Example Itinerary

Datong to Pingyao

4 days / 3 nights
Price Per Person

Enjoy a magnificent journey through traditional Chinese art, customs and monumental sites that will leave you with unforgettable memories and experiences. The Datong - Pingyao itinerary will take you across the Shanxi province, where you will visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Yungang Grottoes and courtyard estates in Pingyao. Ancient opera stages and the classic Nine Dragon Wall in Datong will immerse you in the long and colorful history of the region. A beautiful, scenic route and an adventurous walk along the top of 15th-century ramparts will make this trip truly unforgettable. 

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.


  • Yungang Grottoes: This complex of 252 caves holds over 51,000 stone statues and is an UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site for achievement in Chinese Buddhist cave art. The Yungang Grottoes are one of only three such complexes in the country.
  • Pingyao Ancient City: This small town in Shanxi is considered the best ancient walled city in China, and even amongst the best in the world. It is still inhabited and with cobbled streets and buildings almost entirely from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Due to its well-preserved ancient atmosphere, it is a popular destination for film sets and photoshoots.
  • Shanxi Cuisine: The Shanxi region specializes in lamb and goat, and is most famous in China for its noodles and breads. While here, it is remiss to not try a bowl of knife-cut noodles and minced lamb dumplings which are ubiquitous in the area.


Day 1


Originating in the capital Beijing, catch a flight to the beautiful city of Datong, located in the Shanxi province of China, and start an action-packed three-day journey. Your trip will begin with a visit to the incredible World Heritage Site of Yungang, where over 252 ancient Buddhist grottoes house over 51,000 Buddhist statues and Chinese stone carvings dating back to the 5th century. You will then be taken on an informative tour of the well-preserved Huayan-Si Temple from the Liao and Jin dynasties. Enjoy a delightful lunch before admiring the intricately-carved Jin dynasty statues scattered within the Shanhua Monastery. Complete your day at the historical Nine Dragon Screen, where a 600-year-old glazed screen, the oldest in the country, depicts nine flying dragons, as well as images of oxen, dogs, deer, rabbits and other animals. 

Hotel Options

Holiday in Datong is centrally located, approximately 30 minutes from Datong Yungang Airport and only 15 minutes from the city's rail station. All rooms come with complimentary wireless internet access.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2


Gather your belongings to make an early start towards the south-west region of Pingyao, a 4-hour drive away. Before settling in to the traditionally-designed 14th-century mansion of Jing’s Residence, where you will retire for the evening, explore the incredible wooden Hanging Temple perched on the sacred Hengshan mountain. Connect with traditional Chinese art and culture at the Jinci Temple complex and explore Qiao’s Compound, an 18th-century courtyard estate comprising over 300 rooms and an ancestral temple. Located north-west of Pingyao, the site is most famous for its appearance in the film 'Raise the Red Lantern' and will provide perfect picture taking opportunities.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Located in the Old Town of Pingyao, the fully restored Jing’s Residence allows guests to be completely immersed in history.

History: The courtyard mansion that is now Jing’s Residence is more than 260 years old, and its current owners have restored it to its former glory, fitted with all the requisite amenities for the modern traveler.

Service: With just 19 rooms, guests can enjoy truly personalized service, with experiences tailored to meet individual guest needs.

See Hotel
Jing's Residence Preferred Hotel

Day 3


A day spent in the nostalgic, Ming-era town will be much more adventurous than your usual form of sightseeing. It will offer remarkable insight into the cultural, social and religious development in one of the most influential periods in Chinese history. Start your day with a short climb up the 15th-century city wall and walk along the impressive ramparts, where you will be able to get a great view of the city below. Visit some of the city’s temples, renowned for hosting opera events during special holidays, including the Cheng Huan Miao, the oldest stage in the area. After a short break, visit a local home to get a close view of the complex and detailed Ming architecture. A traditional lunch will energize you for an unforgettable tour around the exquisite Taoist Temple, before roaming the passages of the busy market. Purchase some unique Chinese souvenirs to take home and make the most out of a relaxing last night’s stay at Jing’s Residence, where you can share your experiences among other guests before your onward journey tomorrow.

Day 4


With incredible memories and photographic evidence, take your time to pack your bags as an airport transfer awaits you. Take in the last moments in this beautiful part of China as you complete your farewell and fly on to Shanghai.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.


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