Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si)

Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si)

Hengshan Hanging Temple (Xuankong si)
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksArchitectural BuildingsReligious Sites
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
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.
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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 waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles781 reviews
Excellent
548
Very good
179
Average
37
Poor
8
Terrible
9

Bettybooo
Birmingham Uk67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
Amazing place. Like wandering around a dolls house for 10 year olds! Very small inside, not maybe for those who don't like heights, or under 5s who might go over the low barriers. Incredible they built managed to build this! Some debate about how long ago amongst our group! Visit soon, Numbers will have to be restricted, its so small and engineeringly precarious! May become a virtual tour at some point!
Written 15 July 2021
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.

Geralt
Springe, Germany2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Solo
One of the worst places I have visited so far. As a foreigner you can't buy tickets online in advance and once you arrive there, their tickets to enter the temple are sold out. So you come all the way to thia remote place only see it from far away. Ridiculous. Stay away.
Written 13 July 2024
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.

Rob586
London, UK54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
First things first, this is really a must see if you're in the area. If you can stomach the dizzying walk through a temple clinging to the side of a cliff, it's a real treat. I'd say the only downsides are that it takes a while to get there and costs 130Y.

Now, the cheap way to do it. From WeiDu Avenue (near the train station) you can take the number 70 bus to the Dong Guan bus station for 1Y. It's about a 20-minute journey and - as always in China - bring something with the name of the bus station in Chinese so you can ask the driver or a local where to get off. I think you can also go from the main Datong bus station, which can be reached using the number 15 bus.

From either bus station, you pay 30Y for a journey of around 90 minutes to get to a bus station near the monastery. From there, they put you in a taxi for the remaining 3.5km stretch, which should cost you nothing as it's included in the price of your bus ticket.

Be aware that these cab drivers will try to sell you other trips to see nearby attractions and will also catch you on the way out to try to take you back to the bus station 3.5km away. If you want to save money, you can walk this stretch of road in about 40 minutes. The first bit isn't so nice, by the side of the road. But after that, you can walk on a fairly nice path parallel to the road.

That'll take you back to the bus station, from where you can catch a bus back to Datong for 25Y. BEWARE...we expected this bus to go back to Dong Guan bus station but it went to the main one instead. However, we worked out that we could get the number 15 bus (other side of the road from the bus station) back towards the train station/WeiDu Avenue for 1Y.

All in all, the day cost us 57Y each. That's not a huge saving on the 80Y our hostel was offering for a car but it's considerably better than the hundreds of yuan i've seen people quoting for guided tours.

Hope that helps.
Written 22 July 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.

LorraineHongKong
Townsville, Australia150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2011
Hanging Monastery is located at the foot of Mt.Hengshan 65 kilometers from Datong City, hanging on the west cliff of a hill with over 50 meters above the ground, hence it is called the Hanging Monastery. The Hanging Monastery was first in 491. The present monastery was mainly rebuilt and maintained in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Since it hangs on the west cliff of Jinxia Gorge , a unique mechanical theory was applied to building the framework. Crossbeams were half-inserted into the rock as the foundation, while the rock in back became its support. Seen from below, Hanging Monastery appears to be a tumble-down castle in the air. Inside, Hanging Monastery provides the same scene as other temples. Construction experts from countries including Britain, Germany, and Italy, come to see the monastery.

Location is the reason for its survival. Building a monastery on the cliff shields it from floods. In addition, the mountain peak protects it from rain and snow; and the mountain around it also diminishes damage from long-time sunshine. The second reason is that the builders followed a principle in Taoism: no noises, including those from rooster crowing and dog baying; so from the upper ground, all noises drop away.
The second attraction of Hanging Monastery is that it includes Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Inside the monastery, the sculptures of Sakyamuni, Confucius and Laotzu appear together, which is unusual. There are 40 halls and cabinets, which contain about 80 sculptures made of copper, iron, terracotta, and stone. The features are vividly carved.

Admission Fee: CNY 130 (CNY125 in low season)
Opening Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: one-two hours
Taxi will cost CNY 300 for round trip
Written 25 April 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.

Soo_Han
Seattle, WA26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Datong is a side trip from Beijing that I took on my way to Xian. I took a flight on Air China, they have a daily early morning flight at 7am which is reasonable and we arranged a day tour with Bo Trip (a very large and reputable company in addition to being the only one I found who does both the Hengshan Hanging Temple & Yungang Grottos in a one day tour). And I am so glad I chose to visit. It's a decent drive away from the city center and you pass some remote very poor villages to get there. Once there, it's a quick litle walk up to the entryway of the temple. You're allowed an opportunity to explore the temple which though simple is nonetheless awe inspiring to imagine the process it must have taken to build. It's not terribly high up, but if you're afraid of heights, may be a problem since the walkway is not wide and the railing a little low. All in all, a beautiful temple with great views and totally worth the detour.
Written 17 December 2010
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.

Bennett A
Charleston, SC35 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Friends
The Hanging Temple is gorgeously placed on a cliff face and stands as a testament to 16th century architecture and engineering, but it is still a death trap.

My wife and I went with one friend over the May Day holiday in China. We were beyond excited to see the temple and just viewing it was worth the 1.5 hour taxi ride, but when we queued up to actually go inside the temple we started to figure out that something was not quite right. The line was massive and barely moved. We hoped that this was because they only let a small number of people into the temple at a given time, but we slowly noticed that this was not true. From the line, we could see the structure crowded with people with more and more people crowding in as the ticket people oddly kept allowing. We had already paid the steep admission (about 20 USD per person), so we decided to go for it anyway. We joined the herd and got pushed around for quite a long time. We stood in a mass of people on a wide balcony for over 20 minutes, as people funneled into a narrow and steep stairway up one floor. This was hilarious, exhausting, and testing. It was also completely unsafe, because if there had been a fire or accident of any kind, nothing could be done and many people would be injured or killed.

I am being very serious. I am not a person to get scared or avoid crowds, but the unmoving mass of people stuck in a precarious cliff-face temple was not cool with me or my companions. We decided to "bail" at the first possible opportunity, but just leaving from that point took over 20 more minutes even though we needed to travel only 50 feet or so. Its not that we were fighting the traffic either. We joined the people who had seen the rest of the temple and were themselves trying to leave, and it took us 20 minutes to move 50 feet.

So, don't go if it is crowded! I believe that they have a cheap ticket available to just walk the grounds without going up it. I bet the rest of the temple is great, but it is not worth it if it is crowded. Save your money, time, and frustration and just go for a mountain hike elsewhere nearby!
Written 6 June 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.

Greenislandhosteld
Datong, China29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2014 • Solo
If you travel by yourself, you should get up early(about 7:00am),then go to Datong bus station(大同汽车站), it sells tickets from 6:30--18:30/31RMB, buses leave every 20 minutes(Tips: Normally it leaves when it is full,especially in low season,so you will wait a long time sometimes.) It will take 90mins.(Tips: the ticket is from Datong to Hanging Temple, but it will arrive in Hunyuan bus station at first, then the driver will take you to Hanging temple, it is free, not pay morn. When you come back to Huanyuan bus station, no bus, your should walk down/40mins--3.5km or rent a car, they ask morn--about 40RMB). Visiting Hanging temple, the best time is 10:00am--11:30am,there is sunshine, it is good to take a picture. After that time no sunshine. Visiting the temple will take one hour. It is 3km from Hanging temple to the gate of Mt.Hengshan, it is 8km from the gate to the Climbing spot, Visiting the mountain will take 3-4hours. When you come back, you should go to Hunyuan bus station to buy tickets--25RMB(6:00am-18:00am). The transportation is not convenient form Hunyuan bus station to the temple and Mt. Hengshan. If you take a taxi(personal car), they ask 40-50RMB.
Tips:
Hanging temple ticket is 30+100RMB( Going in to the spot is 20RMB,Going in to the temple is 100RMB,), Mt. Hengshan is 20+35RMB)
Visiting the Hanging temple and Mt., the best way is rent a car with some else,300RMB/4 persons. Before you go to Datong, you can contact the hostel, they can help you to ask some drivers.(leave at 8:00am , come back 16:30pm, you can decide the time)
Avoid the holiday, Qing Ming Festival(Tomb-Sweeping Day) , Labor Day ,Dragon boat festival,National day。
In the Low season,the bus form Mt. Wutaishan to Datong is every two day.
Written 26 April 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.

Edward R C
Ottawa, Canada262 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This site, along with the Yungang Grottoes, makes a visit to Datong a "must" for the serious China tourist.

The temples are physically/visually impressive in themselves but they also provide an important clue about religion in China. This is a multi-faith temple: Buddhists, Daoists and Confucians all shared it, simultaneously.

The entrance fee is a bit steep but I'm sure it's necessary given the need for maintenance.

I visited on a lovely, bright summer day; I would imagine that the walk up and visit might be a bit unpleasant in winter or on a cool, rainy day. Even though it was a nice summer day and even though the parking lot was pretty full we did not find the temple crowded - the nature of the place keeps people moving through at a leisurely but efficient rate. One walks along a series of galleries, on the outer edge of the monastery/temple, looking into various individual buildings and rooms.

Some people might find the height a bit daunting. The climbs are easy - I'm an almost 70 year old man who needs a cane for walking.

The Hanging Temple is on the way from Datong to Pingyao. We 'did' both cities with their attendant sites, and a few others in the region, in a busy, well organized, three day (two over-nights) trip 'bracketed' by overnight trains from and back to Beijing - all in all four nights and three days, including travel.
Written 13 September 2010
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.

Geminican
San Jose, CA2,102 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
This is definitely an amazing architecture from ancient China. Because of its location, the best time to visit is first thing in the morning. Be there at the ticket office 10 minutes before the opening. Check the latest opening hours from its website.
Get the ticket, be first in line to go up because there is always a line and they impose a quota limit per day for tourists to protect the temple.
The sunlight shines directly to the temple around 8:30am-10am, which gives you good light for photo shooting. Other times, the temple will not be directly under the sunlight, and will be a dark.
Get it out of the way first so you can move onto your next activities at ease.
Written 10 November 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.

Bridge2U
U.S.A.26 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Friends
If you would like to climb 250+ feet above the valley floor and with about 200 others enter a temple built of wood more than 1500 years ago, said to have been listed in Time magazine as one of the ten most odd and dangerous buildings on this planet, THIS IS YOUR DESTINATION.
Peculiar in that four major religions including Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are honored here. Soul-moving history and connections to peoples of the past ooze from building surfaces and statues that are not bound in by layers of new lacquer. The surfaces appear ancient and and allowed to retain the old but deteriorating work of the ancients.
The entrance park and the access stairs are modern and well maintained and supervised. The administration is confident of the safety and stability of the structure hanging on the cliff. This is not a place for unruly children or horseplay or for acrophobia-burdened travelers. Railings are low on the old walkways. The ground is a long way down. An official said there was one death last year. A fifteen year old boy who fell over the rail. The administration is so confident that a sign gives the phone number of the person responsible for each significant function - even the phone number of the janitor.

I wish I had more time to explore the little villages in the mountains toward Datong.
Written 20 October 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.

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