This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Datong.
Famous for its history and raw beauty, Datong is located in the Shanxi province of China, bordering Inner Mongolia. Unlike other areas in China, the scenery here is majestic and hard hitting, leaving you gasping at the grandeur of not only the landscapes, but also the city’s buildings and architecture.
Datong was founded during the Han dynasty, meaning that there is are many historical relics and icons that can be seen on a visit here. The Yungang Grottos, for example, are a series of caves where over 50,000 carved images of the Buddha reside. Some of these statues are over 1,000 years old, and can be seen by travelling just outside of Datong centre. Similarly, within the city itself, there are many ancient sites, such as the Nine Dragon Wall, which was commonly constructed in royal palaces and gardens.
You will also find religious historical significance within the Huayan Monastery and Shanhua Temple, both found in Datong. These buildings are full of grandeur, and make the city an iconic one. If you get sick of staring at the man-made majesty, then go to visit more natural examples of proud elegance. Mount Hengshan is not far from Datong and is one of the Five Sacred Mountains in China. The mountain ranges are well worth the visit purely for their natural, jaw dropping beauty.
Staying in a hostel in Datong is easy and very cheap per person per night. A lot of the hostels in the city are youth hostels, and so they are modern and simple, a little bit contrasting to the rest of the city. Whether you are looking to stay for a long time or just for a short visit, hostels here are very accommodating, if a little busy.
The transport links in Datong are very good, and the city is especially proud of its railway routes. The best time to visit is between April and October, as this is the most comfortable time weather wise, without being too hot or too cold.
Written by local enthusiast for Datong hostelsJakob Lombardi