Blogs from Datong, Shanxi, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong July 24th 2017

Encore un site bouddhique, mais très différent et vraiment exceptionnel Les plus belles salles sont surprenantes et impressionnantes C'est très abîmé mais restauré comme il faut pour qu'on puisse avoir une idée du site il y a 1500 ans... read more
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Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong July 23rd 2017

Ce deuxième trajet en bus restera dans nos mémoires : d'abord 2 heures de sur place dans les bouchons de wutai chan, puis un racket limite inquiétant en pleine montagne, la route defoncee et sinuseuse, le minivan rincé, l'arrivée dans une ville grise qui alterne barres d'immeubles et bidonvilles: on est bien contents de repartir par le train, depuis la gare juste en face de notre hôtel ! On a quand même fait un tour dans la vieille ville refaite façon far west ( de belles façades cachent la misère) Et on attend beaucoup des grottes demain... read more
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Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong August 18th 2016

het weer ziet er vanmorgen niet goed uit. Het regent behoorlijk hard en het is mistig. Na het ontbijt toch maar richting Datong om de hangende tempel te bezichtigen. Deze tempel is ong 1500 jaar geleden door 1 monnik gebouwd, op ong 75 meter hoogte hangend aan de rotsen! Je vraagt je af wat zo'n gast gedacht heeft om dit te gaan bouwen. Toen we aankwamen op deze plaats regende het nog steeds, dus hebben we hier regenponcho's gekocht en begon de tocht naar boven, natuurlijk samen met een enorme lading chinezen. In de tempel kun je maar op 1 manier er doorheen lopen. Het is dus tegen de rotsen gebouwd, steunend op palen die ook weer tegen de rotsen leunen. Het is vrij smal, maar de monnik heeft ook ruimtes uitgekapt in de rotsen. Na ... read more
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Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong October 27th 2014

From there our driver was taking us to see Muta, a five story wooden pagoda which is the worlds oldest and tallest wooden pagoda. It is 67 metres tall and was standing in the midst of a large open area which added to it's impact. It was built without any nails in 1056 and has very little colour on it. Only the bottom floor is open for viewing now - the clay Buddha in this floor was 11 metres high and sitting under a beautiful conical shaped ceiling. We were pleased the hotel had suggested we visit the site as it wasn't one we probably would have bothered with. Surrounded by the usual souvenir stalls, they were at least quite a long way from the pagoda, not shouldering it as is normal. We left the site ... read more
Muta - the world's oldest and tallest wooden pagoda
Close up of the wooden structure of Muta
The large clay Buddha within the Muta pahoda

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong October 25th 2014

We woke to sunshine and blue skies on our first morning in Datong. Buffet breakfast was a surprise - absolutely everything you could imagine including endless cappucinnos - a lovely way to start the day. We had been planning on catching a bus out to the grottoes - we knew we would have to hire a driver to take us to the Hanging Monastery a it was 70 kilometres from the city but after talking to the staff at the hotel they suggested that we visited both together next day in a taxi which would then take us to the airport (nearly an hour out of the city) for our 7.30pm flight to Shanghai. We decided to follow their advice so once the transport was arranged for the following day we set out to explore. It ... read more
Old drum tower in centre of roundabout in Datong
Ceramic gate at the Fayuan Temple
Painted image within the Fayuan Temple

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong July 7th 2014

Geo: 40.0802, 113.302Cesta vlakem konečně končí. Byl to nezapomenutelný zážitek. Hrozně málo životního prostoru, naprostá nemožnost spát, i když Marťa na chvilku využila stolek před námi, když se tlouštík sedící proti ní na chvilku uskromnil. Nicméně jsme konečně v Datongu na nádraží a vystupujeme. Z průvodce víme, že bychom měli nasednout do busu č.4, nechat se odvézt na konečnou a tam přesednout na bus, který nás vezme k Yungang Grottoes. Je brzy a kolem nádraží nic krom Mr. Lee a tak volíme variantu jet na konečnou č.4 a tam jistě bude něco k jídlu. Nasedáme a vyráž&ia... read more
Buddha
Buddha
Caves

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong January 27th 2013

Datong is a city located 300 kilometers west of Beijing with around 2 to 3 million inhabitants. At the moment there are big changes going on in Datong. In the course of a 6 billion euro project, the whole citycentre of Datong is demolished and completely rebuild, based on a Ming Dynasty Style. We didn't know about that before coming here and were amazed by the size of the construction site which is maybe comparable to the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Or even bigger??? However, the project will be finished within the next two to three years (a fractional amount compared to the Potsdamer Platz) and its target is to boost the tourist industry. Our first task, at 4.30am, was to find an accomodation because we haven't booked something in advance. After we fought our way ... read more
Yungang Grottoes
Hanging Monastery
Yungang Grottoes

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong December 16th 2012

CHINA: The Hanging Monastery & Mu Ta. Ren Cheng asked if it was OK if his wife came as well...resident of Datong but never been to the Hanging Monastery. Drove to his home to collect her...dirty austere building...rent 2,000RMB a sq mtre..."cheap"...sixth top floor...back entrance...wife at the door...nil English...please come in. White tiled floors...quite large...sparsely furnished...massive TV on the floor in the middle of the main room...couple of chairs & a tall bookcase...empty other than about 10 books/mags that he was proud to show us. I will never forget what he showed us...pulled our heartstrings. He showed us his few books...PSP computer books that showed how computers & computer chips worked...binary codes...complex maths...technical as...probably outdated. He was "studying them to get a computer"...every night he reads them...when mastered he will get one! ... read more
GINGERBREAD HOUSES GARNISHED WITH SNOW
THE HANGING MONASTERY
MU TA

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong November 17th 2012

CHINA: Yungang at minus 20 C. Midnight train from Beijing...soft sleeper...nil sleep...Italians from Milan snoring in the top bunks...like Dr Zhivago outside...icy wastes of Inner Mongolia...then into Shanxi Provence...felt like Siberia. Train pulls into Datong at 7 a.m...dark...icy...cold as...follow the Italians...then Denise & I alone in the snow...the glow of a few lights...people scurrying...fog streaming from their mouths. A sound breaks through the darkness..."Taxi?"...a face enquiring..."Yes please". Our packs grabbed and put into the boot of a taxi...doors opened...into the back...the man then disappearing. We sat in the back...and sat...other taxis pulling away...we looking at each other...where's our driver? "I know how to get him back" I said as I stepped out of the taxi. And just like that he was back...leaving his mates t... read more
LOOKING OUT
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EXQUISITE DETAIL

Asia » China » Shanxi » Datong November 14th 2012

We arrived in Datong by train from Beijing which was a 6 hour journey on a hard sleeper. This wasn't as bad as we thought, the seats are actually soft probably similar to that of a normal commuter train in england. A tip on trains is that you need to book them in advance either through your hostel or preferably at the train station. Once you are outside Beijing you cannot book trains easily for your onward journeys and if your planning to only stay somewhere for a few days you may not get a train, so best thing to do is go to beijing station or Beijing West station and pre-book your tickets for your next few jorneys at least - this way your likely to get the soft sleepers etc. Once we arrived in ... read more




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