a) Art of Buddhist – Yungang Grottoes.
b) Treasures of ancient architectures - Hangying Monastery, Wooden Pagoda.
c) World heritage sites – Pingyao Ancient Town & Wan Family Compound.
Pick up at flight/train station arrival and help you to check in your hotel. The rest of the time will be free on your own or take an optional evening tour depending on your interests and arrival time.
A day dedicated to the city highlights. We start from the most important site of Yungang Grottoes and spend two hours or more here. Yungang Cave is one of the most supreme achievements of Buddhist cave art in China. The remains of this wonder comprise of 252 caves and niches with over 51,000 ancient statues and celestial beings, all were built by the top artists 1500 years ago. Each is unique and beautifully painted with mixture of Chinese character and influences of designs from Indian, Persian and Greek that swept along the Silk Road.
In the afternoon, we visit Huayan Temple, a nearly 1000-year old Buddhist Temple, located right in the downtown of Datong city. There are beautiful artistic sculptures, frescos and inscriptions in the ancient architectures. Huayan pagoda also provides a very good overview over the whole old city at its highest balcony. Then take a brief visit of a very nice artistic work, Nine Dragon Screen, which is the oldest and largest one in China.
Check out after breakfast and we will depart for Pingyao after visit of Hangying Monastery and Wooden Pagoda. Located 1.5 hours south of Datong, Hangying Monastery is a beautiful architectural wonder with history over 1,500 years. It was built on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge, more than 60 meters above the foot of Mt. Heng. The whole complex based on the support of wooden pillars inserted into the side of the cliff, and rock at the back of the building, seemingly hanging on the cliff face. The temple was built for religious purpose and it is the only existed one hosting worship for the Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists.
Then we drive 70km to Ying Xian county to have a brief visit of the world’s tallest Wooden Pagoda and take the train nearby onto Pingyao city. The pagoda was built without the help of a single nail, screw or bolt, and has survived from all the natural disasters for nearly a century. It is a shinning spot for architecture lovers.
Pingyao is China’s best-preserved ancient town. It well retains its whole building complex as well the spirit and culture. The town was developed from 14th century and reached its prosperity from the 19th century to the early 20th century, as a financial center for the whole of China. The ancient walls, temples, streets and lanes, nearly 4,000 shops and dwellings illustrate Pingyao’s age-old charms. We will spend most the day exploring the interesting spots in the town such as Rishengchang – the first China Bank, Armed Escort Museum, Ancient Government Office and the Ming-qing street.
On the other hand, the town is a living and breathing community for over 30,000 local residents, and it is the base for International Photography Festival and many other cultural activities. Many interesting things to discover.
Today we move 35km south of Pingyao to visit Wang Family Compound. It is a massive complex built over many generations by Wang Family, one of the four prominent merchant families of Shanxi Province. The courtyard remains 1,000 rooms and takes at least two hours to stroll through the entire place. The designs, decorations, carvings and statues are artistic and charming. Apart from that, there are also temporary exhibitions showing the high standards of local art.
Proceed to Zhangbi Ancient Castle in the afternoon. It is a well-preserved miniature castle that has combined defense, habitation and religion functions. You can see teetering alleys and beautiful temples in the village, and the most impressive part is the underground tunnels. It is interesting to descend some 26m in places and tour the 1500m narrow passages which once were guardhouses and bedrooms.
Back to Pingyao and visit Shuanglin Temple in the outskirt. The temple is reputed as an “oriental art gallery of painted sculptures”.
Transfer you to the airport/train station after breakfast.
Bullet trains connect Pingyao conveniently with Beijing, Taiyuan and Xian.
All sightseeing as listed in the itinerary.
Ground transfers with air-conditioned vehicle (car, minibus or coach depending on the size of your group)
Lunches (as specific) at local restaurants with a cup of soft drink per meal.
Hotel accommodations with breakfast (based on double occupancy).
Local licensed & experienced English-speaking guide.
Accident insurance during your travel.
Transport to Datong and from Pingyao.
Tips to driver and tour guide.
Wheelchair is accessible at Yungang Grottoes.
Hangying Monastery has many steps and walk through the narrow catwalks and corridors. People who can not walk up the stairs will enjoy a view from the ground only.
Hotels (or similar) Suggested
Datong: Datong Hongqi Grand Hotel 3*, Datong Garden Hotel 4*, Yungang Meigao Hotel 5*
Pingyao: Dejuyuan Inn 3*, Yide Hotel 4*, Yunjincheng Folk Hotel 5*
Condition of car/van:
1-2 persons: 5-seat car
3-4 persons: 7-seat Buick brand vehicle
Our policy covers you against personal accident, medical costs to domestic flight delays.
Medical expenses up to CNY 30,000
Personal accident up to CNY 300,000
Flight delay (over 4 hours) up to CNY 400
We strongly recommend you to purchase more comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs during hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country.
15 days before commencement of services: 100% refund.
7 to 14 days before commencement of services: charge 10% of the tour price.
2 to 6 days before commencement of services: charge 50% of the tour price.
Within 2 days of commencement of services or no-show travelers: charge 100% of the tour price.
After the trip has commenced, we are unable to refund any amount for unused services due to your willingness, early departure, late arrival, or missed days on tours.
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