Erlangen - Beijing July 30th - August 30th 2009

Day 30 – Sightseeing in Datong and surroundings

August 31st, 2009 by Vintage Volkswagen Challenge 2009

In Datong we spent our last rest day before our drive to Beijing. Although Datong city is not very attractive, we had still picked it as there are to very famous places to visit nearby: The world famous Hengshan monastery and the Yungang grottoes.

We hired a tour guide and took our Beetles on a 2 hour drive through quite bizarre rock formations into the Hengshan mountains. The drive turned into a driving lesson for those members of our team who were not used to the traffic in China. They had to understand quickly that in China a two-lane highway is usually used by more than two cars next to each other. We passed by numerous trucks loaded with coal as well as Chinese Tuktuks with three wheels which could be identified already from a distance by large dark smoke clouds. Mr . Schadewald in his V8 VW Tuareg assisted us to clear the way for our Beetles.

The monastery was very impressive, build into the mountain line a birds nest, protected from rain and wind. We spent about one hour walking around and I have to admit that I did not always feel very comfortable walking too close to the edge of the stairway which would definitely not pass any German construction inspection.

On the way back to Datong and to the Yungang grottoes the team experienced for the first time a Chinese lunch and I had the impression that everybody liked it.

To reach the Yungang grots we had to cross Datoog during rush hour which worked out surprisingly well. The driving lessons in Chinese traffic already had its impact. On this route Anna was my co-pilot and Waldemar enjoyed the soft seats of my company car.

When arriving at the grottoes we found a gigantic construction site and it seems that Datong is getting ready for future mass tourism. The site was extremely impressive. In total 20.000 Buddah statues can be found in several hundred caves, including the tallest stone Buddah in China and very nice rock paintings which are quite well preserved.

After a guided tour of about one hour we returned to our hotel and had our second Chinese meal of the day for dinner. On the way back, Moritz and Philipp accompanied me in the Beetle to get a little taste of the 11.000 km distance which we had just completed. But may be we will together also go on such a tour some time in the future …

In the meantime, the wives of Bernd B., Rainer, Claus and Steve had arrived in Beijing and had already started their sightseeing tour. They will meet us tomorrow during our short stop at the Great Wall.

In the evening I went back to my hotel room to write some new Blog texts and to pick the best photos for the Blog.

Tomorrow will be the last day of our journey. Time has passed so quickly and we have had so many experiences.


Text Richard, Fotos Richard

  1. 7 comments zu “Day 30 – Sightseeing in Datong and surroundings”

  2. Von Guido am Aug 31, 2009

    Gratuliere ! jetzt könnt Ihr wenigstens wieder alles lesen ! 🙂

  3. Von Hans-Peter + Ursula am Aug 31, 2009

    Congratiulation –
    Dir, lieber Rainer, und dem gesamten Team!
    Es war schön, Eure Reise und Abenteuer auf diese Weise hier mitzuerleben.
    Wir wünschen noch frohe Stunden im Reich der Mitte zusammen mit dem angereisteen Damen-Team
    sowie glückliche Heimkehr nach Old Germany.
    Gruß Ursula + Peter

  4. Von Peter Ruschhaupt am Aug 31, 2009

    Die Zeit ist auch für uns Zuschauer sehr schnell vergangen. Wir drücken Euch die Daumen für die letzten Kilometer und bedanken uns für die eindrucksvollen Texte und Bilder. Wann wird der Film zu sehen sein? Kommt alle gesund an und auch wieder zurück!

    Viele Grüße, besonders auch an Heinrich
    von Peter und dem Aspirin – Bus.

  5. Von Christof am Sep 1, 2009

    Schaut mal was ein Kollege von mir gefunden hat, 2. Bild:

    Grüße aus Ismaning an Sigurd und den Rest der Mannschaft,


  6. Von Kurt Freudenthaler am Sep 1, 2009

    Glückwunsch zur erfolgreichen Tour. Besten Dank, dass wir Eure Abenteuer aus Erlangen von unserem sicheren Schreibtisch aus mit erleben durften. Jetzt geniesst mal noch die Zeit in Peking und dann eine sichere Heimkehr in die Heimat.
    Besondere Grüße an Bjarne
    Der kleine Fanclub aus Erl WVS43
    Kurt Freudenthaler

  7. Von Muetzeschneider am Sep 1, 2009

    Ich gratuliere!!! Congratiulation dem gesamten Team! Ich habe schoenste Eindrücke über Ihr Autorennen.
    Hallo liebe Käferfreunde, sehen Sie, bitte video aus Krasnojarsk zum andenken :):):)

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