Late last Thursday evening, Chris and I called our driver and said: So.... How much would it cost for you to drive us to ShanXi this weekend? Less than 36 hours later, we were bundled into the car - snacks and all - for a four hour road trip to Datong.
One of the places we visited during our weekend roadtrip was the Yungang Grottoes, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Unlike the nearby polluted, banal city of Datong, this place is outstanding. It was built around 1,500 years ago, and has over 51,000 buddhas carved into caves - teeny tiny buddhas and humongous buddhas.
It was really beautiful. Unlike some other tourist attractions in China, this one had an authenticity that was inspiring. Imagine, one guy years ago said - hey, let's carve some buddhas. And carve they did. Not many people know about this site, it seems, but it is definitely worth a trip. We are so glad we went.
More Yungang pictures here. Also, Chris has uploaded some videos of the trip, which confirm once and for all that I am a big dofus. "I mean, that was a really long time ago!" What am I, 14?