The population in Datong is 2,82 million, where of Datong City has 1,1 milion inhabitants. Datong is divided into seven counties (县), 154 towns (镇) and 2283 villages (自然村) (李彬 2001).
Datong is an important industry and mining town, especially having large coal resources. Unfourtenately this also means that the air quality in Datong is rather poor, and the city has got the nickname "Coal City". Datong is also an important transportation hub, especially for the railway. The main industries in Datong are, after mining, power, train, maschinary and building materials (中国地图册 2002).
Datong has an incland climate and its yearly average temperature is 6,4˚C. During summer times the temeperature can be as hot as 37,7˚C, but is averaging only between 19 and 22 ˚C, while in the winter it can get as gold as - 29,9˚C, with a winter average temerature of - 13,8 ˚C. The temperature differences are large between winters and summers, but they can also vary substantially between day and evening temperatures. Datong gets rain about 135-140 days/year. The four seasons are very clear in Datong. (李彬 2001, 徐世信 1997).
The old temples in Datong are fine examples of the spectacular Chinese wood architecture.
Datong has been the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534) But most temples, which you can still see in the city are from Ming and Qing Dynasty.
Datong seemed to me very backward, when I visited it in 1988. But in fact it has more than a million inhabitants and new highrise buildings all around.
This photo shows a man carrying the manure of a public toilet .
Favorite thing: Because Datong is situated on a high level plateau the weather in winter and spring is very cold. We came from a rather sunny Beijing to a freezing, snow covered Datong. Warm clothes are welcome!
Favorite thing: Strolling around the streets of Datong I saw this open bakery. It was freezingly cold and the smell of fresh warm bread was just overwhelming!
Favorite thing: When I visited Datong in 1988 many of the old temples were in a desolate condition. It was December and sometimes I had the feeling, that I was the only western tourist in Datong.