Yungang Grottoes
Yungang Grottoes
4.5
Historic SitesAncient RuinsCaverns & Caves
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 5:20 PM
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There are over 50 caves with over 50,000 well-preserved Buddhist statues from the 5th century.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles974 reviews
Excellent
700
Very good
244
Average
27
Poor
2
Terrible
1

KodoDrummer
Buenos Aires, Argentina65,233 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Friends
The beautiful ancient sandstone-carved Buddhist statues. The more than 50,000 statues of 5th and 6th-century cave art show the richness of the faith of the people who once lived in the area. Some of the cave art is also beautifully coloured. Since 20011, the Grottoes have been classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Written March 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LorraineHongKong
Townsville, Australia150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2011
The Yungang Grottoes, or Cloud Ridge Caves (云冈石窟 Yúngāng Shíkū)are a collection of shallow caves located 16 km west of Datong. There are over 50,000 carved images and statues of Buddhas and bodhisattvas within these grottoes, ranging from 4 centimeters to 7 meters tall. Most of these icons are around 1000 years old.

It is is one of China's biggest grottoes with world-famous treasure-collection of arts and culture. The caves were carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty under the responsibility of a Buddhist monk named Tan Yao. He was ordered by the emperor at that time. The grottoes stretch one kilometre from east to west and comprises of 53 caves in succession . There are over 1,100 niches with about over 51, 000 statues.
The Caves are divided into east, middle, and west parts. Pagodas dominate the eastern parts; west caves are small and mid-sized with niches. Caves in the middle are made up of front and back chambers with Buddha statues in the center. Embossing covers walls and ceilings.

Started in 450, Yungang is a relic of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). Absorbing Indian Gandhara Buddhist art, Yungang sculptures developed traditional Chinese art melded with social features of the time. During the reign of Emperor Xiao Wen a monk named Tanyao took charge of the construction of Yungang Grottoes. The largest cave is No.6. In the 20-meter (65.6-foot)-high cave stands a 15-meter (49.2-foot)-high pagoda-like column decorated with Buddha statues and designs. On the four sides of the tower pillar, and on the east, south and west walls of the cave, 33 embossed panels depict the story of Saykamuni.
Admission Fee: CNY 150
Opening Hours: 8:30 - 17:20 (April 15 - October 27)
8:30 - 17:00 (October 28 - April 14)
Taxi from Datong costs CNY 50
Written April 25, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

onechase
Los Angeles, California16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Located not too far from the otherwise grimy, dingy city of Datong, the Yunggang Grottoes are a fantastic example of ancient Chinese Buddhist sculpture and art. Visitors will need to forget that they're across the street from a working coal mine, but the Grottoes themselves are one of the best sights in China. Well worth a visit, and frankly well worth the trip from Beijing in its own right.
Written January 4, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

camelSP
Los Angeles area93 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2016 • Couples
We stopped in Datong only to see this sight and we are very happy we did. Amazing sculpture and color. So ancient. Good explanatory signs in English. If you stay close to the Railway Station it's easy to take the bus--there is a KFC 260m from the station, and the bus is on the street in from of it. Ignore the taxi drivers. We stayed at the 7Days Inn Datong Railway Station, but they seem to only take mainland Chinese now. It seems the Datong Yuncheng Meihao Apartment or Datong Hongqi Grand Hotel would be good choices. From Datong, it was easy to take the train to our next destination, Xi'an.
Next to the Datong Hongqi Hotel, there is a very good restaurant that is reviewed in Lonely Planet, but, ironically, they never tell you it's right near the railway station. Don't bother with the walled city in Datong--it's all fake. Also, the city stinks of coal and pollution, so don't spend longer than you need there.
Written February 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martin J
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Couples
Wouldn't say it's a must see but definitely worth a visit if you're in Datong. Takes about 2-3 hours to see the grottoes. Since restoration is an ongoing process some grottoes may be closed during your visit. Unfortunately for us it was grotto #5, apparently the largest and best one.

Nice park area with plenty of benches between the visitor center and the grottoes - take some food and drinks with you for a nice scenic picnic. Otherwise there's no food and only overpriced coffee/tea available at the visitor center.

To get there take bus 603 from Datong railway station (stop is in front of KFC) to its terminus. Bus 1, the alleged double decker mentioned in both Lonely Planet and older review here, does no longer exist (at least it didn't in March 2016)!
Written March 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jsgiguere
Vancouver, Canada131 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2012 • Friends
On my last trip to China both the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Monastery were on my "must visit" list so I did a stopover in Datong. From personal experience sometimes I find the best way to go around attractions in Asia is to book a taxi/driver for the day so you can stop worrying about transportation. This is what I did here. Early in the morning I set out to flag down taxis and started my negotiations. Wasn't long before I found a driver willing to take me to both Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Monastery (they're in opposite directions) as well as around Datong. We agreed on a price of 400 RMB which was reasonable given the distance the car has to cover (I had mapped it out the night before)

Yungang Grottoes: you can tell government wants more money as they built a nice big park at the entrance before the grottoes, complete with period-replica buildings, shops, restaurants, anything to get more money from you. Proceed through all that and get to the caves.

The first 5-10 caves are the most spectacular... they have the most colours and intricate work. And because they're still fairly recessed into the rock and a little bit more protected from the elements they are the better preserved (especially now that they've built structures to cover the outside). It really took my breath away when I first saw it, marveled at the colours that have stood the test of time, and how the original craftsmen got up so high to do these carvings.

I did what most people did which is to start at cave 1 and work my way up the numbers (facing the caves, go from right side to left side). I think a better way is to go from the end and work your way back to the front (facing the caves, go from left side to the right) so that you don't feel as anti-climatic and you finish with the best caves. Pictures, even the professional ones, don't really do it justice as it is more of being there, inside the caves, breathing in the cool air, your pupils adjusting to the low light, and then the muted predominately red carvings come into focus and you imagine how much more glorious they must have looked back then...

Set aside an hour or two for the cave to take your time, and skip the other stuff.

Visited Sep 2012
Written August 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Keith M
Melbourne, Australia50 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
If you have a need to be in Datong, these Yungang Grottoes are a must to see. Its huge and magnificent Buddhist temple carvings in the cliff faces. There are over 50 major caves and facades of Buddhist figures.
These were created in the 5th and 6th centuries and although some were damaged during the cultural revolutions, most still reflect their ancient brilliance.
Its easy to spend a large part of the day there just to absorb the skill and magnificence.
This site has a world heritage listing and is well deserved of this
Written January 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

velo11ab
Copenhagen, Denmark29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
These caves are truly impressive and worth every RMB you pay for it. It was one of the highlights of our trip to China. Taxi from Datong costs around 40 RMB. There's also nice market with souvenirs attached to the sight. However, be careful about what you eat there, we bought a packaged ice cream which caused us some stomach issues the next day!
Written April 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

die Wanderlust
Bern, Switzerland216 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Couples
Its very easy to go there by public bus. Take bus nr. 3 from the west of the city. Many buses drive there (for example 4, 28...) The bus stopps just in front of the entrance. (1 Yuan) it takes about 30 minutes. the entrance fee is 120 Yuan, quite expensive but its worth to see it.
Written July 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Davo60
Sydney, Australia319 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Friends
The easiest and reasonably inexpensive way to do the Hanging Monastery and the Yungang Caves is with CITS. 400¥ includes entry to both venues and lunch but the 100¥ option is better value, particularly if you are over 60 because for seniors, entry to the Hanging Monastery is half price and to the Caves, free - and the lunch is overpriced so best to arrange your own.
Organise this as soon as you arrive in Datong. The guide speaks very good English and will approach you at the railway station and take you to the office (right at the station and the next street on the right). If you miss him, the address is: 37 West Yingbin Road, (Yingbin Xi Lu) Datong. Mobile: 13509723506.
Written August 26, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Yungang Grottoes, Datong

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