If you want to enjoy the natural beauty of green mountains and clear water, cities in south of the Yangtze River are the best choice. Typical cities like Hangzhou and Suzhou are prominent representatives. If you are fond of places of cultural and architectural interest, Datong, this northern China city should a best place.
Datong is the capital city of Shanxi Province and one of the famous cultural and historic cities in China. Featured by strong ancient Pingcheng Culture, Frontier Culture and Buddha Culture, Datong has numerous cultural relics and heritages to be found out. When travel to Datong, tourists are greatly impressed by those remained historic sites and art works. While among those, temples are highlights of the cultural and architectural tour to Datong. Now let's get a close look at these cultural and architectural treasures and wonders.
Yungang Grottoes, one of China's Great Grottoes, are built 1,500 years ago. There are 45 caves open for visit with thousands of Buddha statues seated. These delicately carved Buddha statues are of different sizes, with the largest one as tall as 56 feet while the smallest are only several centimeters tall. And statues are of different expressions and postures, some are seriously seated in the center, some are pounding drums or ringing a bell, some are dancing or playing a flute, or playing pipa. These lively statues with rich and impressive expressions are truthful reflections of the life in the ancient North Wei Dynasty. When you are enjoying these art works of stone carving, you would also be impressed by the profession and wisdom of the ancient people.
Hanging Temple, as the name suggests, is a temple hanging somewhere not built on the ground. From a far sight, this temple is like a relief inlaid in a half cliff. For a close look, it is a flying temple in the air. Constructed according to the natural layout of the cliff on the basis of mechanics, this temple is actually supported by crossbeams which are fitted into the cliff. With a complex of three religious halls and 40 rooms, this temple is linked by mid-walkways from the left to the right. There are clay sculptures, stone carvings, copper and iron statues characterized by Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius. The odd structure, crafty design, bold construction, artistic value, and the combination of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius have made the Hanging Temple an architectural wonder and hot attraction.
Huayan Temple is a large collection of Buddhist temples. The whole complex is constructed to face the east in a delicate layout and large scale. Also there are numerous large wall paintings with high artistic values within the temple.
Datong Earth Forest
Located in the Du Township of Datong County, Datong Earth Forest is a geographical spectacle created by the nature. Alongside the blue waters, there stand this stone groove eroded by years of sunshine, rain and lakes. When seen far away, this earth forest is like numerous castles, or like clay sculptures. It presents different views in the morning and dawn under sunshine and glows. Sometimes they are glittery golden, sometimes are red like flames, or sometimes are white. This colorful grand sight in addition to its bleak has made it a hot destination for photographers.