Welcome to Shanxi

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.

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Shanxi 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.

$105 Cultural & Theme Tours

Datong to Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple Private Day Tour

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.

$99 Private & Custom Tours

Pingyao with Shuanglin Temple and Zhangbi Castle: Private Tour

Picked up by your guide and driver around 09:00am from your 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.

$118 Cultural & Theme Tours

One Day Classic Datong Tour

In the morning at some 8:30 am, meet your guide and driver who will hold a board with your name in your Datong downtown hotel lobby. Firstly we drive westwards to Yungang Grottoes. As the first batch of key cultural relics under state protection, also on the world heritage list, Yuagang Grottoes has a highly cultural and artistic meaning. It not only shows the traditional Chinese artistic style, but also incorporates the art characteristics of ancient India, the western regions and the Central Plain. Yungang Grottoes is the beginning of the "sinicization" of Chinese grotto art, which mainly stores 45 grottoes and 51,000 stone statues.After a delicious Chinese style lunch, you will be transferred to Hanging Temple. Located between the cliffs of Mt. Hengshan, it is the only unique temple in China that integrates Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The whole monastery is built in wooden framework structure. Though not very big, it astonishes people by the building design that relies on a mortise joint and embeds into the cliff without falling down. Owning a history over 1,500 years, many notable literati and poets have left words to show their amazing feeling. If time permits after Hanging Temple, we will also pay a visit to Nine-Dragon Wall. The wall was built in late Ming Dynasty, which is composed of coloured glaze. Nine dragons are different in shape and form, each of which is connected by water grass, white clouds and rocks. It presents the superb sculpture skills of ancient China. (If time is not enough for Nine-Dragon Wall, you will be refunded its entrance fee)When finishing all sites, you will be transferred back to your Datong downtown hotel.