"Datong" Datong by mke1963
Datong Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 4 photos
Not to be confused with the big, grimy city of Datong in Shanxi province, Yunnan's Datong is a small place a long way from anywhere on the tourist trails.
It's on the road from Kunming eastwards towards Guangxi, most of the way to Luoping, where there is definitely accommodation (at the 3 star Duoyi River Hotel).
I know very little about this area, other than what I saw when I passed through the area on a road trip eventually leading me to Puzhehei further south.
It is always such a pity that these hidden parts of China are so unknown to tourists, as they offer plenty of potential for the visitor with a sense of adventure and the desire to get off the beaten track a bit. None of the Yunnan books even cover this area at all, so getting here depends on being able to read the local Yunnan road atlas (available in Kunming and elsewhere in Yunnan) and having the time to arrange a vehicle or the willingness to take the bus.
I can provide little information about Datong itself, as it is barely memorable at all. However, the countryside, especially to the east is beautiful and would be great for walking in the hills and around the reservoirs.
Datong is still quite high, but as you move east from here, the valleys plunge you down, step-by-step into Guangxi as you head for the sea.
This is far away from the pollution of north-east and central China, and the air is clear and fresh.
In January the weather was warm and sunny, maintaining Yunnan's reputation as having a permanent springtime climate.
The whole of this area reminds me of the lower parts of the French Alps, with small squat, square stone buildings with rows of small windows. No piece of land seems to be level, and everyone and everything has to live with the slopes all their lives.
The area has suffered deforestation in the recent past, but there has been a concerted effort to replant the hillsides. However, this has led to some sterile area of monolithic coniferous plantation. Most of the countryside is lovely though: there are no big mountains, but the whole area is hilly and every corner brings a new vista and a new village.
On the road west of here is Shidong, and Luoping is over the pass to the east. There is accommodation in both towns.
- Pros:Clean, freash; beautiful countryside
- Cons:Difficult to get to without a car
- In a nutshell:Worth a visit
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