We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unique architecture; beautiful views in the morning for photos”

Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si)
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Day Trip to Yungang Grottoes and Hengshan Hanging Temple from Datong
More Info
and up
Datong Full-Day Tour: Hengshan Hanging Temple and Ying Xian Wooden Pagoda
More Info
and up
Private Tour: Yungang Grottoes and Hanging Monastery Day Trip from Datong
Ranked #2 of 66 things to do in Datong
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The monastery was built on the cliffs of Mt. Hengshan, one of the five most sacred mountains in China. The caves and halls are connected by winding corridors and bridges.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 6 Contributor
195 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Unique architecture; beautiful views in the morning for photos”
Reviewed October 30, 2013

This hanging temple is truly amazing. Built approximately 1500 years ago, the wooden beams that support the cantilevered rooms are inserted deep into the rock of the mountain. The temple hangs precariously out over the cliff face. You can walk through all the rooms and across the bridges, peering into the alcoves where the carved figures reside. In ancient times the temple was also used as an inn for travelers. If you want to take photos, be there in the morning when the sun hits the side of the mountain.

Visited September 2013
Thank picturegal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

594 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
188 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“It is as expected, Remarkable!”
Reviewed October 24, 2013

This monastery is remarkable for it's architectural feat. Built on the sheer cliff by artisans, centuries ago by chipping holes in the cliff walls. The holes are wider inside than outside. Linseed oil soaked timber is then inserted into the holes, the end of which have been split and wooded wedges placed. As the timber is pushed in, the wedges cause the end to expand, thereby locking these timber frames in place. They form the structure which holds up the rest of the monastery! These were built to last forever. Vertical poles were added much later to serve only as visual assurance to visitors to the monastery. They have no structural value.
The 3 components to the monastery, are Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism. It is said that this contributed to its long history of survival through several wars.
If you have fear of heights, just go up to the first level. It's gets more harrowing as you ascend the narrow passageways, made worst by tourist, pushing and passing you if you do not keep up the pace. Especially so because the hand rails are low. There are several rooms with statutes in the different sections.
The view of the building and from the building on the first level is pretty spectacular. I personally feel, having gone up to the top that the mental stress and intense fear is not worth the slightly better view. If you are into religious artifacts then that's a different issue.
Go to the clean toilet on site before you start, you might be less rushed to use it after you come down.

Visited October 2013
Thank mikelima
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“All I expected plus more!!!”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

I was excited to see the Hanging Monastery before I left for China but seeing it in real life is an experience that I will never forget. Words can't explain how beautiful this location is. We went up and walked through this magnificent feat of architecture that has lasted so long. This is basically just made of sticks and clay with tiles.

Tip: Try and get there in the morning at about 9.30am for the best photo shots as the sun is shining on the monastery for a couple of hours each morning. The rest of the day, it can be in the shade (depending on time of year) and does not make for the best photos from the car park at the base of the monastery.

The toilets here are very clean with full time cleaners.

Visited October 2013
Thank badbam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

This amazing monastery hanging from the cliffs and supported by stilts and defying gravity is simply amazing. Great photo opp!

Visited September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Must see!”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

A small temple, but the way it was built is incredible!a very special place!
It's very crowded of course, given the size. If possible try to be there early !

Visited September 2013
Thank dirk S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si) also viewed


Been to Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si)? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing