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2011-04-17 Pagoda at the entrance to the Yungang Grottoes 2

We spent a day in and around Datong and the highlight was the morning spent at the Yungang Grottoes.


This UNESCO World Heritage Site has "252 grottoes with more than 51,000 Buddha statues and statuettes" according to Wikipedia and we can believe it!


Apparently they were carved between 465 and 525AD. Serious efforts are now underway to slow 1500 years of weathering.


We really came to appreciate the problems China has with dust blowing in from Mongolia during this day. The dust was everywhere. The wind picked up in the middle of the day and the sky had that slight tint of orange I had seen on pictures of Beijing's dust storms. Very cold on Bethan's ankles!


Datong itself is a coal mining town with very little else to merit a visit but it probably shows just how the majority of the Chinese population live.

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Taken on April 17, 2011