Datong is a city in the northern Shanxi Province in China, located about 350 kilometres west of Beijing. About 16 km southwest of the city, the Yungang Grottoes, ancient Buddhist temple grottoes, are excellent examples of rock-cut architecture and, alongside Longmen and Mogao, one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites of China.
The grottoes were mainly constructed in the period between 460-525 AD during the Northern Wei dynasty. They are an outstanding example of the Chinese stone carvings from the 5th and 6th centuries. All together the site is composed of 252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes. In 2001, the Yungang Grottoes were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hanging Temple is a temple built into a cliff 75m above the ground. It is situated 65 kilometers northwest of Datong. Along with the Yungang Grottoes, the Hanging Temple is one of the main tourist attractions and historical sites in the Datong area. Built more than 1,500 years ago, this temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it includes Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements.