The Buddhist grottoes and Hanging Monastery of Datong
The 50,000 Buddhist statues carved into the Yungang caves at Datong reveal the town as a past capital for Buddhist practice and grand artisans and craft. Carved over 1500 years ago during the Wei dynasty, the extensive Yungang Grottoes are an impressive sight and significant site of religious dedication. You’ll want to explore the nearby Hanging Monastery too; this amazing Buddhist temple appears to be glued to the side of a cliff in a unique architecture best suited to those seeking isolation, elevation and metaphor. Solitude and silence were important precepts over the last millennia of local Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist practice, and here the systems and their ideas sit together – the monastery is a rare place where all have coalesced and their artifacts remain in precarious command of the landscape below.