Photos That Inspire – Yungang Grottoes, Datong, China

Yungang Grottoes in Datong, China

Giant Buddha in Yungang Grottoes, Datong, China

Another early arrival at another little station, after another night of restless sleep, we arrived in Datong, China.  Guide books promised us extraordinary relics from an interesting period of the Chinese history.  So bleary-eyed, we piled into a taxi and headed out of the city for an hour drive to the Yungang Grottoes, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Standing at the ticket counter, we were tired, disappointed and down-right grumpy.  The entrance area was obviously newly built to look like they were ancient.  But they were not!  We were no fools!  We stood there and debated if we should pay the exorbitant price to go in.  We finally decided that since we already spent the taxi fare to come out, we should just go in and be done with it. Wowie wow wow!  As soon as we passed the entrance, all four of us loudly gasped oohs and aahs!  The guide books were right!  The Yungang Grottoes site is in itself worth the trip to Datong.  Large grottoes were carved out of the limestone mountain to house giant buddhas 13-15 meters tall.  Like this one in the picture (over 45 feet tall), they used to be brilliantly colored back in 400AD.  Now, only remnants of the colors are left.
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