Datong City Wall

Fortress in Datong

This incredible city wall has been rebuilt from the soles up in what must be one of the most ambitious feats of engineering to hit Datong since, well, since the last time it was built. Prior to the rebuild, what was left of the wall had been denuded of bricks and reduced to earthen stumps. At 7.2km in circumference, the wall makes an ambitious jogging circuit, or you can hire a bicycle (¥50) or sit on an electric buggy (¥30). Passport required.

Many may question the logic of spending billions on recreating the city wall, while others may point to the hollow structure of some sections (bricks on a concrete scaffold frame) as constituting a 'fake relic'. The city was first walled back in 421, and again in the late 14th century, so perhaps think of this new iteration as just another era of Datong wall-building. And come nightfall, it truly is an amazing sight, the dramatic spectacle of the regularly spaced, illuminated watchtowers stunning to behold.

An original section of city wall to the north of the rebuilt wall is still in its earthen state.

The main entry point to the wall is by the south gate, but you can also get on (and off) at the east, north and west gates.