Just 16km west of Datong, the monumental Yungang Caves, a set of Buddhist grottoes carved into the side of a sandstone cliff, are a must. Built around 400 AD at a time of religious revival, the caves were the first and grandest of the three major Buddhist grottoes, the other two being the Longmen Caves in Luoyang and the Mogao Caves in Gansu. These are the best preserved, but prepare to be disappointed by their surroundings – the atmosphere has for years been blighted by nearby coal mines, and the benefits afforded by the recent addition of parkland have been eroded by a huge and even more recently built shopping mall. However, it’s still well worth the trip.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Hong Kong

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Hong Kong

Hong Kong floats between old China and the west; its futuristic harbour has become one of Asia's most famous views but you'll also find pockets of traditiona…

28 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

China travel tips: 8 things you need to know before you go

Even 20 years ago China was not a conventional tourist destination. Despite the allure of its beautiful landscapes and history-filled cities, politics, poverty,…

13 Jan 2017 • Simon Frank insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month