One that I first noticed about Datong is that there is a severe lack of people. Every local I have talked to says that the one child policy is not enforced in Datong. Though if you have more than two kids, you will be fined. Unless your first two kids are both female, then you can keep on until you get the desired male child.
The picture below is taken around 8am in what is their city square. In most cities, city squares are especially vibrant in the mornings. Here it is nearly empty.
Looks impressive but I have no idea what it is because it is not fully complete yet. All the architecture in Datong is most rebuilt in the style of the Ming Dynasty.
Attention to detail. Each and every detail of the myriad of buildings is hand-drawn with no repeats.
And one more:
The streets are very empty so much so that you can park anywhere in downtown Datong for free. Notice that the bustop is very tasteful designed as are the street lights. No garbage to be seen anywhere.
G and I’s first destination today is Jin Hua Gong Mine Park. We booked a taxi through the Garden Hotel to take us to The Jin Hua Gong Mine Park and the Yunggang Grottos which are within a 5 minute drive of each other for 280RMB($45USD). Driver speaks Chinese only. The car is on the small side but smoke-free and clean.
Breakfast today was included in our room rate at the Garden Hotel and it was one of the best breakfast buffets I have come across in China beating out some of the 5 Star Hotels. I ate four full plates because I knew we were going to be skipping lunch. Lunchtime is the best time in China to visit tourist hotspots because all the guided tours are eating lunch. Though for the first part of our trip the Jin Hua Gong Mine Park, I was not worried because most domestic tour groups do not like visiting museums. The Jin Hua Gong Mine Museum is located on top of a government owned mine within a huge mine community complex that includes even an elementary school as mine workers and their family lives within the complex.
Notice the miners behind me to the left. During the entire three hours G and I spent in the Mine Museum and its surroundings we spotted 4 other tourists and about two small bus loads of miners in full uniform. The entrance down the mine shaft is to the right.
Empty lobby. The glass panel on the floor is a small scale recreation of the Jin Hua mine.
Up close shot.
The museum is well presented with many of the exhibits in both Chinese and English with minimal translation mistakes. I took pictures but none came out well because it was quite dark inside. All in all I was quite pleased we came here. Recommended if you are into learning more about how a mine operates in China. Entrance ticket is 35RMB($5.65USD).