Datong's Hanging Temple
Admire the breathtaking ‘swallow’s nest’ Hanging Temple
Visit China’s oldest wooden temple
Full day private excursion from Datong to the 'swallow's nest' monastery and the oldest and largest wooden pagoda in China - both amazing architectural achievements from an ancient era!
The unmissable Hanging Temple tour from Datong
Pick up from your Datong hotel and drive around 50 miles southeast of the city to the breathtaking Hanging Temple that clings 150ft up on a sheer cliff of the sacred Heng Shen mountain. This spectacular, gravity-defying temple was actually first built in the 5th century, although the present-day one is somewhat newer! You can just see the façade of the temple and the butresses from below, but behind its elaborately carved columns are caves hewn into the mountainside and inside these prayer halls are great stone, bronze or iron statues to the three main religions of China – Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism – unusually all together. After visiting this unique structure, drive a further 40 miles westwards to see the oldest wooden pagoda in China, 200ft high, a thousand years old, and constructed entirely without the use of nails! Return to Datong.
AM: If you are an early riser get to the Tiananmen Square for flag rising ceremony. Later in the morning visit the magnificent Tiananmen Square bordered by Great Hall of the People and Mao’s Mausoleum. Later visit the impressive UNESCO site, the Forbidden City which was a home to a succession of Emperors for more than 500 years. Exit through the north gate of the Forbidden City and visit the Jingshan Park for panoramic views of the city.
EVENING: Spend the evening with the performers at the Beijing Opera learning about this uniquely Chinese art.
PM: In the afternoon visit another UNESCO site and the Ming dynasty masterpiece, the Temple of Heaven and try Tai Chi. Opposite the Temple of Heaven visit one of the biggest market of fake goods in China, the Hongqiao Market where you can try your haggling skills.
EVENING: In the evening enjoy a traditional Peking Duck Dinner.
AM: Start the day with a visit of the authentic Beijing hidden in the local Hutongs. Don’t miss the Lama and the Confucius Temple.
PM: Learn about modern Chinese art at the funky 798 street which was formerly a military industrial complex from the 50’s. What’s fascinating is that several of the factories within the complex are still operational.
EVENING: Spend the evening at the Hou Hai Lake among the modern bars and restaurants.
AM: Fly to the ancient city of Xian and transfer to the hotel for two nights.
PM: On the way to the hotel visit the excellent Provincial Museum of Shaanxi Province built on the site of a former Confucian temple.
EVENING: In the evening enjoy the Tang Era music and dance dinner performance.
AM: Visit the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century – the Terracotta Warriors who were interred with the Emperor Qin Shu Huang, marvel at the 7000 individually crafted, life sized clay figures. Stroll around the Muslim Quarter and visit the magnificent Grand Mosque.
PM: If you are travelling to Xian between April and October 2011 try to visit the magnificent International Horticultural EXPO whose landmark is Changhan Tower which has the characteristics of a traditional timber-structure pagodas of the Tang Dynasty: every layer of roof overhang has a layer of supporting pedestals with a patterned layer-by-layer structure.
EVENING: Visit the illuminated Big Wild Goose Pagoda.
AM: Fly to cosmopolitan city Shanghai for two nights and take the Maglev train from the airport to the city.
PM: Along with the usual visits to the Jade Buddha Temple and the Yuyuan garden. I suggest you walk to the fast-disappearing Jewish quarter around the Astor Hotel. You can even ask at the hotel reception and try to visit the room in which Albert Einstein received a phone call about his Nobel Prize. It’s still the same. Continue along the Bund and watch Chinese people performing tai chi. If you are hungry you can either go to the 8th floor of the Peace Hotel for a sumptuous Chinese meal at the Phoenix restaurant with fascinating views over the Huangpu River. If you prefer something more western why not visit Cloud 8 on the 88th floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on the other side of the river. The views are breathtaking…
EVENING: In the evening visit Taikang Art Street, full of art galleries, sculpture workshops, photography studios, pottery and woodcarving workshops, etc. Stroll through Xintiandi Concession area where bars, cafes and shops are housed in typical old Shanghai houses.
AM: Visit the world class Shanghai Museum. Check what’s on at the Shanghai Theatre and continue through the People’s Park to watch the locals relaxing playing cards, performing tai chi…If you are hungry try the Barbarossa restaurant situated in the middle of the People’s Park.
PM: Continue through the famous Nanjing Road towards the Peace Hotel and listen to jazz there at the bar which has been playing there since 1923. Take the stairs to the famous Phoenix restaurant for panoramic views of the Huangpu River.
EVENING: Continue to the Bund and take an evening cruise on the Huangpu River.
- English speaking local guide
- Pivate car and driver
- All entrance fees mentioned, fuel, tolls and parking
- Meals, entrance fees not mentioned above
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities to driver, guide