Datong China Yungang Grottoes

Datong Travel Blog

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After we visited the Hanging Monastery, we went to the Yungang Grottoes. These are caves dug into the side of a mountain and large statues were created by the people who dug out the caves. These were caves that were dug in the 5th century. There are over 45 main caves and 109 smaller ones. There are over 51,000 stone statues there. I was very impressed with some of the larger caves because they had statues so large and massive; it was hard to think that they were carved by hand out of the rock.

We headed back into town to go the hotel. It was a long day and we had to crash early.  The food at the Datong Hotel restaurant was not very good.  The one bright spot was the menu.  It their attempt to translate items to English, they had some very funny dishes: "Nasty Juice of Meat" and "Fuck the Fragrant Flower Fish plate" and other gems that had us laughing out loud. Our only regret was we didn't get a picture of the menu.

The taxi drivers drive with the steering wheel and the horns. People and bikes cross the street without any worry of cars or lights.  I was puckering many times in the back of the taxis on the whole trip, if you know what I mean!
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Today we had to take a plane to Datong China. The hotel concierge "Jeff" set us up with a car to take us back to the airport. We left the big bags at the hotel and traveled light with just our back packs. 

When we got to the Datong airport we were mobbed again by "taxi" drivers.  We saw one that looked official and they said 50 Yuan. As we were getting in the taxi, I noticed that the driver pulled the taxi sign off the roof of the car and threw it in the trunk.  I guess we didn't pick the right one this time. (We found out the next day that it should have cost us 37 Yuan (about $1 less).

The city of Datong is mostly a  poor area. That was evident as we drove from the airport to the hotel. We checked into the Datong Hotel, which is probably the best there, but  it has had its day.  Needs a good cleaning and paint job. The rooms were small and the bed was hard as a rock. The room view gives you a clue on what they have to offer there.

We tried to take one of the CITS (China International Travel Service) buses.  There was a local office outside the hotel gate. We just happened to get a CITS agent who did not speak English and it didn't look like any buses were available. The hotel desk clerk helped us negotiate a taxi to take us to both the Hanging Monastery and the Yungang Grottoes.  The ride was over an hour long but was well worth the trip!  The Hanging Monastery was very cool.
photo by: Deats