Location: Datong

After waking up early at our hotel in Datong, we crowded onto our buses to head to the Hanging Monastery. For breakfast, we shared food on the bus that Joy and Britta had bought at the market the previous day. Although Britta gave us background information on the monastery, nothing could have prepared us for the sense of amazement we felt walking through it. Built on the side of a mountain in the 5th century, it still withstands the weight of thousands of people walking through it each day. Before leaving, some of the other students bought ice cream to combat the heat.

Next, we went to the Buddhist Caves, where the group was able to walk freely. With over 1,500 statues and 52 caves, it was a sight to be seen. Unfortunately, the expected rain and thunder arrived while we were exploring sending us scouring for shelter. Many of us ended up taking cover in the gift shop of a nearby museum. Then, we had to go to the train station in Datong. For dinner, we went to McDonald’s where we ordered from large touchscreen menus. Our group even got to explore the mall it was in. Afterward, we walked over to the train station to catch our overnight train back to Beijing, from 9 PM to 4:30 AM.