Hanging Monastery (Xuankong Si)
Hanging Monastery stands at the foot of Mt. Hengshan, 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of Hunyuan County, and 65 kilometers (40 miles) from downtown Datong City. Since it hangs on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge more than 50 meters above the ground, it is called Hanging Monastery.
Built in 491, it has survived more than 1400 years. The extant monastery was largely rebuilt and maintained in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Construction experts from countries including Britain,Germany, and Italy, come to see the monastery. In their words, Hanging Monastery, which mixes mechanics, aesthetics, and Buddhism, is rare. The architecture and everything it symbolizes embodies a great cultural achievement of Chinese people.
The second attraction of Hanging Monastery is that it includes Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Inside the monastery, the sculptures of Sakyamuni, Confucius and Laotzu appear together, which is unusual. There are 40 halls and cabinets, which contain about 80 sculptures made of copper, iron, terracotta, and stone. The features are vividly carved.
Why build a monastery like this? Location is the first reason; building a monastery on the cliff could shield it from floods. In addition, the mountain peak protects it from rain and snow; and the mountain around it also diminishes damage from long-time sunshine. The second reason is that the builders followed a principle in Taoism: no noises, including those from rooster crowing and dog baying; so from the upper ground, all noises drop away.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 130 (CNY125 in low season)|
|Opening Hours:||9:00 to 17:00|
|Recommended Time for a Visit:||two hours|
|How to Get There:||Get to Datong City first. Datong Coach Station in Yantong Road has buses to Hunyuan County. Then take bus 8 or take taxi to the monastery. |
It is advisable to take a taxi or hire a van from Datong. It should cost no more than CNY150 for a round trip for Datong-Hanging Monastery-Datong.
2. There is no high speed train between these two places but about 16 normal speed trains running with duration of about 6 - 7.5 hours. You can choose to take a normal speed train.
3. If you arrive early and hire a car, you can visit the two spots in a day. If you arrive late, you have to stay for 2 days.
1. Can I walk to Henshan from Hanging Monastery? Is it too far and easy to walk ? or need taxi only.
2. What time is the last bus from Hengshan to Hunyuan , and from Hunyuan to DT? I will stay in DT or I should stay in Hunyuan will be better? I will go to Wutaishan on the next day.
3. Is there any bus from Hunyuan to Wutaishan? and what time?
There is no direct bus from Hengshan to Hunyuan and you’d better hire a car. There are buses at Hunyuan Bus Station to Datong and the last bus may depart at 13:45. You are advised to return to Datong and then go to Wutaishan because it is more convenient. There is no buses to Wutaishan, you have to make a transfer at Yizhou.