Far from the madding tourist crowds

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Shanhua Temple in Datong city. [Photo provided to China Daily]

There are many lesser-known attractions to be found near some of the country's most popular tourist attractions. 

Exhausted by the overwhelming crowds that are a ubiquitous feature of popular tourist destinations all over China?

If you are and you want to keep your distance from the hordes of sightseers while still immersing yourself in the country's history and culture, it is unnecessary to seek out little-known and hard-to-get-to ancient villages. You will be surprised at the less-crowded scenic spots that can be found near the most popular attractions.

Datong, Shanxi

Many travelers say they have been to Datong, in the north of Shanxi province. Nevertheless, what they usually mean is they have been to the Yungang Grottoes, the Buddhist grotto complex dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), that is situated on the outskirts of the city.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Yungang Grottoes are a must-see for many tourists. However, the city has other historical legacies equally breathtaking, if less well-known.

As the capital during the Northern Wei Dynasty, Datong remained a cultural hub in northern China for centuries afterward.

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