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China - DESTINATIONS & HOTELS

Datong

Datong is situated between Beijing and Xian and is bordered by Inner Mongolia to the north. By far the greatest attraction of the area is the 1,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage listed Yungang Grottoes. These mountain-side caves and recesses number more than 50 in all and are filled with around 50,000 Buddhist statues - the largest being a 56-foot Seated Buddha while the smallest is only a few centimeters tall. In addition to the carvings of the Buddha, there are also murals and carvings depicting Buddhist teachings. The caves are located approximately 16kms from the city.

Located 65 km to the southeast of Datong City and perched precariously halfway up a cliff, some 50 meters above a river, the Hanging Monastery makes for one of the most remarkable sights in China. The monastery consists of a complex of 40 rooms linked together by mid-air corridors and walkways, this remarkable monastery appears to be glued to the side of a sheer precipice. It is known as the "Temple Suspended in the Void". This architectural wonder is said to have been built around 490 and has been “hanging here” for over 1500 years. It has been renovated a number of times, most recently in 1900, and much of the current structure dates from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.