Hanging Temple, a temple built into a cliff in Datong City, Shanxi Province

Updated: 2018-08-01
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The Hanging Temple, also known as Xuankong Temple (simplified Chinese: 悬空寺) is a temple built into a cliff near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China.



The Hanging Temple was originally around 60 meters above the ground. However, due to the siltation of the riverbed over the years, it is now only around 58 meters above the ground.




The Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area, along with the Yungang Grottoes.




Built in 491, the Hanging Temple is notable not only for its location on a steep cliff but also because it is the only existing temple dedicated to three Chinese traditional religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.




The structure is kept in place with oak crossbeams fitted into holes chiseled into the cliffs. The main supporting structure is hidden inside the bedrock of the cliff. The temple is located in a small canyon basin, and the body of the building hangs from the middle of the cliff under a prominent summit, protecting the temple from rain erosion and sunlight. The temple consists of 40 rooms. After undergoing repairs by many dynasties, the temple is relatively well preserved.



In 1957, the Hanging Temple was listed as a key cultural relics protection unit in Shanxi Province.
In 1982, it was listed as a national key cultural relics protection unit in China.
In 2010, it was listed in Time Magazine as one of the world's top ten most odd dangerous buildings.

Near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, Datong City, Shanxi Province, China.

Hours of operation:
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in winter (November to May)
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Summer (June to October)

Tourist boom season: From March to October


Three-day tour to Shanxi province

(Yanmen Pass, Yungang Grottoes, Hanging Temple, and Jinci)

Day 1: Arrive in Taiyuan City by plane and then visit Yanmen Pass


Travel to Taiyuan by plane. When you arrive at the airport in Taiyuan, there will be an employee waiting there to pick you up and take you to visit the first attraction -- Yanmen Pass (or Yanmenguan). The area was a strategic choke point in ancient and medieval China, controlling access between the valleys of central Shanxi and the Eurasian Steppe. Entry: RMB 90 per person; green car fare: RMB 10 per person. The drive from Taiyuan airport to Yanmen Pass is about 2.5 hours. Time for sightseeing is around 1.5 hours. After sightseeing, the driver and tour guide will take you to the hotel for check in. After check in, stay overnight in Datong. The drive from Yanmen Pass to the hotel in Datong city is around two hours.

Day 2: Visit Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Temple


After breakfast, visit Yungang Grottoes. Yungang, Longmen, and Mogao are three of the most famous ancient Buddhist sculpture sites of China. In 2001, the Yungang Grottoes were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Yungang Grottoes are considered by UNESCO to be a "masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art.” Entry: RMB 125 per person. Time for sightseeing is around two hours.


Drive to Hunyuan county in Datong city to visit the famous Hanging temple (also called the Hanging Monastery or Xuankong Temple). The drive is around 1.5 hours. After lunch, visit the Hanging Temple, which was listed in Time Magazine as one of the world's top ten most odd dangerous buildings in 2010. Entry for the first door: RMB 25 per person. Entry for the second door: RMB 100 per person. Time for sightseeing is around 1 hour. After sightseeing, return to Taiyuan (the drive is around three hours). Stay overnight in Taiyuan.

Day 3: Visit Jinci and Taiyuan airport drop-off


After breakfast, visit Jinci (or Jin Temple) for around 1.5 hours. Entry: RMB 80 per person. At 3:30 p.m., your tour guide and driver will drop you off at the Taiyuan airport marking the end of tour services.




Prices include:
1. Transport in Shanxi province
2. Three-star hotel expenses
3. Local English tour guide
4. Entrance tickets
5. Transport to/from scenic spots

Prices exclude
1. Plane fare
2. Lunches and dinners

Note: All images in this article are sourced from internet.


Call Apple Travel to organize a trip with private vehicle and English-speaking tour guide there. 


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