Hanging Monastery, Hengshan Mountain, Shanxi

If you are planning a tour of China and want to experience a lot of historical culture, then one of the best areas to visit would be Shanxi province. This province has an extremely rich history and multiple areas to see ancient religious sites. This one in particular, The Hanging Monastery is truly amazing!


Of course, when we arrived there at the end of January it was really freezing!

The great part about this is it is almost void of people. The downside is of course you wouldn’t even think about hiking around the rest of the mountain area. Even if you only visit the monastery, you still need to pay the full price for the park entry fee at the main gate. The only way to reach this area is by car or bus. We had Jane’s wonderful uncle to chauffeur us, 谢谢你!

The structure is literally suspended from the side of the cliff, protected by the elements by the large overhang above. Climbing along the wood decks is not for the faint of heart or those scared of heights…so traveler beware. This kind of human creation is truly awe inspiring!


The monastery has seen multiple different forms of worship throughout the ages as witnessed by the small rooms filled with intricately carved statues. If my hands hadn’t felt like they were going to fall off, I could have sat there in meditation for a couple of hours!



6 Replies to “Hanging Monastery, Hengshan Mountain, Shanxi”

  1. Fabulous photos, Courtney! Is the monastery suspended just on stilts? Does anyone live there? Could you spend the night?

    1. Thanks, the monastery is suspended and bolted at points into the rock cliff. There is one person who lives here, the caretaker, it’s much smaller than it looks from the pictures. Unfortunately, there would be no where to stay on the mountain unless you were camping. The closest place to say is the next town about a 20 min drive down the hill.
      Thank you for your dedicated following!

  2. Hey guys,
    how did you get there? I will be in Beijing soon and would like to see that monastery. Taxi or sth else? If the first, what is the cost from (ex.) Datong to monastery (return)?

  3. hai,, !!
    that’s a wonderfull place, i have plan to go to China,, can i ask something ? i was confuse, because there was another hanging temple in Hengshan if i search in Google, are those in 1 complex or not ? thank you ^^

    1. Thank you!
      I am not 100% sure about the difference between the two hanging temples, but I do know for sure they are not very close to one another.
      There is only this one temple in the area we were in.
      It is a long way away from anywhere so be prepared!

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