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Beijing - Datong - Beijing

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Singapore, Singapore
posts: 14
reviews: 19
Beijing - Datong - Beijing

I am thinking of doing a day-trip to Datong.

If I take the overnight train from Beijing to Datong and arrive in Datong early morning say around 6am, will I be able to hire a private cab to the Hanging Temple and Yungang Grottoes and be back at the station to catch the last bus back to Beijing which leaves Datong station at 4pm?

May I also ask:

1) where can I get the bus ticket and the cost? I hope it is not too difficult to get the tickets (there are 2 of us)

2) if there is any other option of returning to Beijing the same evening and the cost? we are trying not to put up a night in Datong as the Hanging Temple and Yungang Grottoes are the only 2 things that interest us. Unless that are other nearby attractions that I miss out.

3) is there any recommended driverin Datong and the estimated cost?? I know there will be drivers waiting at the station.... but not sure there will be at 6am.

4) is there an official website that I can book train/bus online?

Thanks!

hong kong
posts: 8,888
reviews: 165
1. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

1. Get bus tickets from the bus station in Datong. You could go there straight from the train station and then get tickets for late afternoon. The taxi driver should know which bus station.

3. I think someone posted recently that they paid 300 Rmb. Remember to bargain. I presume you speak Mandarin.

4. No

melbourne
posts: 20
reviews: 3
2. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Hi

I am also thinking of doing Beijing-Datong-Beijing. I am taking a morning flight and hope to see both the Yungang Caves and Hanging Temple during the day, stay a night at Datong and fly out the next morning.

Is it too rush as I gather the sights are in the opposite direction of each other.

can someone suggest what I should do? I am thinking of getting a taxi to take us straight from the airport to the sights and finally to the hotel. How much would that cost me?

hong kong
posts: 8,888
reviews: 165
3. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

puzzlemelbourne

If you don't speak Mandarin, CTS in Datong runs tours to the monastery and grottoes every day, leaving around 9:30am. The CTS office is near Datong railway station.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 14
reviews: 19
4. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Hi drumbrake, is the bus station in Datong the only place that I can get the bus ticket? Is it too late to get the ticket on the same day? Just concerned that I may not get the tickets and got stranded in Datong...

hong kong
posts: 8,888
reviews: 165
5. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

I know the CTS guy near the station can get you tickets (bus and train) for a commission. He usually meets people after they get off the overnight trains early morning.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 14
reviews: 19
6. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Hi puzzlemelbourne,

I read that from Datong Station to Hanging Temple, it takes abt 1.5hr.

From Hanging Temple to Yungang Grottoes (via Datong as both the temple and grottoes are located on different sides of Datong), it takes about 2hr.

So if you intending to do1 hr in Hanging Temple and 2 hrs in the Yungang Grottoes as most people seem to suggest, it would take about 8 hrs [1.5hr (travelling time) + 1h (hanging temple) + 2 hr (travalling time) + 1hr (lunch) + 2 hr (grottoes) + 30mins (travelling time back to Datong station)].

That is why I intend to take the overnight train from Beijing Station and arrive in Datong around 6am, and hire a driver for the above itinerary, before I catch the 4pm bus back to Beijing.

May I ask how much did u pay for the airticket?

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 14
reviews: 19
7. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Does anyone know

- if I can book a train ticket from Beijing North Station for a train that depart Beijing Station to Datong or must I get it from the departing station (i.e. Beijing Station)? Is there anywhere else that I can get the tickets? Is this overnight ticket hard to get? I am looking at Train Number 2602/2603 departing Beijing Station to Datong Station.

- the earliest that I can book a train ticket is 11 days from date of departure? Is this true? I can imagine that most ticket will be snapped up by tour agency and tourists like us would have to pay through my nose.

- if I choose the sleeper train, can we request for a change in sheets when we board, especially if I board from one of the intermediate stops. are the seats bearable for an overnight ride? My experience many years back was quite bad - while I got the seated ticket, there were many people on standing tickets all over the cabin with this young girl playing with her saliva and spitting in the train... i hope things have changed

melbourne
posts: 20
reviews: 3
8. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Hi Drumbrake

Thanks for your info. My flight reaches Datong at 830. I doubt that I can catch the CITS tour at 930. would you know if they have a later tour?

melbourne
posts: 20
reviews: 3
9. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

Hi rivics

Many thanks for your very useful info. I really doubt I can do this 8 hour thing in one day plus the flying in from Beijing.

My flight to Datong cost Y320 and the return trip cost Y400. Flight time is only an hour. But there is only one flight a day in and out which really messes up my schedule. However I can't do it other ways like train or bus cos one of travelling companion does not have a very good back.

Edited: 5:59 am, August 24, 2010
hong kong
posts: 8,888
reviews: 165
10. Re: Beijing - Datong - Beijing

puzzlemelbourne

Contact CTS beforehand - they are listed in LP and other guidebooks. They'll wait 15minutes or so if they know you are coming, but I think you should be able to get there by 09:30. When I went on the tour, there were people who had arrived that morning by plane.

rivrics

You might be able to get the ticket. Try asking for 'yidi piao' 异地票 (train ticket to depart from a different station). You might be directed to a specific window and have to pay a small surcharge.

I think the earliest the ticket will be sold is 10 days in advance (although this is reduced at holiday times). If you go 10days in advance you should be ok.

You can ask for new sheets, but whether you will get them is another matter...Hard sleeper is generally ok, but depends how long the journey is and who the passengers are.