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+86 592 5161466 info@chinamemorytrip.com

4-Day Datong and Pingyao Private Tour of Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, Pingyao Ancient City, Wang Family Compound and Shuanglin Temple

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Overview:

Datong and Pingyao keep the very essence of Shanxi’s history and culture which can be enjoyed in brief 4 days. From Datong to Pingyao Ancient City, you will trace back to discover ancient architectural wonders and learn about the history, also admire the brilliant Buddhist culture and art in Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple. It’s a fusion exploration of World Cultural Heritage in different ancient dynasties in this legendary land in northern heart of China. You will also experience a bullet train ride from Datong to Pingyao.

 

Tour Code

SX4D3N-DPS-403

Duration

4 Days/3 Nights
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Datong

Attractions: Yungang Grottoes, Nine Dragon Screen Wall, Huayan Temple
Meal: Not Included
Hotel: Overnight in Datong

Welcome to Datong! You will be greeted by local tour guide at Datong Yungang Airport or Datong South Railway Station or your hotel directly.

Today, you will drive about 50 minutes (23 kilometers) to Yungang Grottoes, a World Heritage site dating back to 5th century. Containing 254 Buddhist caves, Yungang Grottoes stretches about 1 km long. It is filled with about 5,100 precious sculptures – the height of the largest Buddha statue reaches 17 meters and the smallest is only 2 centimeters tall. Most of the sculptures are Buddhas, from which you can be awestruck at their life-like features and blissful smiles. You won’t miss Cave No.5 and Cave No. 6 – the highlights of Yungang Grottoes with the entire interiors carved and colored. Facing these jaw-dropping celestial beings in different shapes, you can imagine the painstaking effort taken to produce them.

In the afternoon, drive back to Datong city to visit Nine Dragon Screen Wall, made of colorful glazed tiles and depicting nine dragons. It was served as a temple’s spirit wall placed in the entrance to inhibit the evil spirit’s coming. Now it is the biggest and oldest glazed dragon wall in China. Next, you will visit Huayan Temple – the largest and best preserved monastery built by Khitan during Liao Dynasty. Unlike most traditional Chinese buildings, it interestingly faces east not south, because the Khitan were Sun worshipers. Indulge yourself in the palatial buildings, exquisite frescoes, valued inscriptions in the temple.

Stay overnight in Datong.

Day 2Datong - Pingyao

Attractions: Hanging Temple, Yingxian Wooden Pagoda
Meal: Not Included
Hotel: Overnight in Pingyao

After breakfast, you will move to Hanging Temple, after 1.5 hours’ driving (80 km). Built in 491 during Northern Wei Dynasty, it enjoys a history of over 1,500 years. Miraculously carved into the sheer cliff of Hengshan Mountain, Hanging Temple is one of the most incredible sights in China. Its 40 perilous halls and pavilions lean straight over the canyon. Seeing it from the ground, travelers can’t help admiring at the ancient people’s wisdom. Moreover, Hanging Temple is featured as the only existing temple with the combination of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. So various sculptures are enshrined in the temple. You have enough time to unlock the mystery of why this unusual temple could stand in the precarious position and explore China’s religious culture.

After the exciting experience in Hanging Temple, drive 1 hour to Yingxian Wooden Pagoda, also known as Sakyamuni Pagoda. Built in 1056 during Liao Dynasty (907 ~ 1125) and standing at 67.31 meters high, it is the oldest and tallest wooden multi-storey structure in the world. What amazes visitors most is that the whole structure was made without using any nails, screws, or bolts. The first storey holds an 11 meters high Sakyamuni statue, sitting under a delicate caisson ceiling. For Buddhists, the Wooden Pagoda is a Must-vist site to worship because there are two precious tooth relics of Sakyamuni preserved in it.

After the tour, drive to the train station to catch your high speed train to Pingyao (about 3hrs). You will be picked up by local tour guide and escorted to check in to your hotel. The rest of today is free for you to explore the ancient city of Pingyao.

Day 3Pingyao

Attractions: Pingyao Ancient City, Ancient City Wall of Pingyao, Rishengchang Former Bank, Ming and Qing Street,Temple of City God, Shuanglin Temple
Meal: Not Included
Hotel: Overnight in Pingyao

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up to start Pingyao Ancient City exploration. As one of the best-preserved ancient cities in China, Pingyao Ancient City is listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site because of its brilliant cultural magnificence. With a history over 2700 years, Pingyao Ancient City still keeps its intact charm: ancient city walls, elegant courtyards, scattered temples, all reflecting the urban planning style between 1368 and 1911 during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Your tour starts from the Ancient City Wall of Pingyao, where you can have a panorama view of the layout of this town. Then you will move on to the Rishengchang Former Bank, which shows you the original bank system in the past. Next, stroll on the traditional Ming and Qing Street, a cobbled road with old buildings on either side. It’s much like tracing back to the former bustle bazaar in the old days. Later, visit the Temple of City God to appreciate the wonderful wood carvings, paintings and sculptures in the old temple.

After Pingyao Ancient City exploration, drive about 15 minutes to visit Shuanglin Temple, where you will be impressed by its large number of clay figures and wooden sculptures of various gods, goddesses and saints.

Return to your hotel after Shuanglin Temple visit.

Optional activity:Enjoy the excellent drama show of Another Glance at Pingyao (19:00~20:30) which presents local life, prosperity and recession of Pingyao during Qing dynasty vividly.

Day 4Pingyao

Attractions: Zhangbi Ancient Castle, Wang’s Family Compound
Meal: Not Included
Hotel: Not Included

After breakfast, drive about 1 hour to Zhangbi Ancient Castle, which is a series of tunnels dug to hide out in times of war in over 1380 years ago. You will be amazed by the fabulous feat of architecture and engineering in ancient time.

Later, move to Wang’s Family Compound which is reputed as an art museum of traditional Chinese architecture and “Forbidden City in Folk”. It is a building complex of multi-generation endeavor of Jingsheng Wang family through the Ming and Qing dynasties for more than 300 years, including five lanes and 6 forts and 231 courtyards, 2,078 rooms and a street with a total area of 250,000 square meters. Within the courtyards are rooms, kitchens, schools, and prayer pavilions. The architectural layout of the Wang Family Compound inherits the courtyard style formed in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC~771 BC) – halls in front and bedroom at back which not only provides enough space for social activities, but also satisfies the requirements of the family privacy. Young and orderly, men and women, hosts and workers are accommodated in different areas, which fully reflects the majesty of the official family and the regularity of the patriarchal etiquette in ancient China.

After visiting, your local guide will escort you to Airport / Railway Station to catch your flight / train to next destination.

Price Includes

  • Local transportation with private vehicle and skilled driver
  • Experienced tour guide
  • Entrance fees as listed in the program
  • 3 nights accommodation(3 or 4 or 5-star depends on yourself)
  • Pick-up and send-off services at the beginning/end of the tour
  • 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day

Price Excludes

  • Flight/train tickets
  • Meals
  • Gratuities(optional)
  • Any optional programs/activities
  • Any services not mentioned