About Yanmenguan Pass

Written by Feb 16, 2011 00:39
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This winter holiday, my friend and I paid a visit to Datong, a city in the north part of Shanxi Province. We planned to tour the Yungang Grottoes, the famous Mt. Hengshan and the Hanging Monastery. But there was time left, and we took the advice of the driver to further tour to the Yanmenguan Pass. The story began then.

Upon arrival at the Yanmenguan Village, the driver asked us to get down and walked to the pass, for the road was too narrow to drive the car in. It turned out that there was no problem at all to drive the car in. Ok, it did not matter since it was not too long a road and took only about 10 minutes. We just let it pass and proceeded to the ticket office. By the way, the ticket for the site was rmb35.

The road from the ticket office to the real site was another 15-20 minutes. Fortunately, the road was paved by stone slates and it was not difficult to walk through it.

Road to Yanmenguan Pass

But the thing really mattered was that the so-called Yanmenguan Pass was so shabby and not well-preserved. The main constructions left here were three gate doors, among them only a tower is preserved, which looked like standing in a heap of ruin and seemed so lonely. Half of it had collapsed and been rebuilt. We could not imagine how the Yanmenguan Pass had defended the town even the country against invasion in ancient times. At least we couldn’t tell from those remained constructions. But from the exhibition there, we indeed saw its great military importance. Maybe we felt that way just because the pass had been destroyed a lot and not as strong as before.

Yanmenguan Pass

Some of my thinkings from the tour:
1. Yanmenguan Pass is famous for its military background, not the site itself. So for those who are not so familiar or interested in Chinese history, you’d better not go there.
2. The transportation there is not so convenient. As I know, if you want to reach it successfully and smoothly, you’d better hire a car.

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