In the morning we visited the Yungang Grottoes, which were a bunch of of temples carved into some cliffs near Datong. It was ok, but I liked the Hanging Monastery much more.
The Hanging Monastery was much farther away from Datong. It was a two and a half hour bus ride. It was a long bus ride through the mountains. The road was slow and had lots of turns. I was crowded in the back seat, so the drive wasn’t much fun. Also, it was very hot.
The Hanging Monastery was built about one thousand and six hundred years old ago. It was built into the side of a cliff in a narrow river canyon. It is seventy-five meters above the bottom of the canyon. My Dad was pretty scared for us when we walked around the monastery because there wasn’t much to stop us from falling. He also said that there was too many tight spaces and other tourists. Emma says that she has never seen him so scared.
The Hanging Monastery is held up by wooden beams that are dug into the cliff behind the building and wooden poles that sit on the cliff below the building. You can actually shake the wooden poles when you walk by them. That was pretty freaky. You can see the poles in the picture below.
It was a pretty scary visit, if you are one of those types of people that is scared of heights. I’m pretty sure that my Oma wouldn’t like it. It was a bit scary for me.
There are three religions in within the five temples. They are Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. It is one of the only monasteries in the world with three different religions. There used to be about ten monks and nuns living in the monastery. I don’t think they live there anymore because there are too many tourists. They are still using the temples.
My Dad says that it must be very cold in the winter. I liked visiting it, but I don’t think that would want to live there.
Edited with the help of my Dad.