Travel Budget for Datong

Shanxi, China

How much does it cost to travel to Datong?

Average Daily Expenses

(Per Person)

This typical travel budget for Datong is an aggregation of travel expenses from real travelers. This will give you an idea of how much money you will need during your visit.

Average Daily Travel Cost:
¥ 144.68
Accommodation1 ¥ 63.65
Food2 ¥ 54.59
Water2 ¥ 2.26
Local Transportation1 ¥ 4.55
Entertainment1 ¥ 87.63
Souvenirs1 ¥ 40.00
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016
If you're looking for an old world city, with a renovated feel, you might want to spend some time in Datong, China. This city was once walled-in and the newest initiative is to rebuild their great wall to maintain their old world charm. Datong is definitely done a lot to make itself a contender in the world of vacation destinations.
Sights
The very first thing you'll want to put on your site seeing list is the Yungang Caves. These 1,500 year old mountain caves are an UNESCO World Heritage Site given that altogether the caves and recesses hold approximately 51,000 Buddha statues. They have Buddhas of every shape and size – from a 56-foot Seated Buddha to mini Buddha that stands a few centimeters tall. You will also see rare and precious scenes depicting the Buddhist teachings and famous monks who spread those messages. It's easy to take a walk through and know that unlike the wall surrounding this city, these caves are authentically ancient. There has been little to no reconstruction here.

For a short day trip of out of Datong, don't miss the Hanging Monastery. Tucked away on the edge of a cliff, this monastery is one of the most visited sights in all of China. Forty rooms are linked together by mid-air walkways. While it was built in 490, much of today's structure dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The Yingxian Wooden Pagoda is the tallest and oldest wooden structure in the whole of China. Dating back to 1056 in the Liao Dynasty, only the first floor and ground floor are open to visitors. You won't spend as much time here as at the Hanging Monastery, but it's definitely worth a stop.

If you want to see a bit of the Great Wall, head to the Ba Taizi ruins. Here you'll see the dilapidated sections of the Great Wall along with the interesting ruins of an ancient gothic church.

It's hard go anywhere in this region without hitting temple or two. Add the Huayan Temple to your list. Built in the Liao dynasty, this temple faces east, not south. This leads many to believe the Khitan who built it were sun worshippers. This temple is divided into two parts – the active monastery and the museum below. The main hall of the Upper Temple is quite stunning and stands as one of the largest Buddhist halls in all of China – complete with Ming murals and Qing statues.

Another incredible sight to see is the amazing Nine Dragon Screen. The nine multicolored coiling dragons create quite an atmosphere around this Ming-dynasty spirit wall. It once protected a palace belonging to the 13th son of a Ming Emperor, and it burnt down in 1644 – whoops. This palace, the Dai Wangfu, fell during the final stages of the Ming dynasty. This giant palace once spanned 191,000 square meters – spanning from the Da Dgonjie street in the north all the way down to a street just shy of the new city wall.

If you're more into art a little closer to this century, visit the China Sculpture Museum. Built within the restored city walls, these hallways are home to some of the day's best contemporary sculptures by Chinese and foreign artists. While you stroll these corridors, be on the look out for some uncovered sections of the original city walls. They date back to the Ming, Jin, Liao and Northern Wei dynasties. Be sure you have your passport for readmission after your tour.
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Food and Dining
This is not the Chinese food you call up and order on a Friday night. In Datong you'll want to seek out the traditional food in the modern settings. This region of China is especially known for its noodles. They come in different shapes, sizes and covered in a variety of sauces. You'll also want to look for the shaomai (steamed dim-sum dumpling) with every combination of meats and fillings. Luckily, Datong knows their audience and many restaurants will offer menus with pictures.
Transportation
Datong has a fairly extensive public bus system with lines running from the train station to most major attractions throughout the region. However, it may relieve a lot of stress to simply hire a car for the main sites outside of town – like the Hanging Monastery.
Travel Tips

The Best Chinese Restaurant

By Bryan on Oct 28, 2011 in Food
The best food we ate in China was in Datong, at a restaurant near the train station. With your back to the front door of the train station, a large plaza opens in front of you. A large building to the right has a hotel, and a big restaurant is in the bottom floor of what appears to be an office building on the corner. An army of young women serve amazing food and will attempt to practice their English on you if you let them. The prices were good as well.

Places to Stay

By backpackguru on Oct 31, 2011 in Accommodation
If you're in Datong, there's a chance you're here for just a night on your way from Pingyao into Mongolia. It's not a bad stopover, and there are even some good day trips if you decide to stay a few days. Budget accommodations are limited and there are no hostels. In particular, a recommendation from Lonely Planet by the bus and train stations is no longer there. It has been upgraded to a nicer hotel. Don't get frustrated though because the prices given the high quality of many of these hotels are quite reasonable and affordable. Don't spend too much time searching for typical budget accommodation (you won't find it), just pay a few more dollars and stay at a business travelers place. It's comfortable and well worth it, particularly after all the long bus rides.
1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.
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