My first impressions of the hotel were not great ... it is a good distance from the train station and the center of town (and we got ripped off by the taxi driver from the train station), the exterior is very intimidating, and the massive gates were more disturbing than comforting--what exactly were we being protected from? Angry Maoists? Dinosaurs? But the interior is quite nice, the rooms are comfortable, and the restaurant menu is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen (more on that in a minute). The staff could've been a little more helpful and didn't speak very much English, but then again Datong (despite the wonderful sights in and around the city) is not exactly on the beaten tourist path and their English was better than my Chinese. I think we paid a little less than $50/night for our room, so it was a great deal.
I must second m2347m's comment that the menu is the funniest thing I've ever seen. I'll post some pictures below, but search "Datong Hotel" on flickr and you can see more of my pictures. Tears were rolling down my eyes the first time I laid eyes on this thing. I'm glad we were able to take one to our room so we could take pictures. Yes--it's that funny!
So to summarize, bad location (although taxis are always available) but a very nice hotel. Again, I'm a bit surprised by the negative reviews. Datong itself is kind of gritty town (the wave of modernization and prosperity that has hit Beijing, Shanghai, and even Xi'an has not reached here) but has a few interesting temples and a famous dragon wall. Outside of town are the real treasures though--the Yungang Caves and Hanging Temple are some of the best sights in China. Datong makes for a nice stopover between Xi'an and Beijing, so if you have time definitely stop here for a day or two! If you don't mind the location (and really, there's not that much to do in downtown Datong anyway), the Datong Hotel is a great value and the restaurant menu alone makes the stay worthwhile! I hope they never change it ...
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- Also Known As:
- Da Tong Datong