Tianlongshan Grottoes

The Tianlongshan (heavenly dragon mountain) grottoes are located 40 km from Taiyuan. To get here, we took a bus to Qingxu and then negotiated for a private car to do the round trip up the mountain for 200 RMB, including the entrance ticket. We were driven to the top of the scenic area, from where … Continue reading Tianlongshan Grottoes


Kaiyuan Monastery

This monastery has been mostly in a state of disrepair since the Qing Dynasty, and then almost destroyed in 1966 during the cultural revolution, with only a few buildings of interest preserved. The monastery has an usual layout, with the pagoda and bell tower side by side instead of symmetrically placed along a central axis. … Continue reading Kaiyuan Monastery

Longxing Temple

The most famous sight in Zhengding, the Longxing Temple (also known as the Longxing Monastery) was first built in 585 AD. However, most of the current structure dates from the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279 AD).Visitors enter at the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, which contains some impressively scary statues of four of the heavenly … Continue reading Longxing Temple

Zhengding Night Market

In front of the International Commodities Market every evening local street sellers gather with their carts, gazebos or picnic blankets of goods for the Zhengding Night Market. Literally everything seemed to be on sale here, from clothes to kids toys and, of course, delicious street food. Wandering around I managed to buy a fake Adidas … Continue reading Zhengding Night Market

Lingxiao Pagoda

Formerly part of the Tianning Monastery, this wood and brick pagoda dates back to the Tang Dynasty (although it's current style is from the Song Dynasty renovations).The pagoda is set in a (modern) temple park, with some pretty gateways, bridges and small pavilions to explore.Inside, it is surprisingly simple - with just a small shrine. … Continue reading Lingxiao Pagoda

North City Gate

Zhengding ancient city was once surrounded by two layers of walls - the inner and outer walls. While these have mostly been destroyed (most significantly during the Japanese occupation) some traces of the original structures do remain.The north city gate stands right next to Hua'an East Road and used to be the entrance to the … Continue reading North City Gate

Zhengding International Market

In search of snacks, pens and stickers, we headed to the Zhengding International Market, which is essentially a large shopping centre on the edge of town. Despite its name, there didn't seem to be anything particularly international about the shopping centre, instead it consisted of various shops selling anything from Chinese paintings to car seats … Continue reading Zhengding International Market