Shanxi Province, China

November 10, 2013

The Hanging Temple sits in the cool shade of the cliff, hanging 75 metres above the ground in the Shanxi province of China. 

Built nearly 1,500 years ago it is remarkable not just for it’s vertigo-inducing location but also because it is the only remaining temple which combines China’s three traditional religions: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

Money makes even the Buddhist world go round.  Admission fees help with the running and upkeep of the monastery and surrounding area.  

The Shanxi Province is famous not just for the Hanging temples but also for the Yungang Grotto. The 252 caves of the Yungang Grotto are home to 51,000 statues and carvings ranging from as much as 15 metres to a only a few centimetres tall.

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In central Datong most of the temples are still functioning, despite being thought to have been built more than 3,000 years ago. The statues of 12 monks each imbued with a special religious significance, stand guard over the temple of Pure Land Buddism.

The sun sets over Northern China and the Hauyan Temple.