to 2 hours for visiting. If you want to leave more time for staying in the central visiting area you can take the electric car instead of walking, which will be 15yuan per person for the round trip. After that, you will be transferred to the place where the trip starts.