The highlights of this trip are the Yungang Grottoes and Ancient City of Pingyao. Both are UNESCO Heritage sites. Ping Yao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century. The Yungang Grottoes in Datong City represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the fifth and sixth centuries. From Datong to Pingyao, you will also visit the Hanging Monastery which hosts worship for the Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists; the holy mountain: Hengshan Mountain and a historical Zhangbi Fort.

Tour Highlights | Two UNESCO Treasures

-An architectural wonder-Hanging Monastery
-Outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art
-The Confucian ideology
-Classical Chinese architecture and colorful local traditions

Brief itinerary | Two UNESCO Treasures

Day 1 Datong arrival, visit the Yungang Grottoes (no meal)
Day 2 Visit the Hanging Monastery and Hengshan Mountain, take a train ride to Pingyao (Breakfast)
Day 3 Family Wang’s Mansion and Zhangbi Ancient Fort (Breakfast)
Day 4 Pingyao discovery (Breakfast)
Day 5 Transfer to Taiyuan Airport or Railway Station, departure (Breakfast)

Tour details | Two UNESCO Treasures
Day 1 Datong arrival, visit the Yungang Grottoes (no meal)  

Meet on arrival at Datong airport or train railway station, transfer to hotel and check in. Stay at Datong Garden Hotel for 1 night. In the afternoon, you will visit the UNESCO Heritage site Yungang Buddhist grottoes.

The massive Yungang Buddhist grottoes were cut from the mid-5th Century to early-6th Century AD.  Comprising 252 caves and niches and 51,000 statues within a carved area of 18,000 square meters, the Yungang Grottoes represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China. They have played a vitally important role among early Oriental Buddhist grottoes and had a far-reaching impact on Buddhist cave art in China and East Asia.

Lunch & dinner on your own

Day 2 Vist the Hanging Monastery and Hengshan Mountain, take a fast train ride to Pingyao (Breakfast)

Hotel breakfast, Lunch & dinner on your own. Today you will visit the Hanging Monastery and Hengshan Mountain.

Hengshan Mountain, the Northern Mountain of the Five Sacred Mountains (other four are Taishan, Huashan, Hengshan and Songshan), boasting 108 peaks and spanning 150 kilometers, has an average elevation of 2,017 meters. Hengshan Mountains are famous for the steepy ridges, splendid peaks, exotic-shaped temples, and gushing fountains, together with oddly-shaped stones and forests of ancient trees, which constitutes a beautiful landscape.

Hengshan Mountain boasts many cultural relics like temples, sites of academy, steles and engravings, some of which occupy important positions in the development of China’s ancient architecture, such as Xuankong Temple (the Hanging Monastery), Yuanjue Brick Pagoda and Yongan Temple.

The Hanging Monastery was built in 491 AD, hosts worship for the Taoists, Confucians and Buddhists. The temple is hung on the middle of the cliff and is still in perfect conditions after so many years. The extant monastery was largely rebuilt and maintained in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Transfer to Datong Railway Station and take a fast train to Pingyao (D5375 departure 17:55 arrival 21:17 or similar) Meet on arrival at Pingao Railway Station and transfer to hotel, check in.

Stay at Pingyao Yunjincheng Mansion for 3 nights.

Day 3 Family Wang’s Mansion and Zhangbi Ancient Fort (Breakfast)

Hotel breakfast, Lunch & dinner on your own

Visit Family Wang’s Mansion in the morning. Mansion of the Wang Family is an agglomeration of folk houses of Qing Dynasty. It was built by descendants of the Wang Family of Taiyuan, one of the top four families of Lingshi county in history, during the reigns of emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng, Qianlong and Jiaqing of Qing Dynasty. The architecture has grand scales, which are separated into the five lanes, five castles and five ancestral temples. The courtyards of the five ancestral temples were allocated to symbolize the five auspicious beasts of dragon, phoenix, turtle, Chinese unicorn and tiger. They amount to 250,000 square meters.

Visit then Zhangbi Ancient Fort in the afternoon. The Fort is located in the precipitous section of Jiexiu Basin with three sides of ravine and one side of plain, the Ancient Castle of Zhangbi stands 1040 meters high above the sea level; taking its full geographical advantage, it constructed a three-layer and 3000-meter-long tunnel underground for both offence and defence, and a city over ground for weapons and soldiers. On both sides of Longji Street which was made of red rock in the city are five well-spaced temple complex.

With the ancient city wall and castle overground and the “myriametre Great Wall” underground, the Zhangbi Ancient Castle is a well-preserved pocket castle combining military, inhabitancy, production and religion; it is a village hailed as a profound history with multi-ethnic cultures and inhabitants of dozens of family surnames.

Day 4 Pingyao discovery (Breakfast)

Hotel breakfast, Lunch & dinner on your own

Pingyao is a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was a financial center of China. It is now renowned for its well-preserved ancient city wall. Pingyao still retains its city layout from the Ming and Qing dynasties, conforming to a typical bagua pattern. More than 300 sites in or near the city have ancient ruins. Preserved Ming and Qing-style residence’s number closes to 4,000. The streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance.

Explore the ancient city Pingyao. You will see the ancient City Wall, visit the Ri Shenchang Money-exchange Shop and walk along the Mingqing Street. See thousands of Ming- and Qing-style residences, the streets and storefronts still largely retain their historical appearance. Visit the Zhenguo Temple, Shuanglin Temple & Ri Sheng Chang Financial House.

Day 5 Transfer to Taiyuan airport or Railway Station, departure (Breakfast)

Hotel breakfast and check out.

Transfer to Taiyuan around 1.5-2 hours, on the way visit Jinci Temple. Located 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the southeast of downtown Taiyuan City, Jinci Temple is a combination of historical cultural relics and beautiful landscapes. The welcoming boughs of a multitude of ancient trees provide an eye-catching entrance to the temple. Beyond this, the numerous halls, cabinets, pavilions and bridges are guaranteed to keep any visitor enthralled. Jinci Temple is world-famous because it is an ancient ancestral temple, something which is rare in China.

Transfer to Taiyuan airport or railway station, departure (END)

Price
CNY 4680 per double occupancy, twin sharing room
CNY 6380 per single room
Size of group: min. 4-6 persons

What’s Included
-All private transfers with air-conditioned vehicle as indicated in the itinerary
-Fast train (D train) from Datong to Pingyao with first class ticket
-4 nights hotel accommodation standard single, twin room
-4 hotel breakfasts
-Sightseeing tours, entrance fee & environment protection fee
-English & Mandarin speaking local guide during the whole trip

What’s Not Included
-In and out flight or train (pls ask our assistant)
-Travel Insurances (pls ask our assistant)
-Personal expense, beverages and meals, and highlights or sightseeings, which are not indicated in the itinerary
-Tips to guides, porterages & drivers if service is satisfied

Hotels & Resorts | Two UNESCO Treasures

City: Datong
Hotel Name: Datong Garden Hotel
Information: All accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. The property offers many unique recreational opportunities such as fitness center, sauna, spa, massage, table tennis. When you are looking for comfortable and convenient accommodation in Datong
Location: in the heart of Datong, and it is a comprehensive hotel offering both leisure and business facilities. Datong’s main sights,  including Shanhua Temple,  the Drum Tower,  and other cultural hotspots are within a few minutes’ walk.

City: Pingyao
Hotel name: Yunjincheng Mansion

Information: Yunjincheng is located in the famous Ming and Qing street in Pingyao. It is combined by eighteen elegant and unique courtyards with over 80 decorated and equipped luxurious suites and standard apartments.

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