China 2 – Datong and Vicinity

Chris took us on one of his trademarked “Tough Tours” of the sights around Datong

Phil and Kurt pause after ariving at our first destination outside of Datong

Meanwhile our cab driver, Chris and some guy from the building across the way teach us about the public restrooms in DaTong.

Eventually we made our way to Mu Ta – an 11th century woden pagota. One of the oldest wooden buildings on Earth, it was built wihout any nails.

A closeup of one of the nail-less joints in the Mu Ta.

The road to the next sight…

XuanKong – the hanging monastery. This 1400 year old monestary was built on the side of a cliff making use of natural hollows and outcrops.

Chris and Kurt make their way across a bridge between parts of the monastery.

The monastery (again).

On the road to the next sight…

A statue of Buddha carved into the Yungang Caves (Phil, 6′-5″ tall, is standing at the base)

There are over 50,000 Buddhist statues carved into the caves here are several 3″ tall statues carved into one of the walls.

Finally, we went to an unmaintained section of the Great Wall. Yes, it has disintrigrated into a long mound of dirt.

Phil and Chris circle the remains of a tower along the wall.

The next day we went to see a couple of temples. These are a couple of Dragon statues at the ShanHua Temple.

Phil and Kurt chill in the Hu Tong outside the temple.

Later that afternoon we caught a 6-hour train back to Beijing.