Datong, a thousand-year-old ancient town formerly known as "Lanxi," was established during the Northern Song Dynasty. It is located in the southwest of Tongling City and borders Chizhou City. It used to be one of Anhui's "four major commercial ports" along with Anqing, Wuhu, and Bengbu, and was renowned for its reputation as "Little Shanghai." The Datong Ancient Town Scenic Area is situated at the confluence of Qingtong River and Yangtze River with convenient transportation, only 20 minutes away from Jiuhua Mountain Airport and Tongling Railway Station.
Datong Ancient Town still has a Lanxi Street that measures over 780 meters long by 7 meters wide paved with square-shaped light red marble blocks. Most storefronts on both sides of the street are small tile-roofed buildings made of green bricks, black tiles and corbel-steps that exude Huizhou architectural style. Lanxi Street not only offers abundant daily necessities but also retains local businesses featuring traditional handicraft workshops and residences unique to this area. Some buildings have obvious historical traces from the early days after China's founding such as store signs' writing styles, architectural designs, or decorations.
Among the many barbershops in Datong, there is a century-old "Datong Barbershop". The elderly master in the shop still has unparalleled shaving skills and continues to provide the service to customers.
The Tongling Freshwater Dolphin Nature Reserve, a national-level nature reserve, is located on the Jiajiang River between Heyue Island and Tieban Island in Datong Town. It is world's first place to use semi-natural conditions for relocating and protecting white-flag dolphins (also known as Baiji, Yangtze River Dolphin) and Yangtze finless porpoise. Currently, there are eleven freshwater dolphins under protection there.
In recent years, Datong has won a series of honors such as the "UN Dubai Habitat Environment Award," "China Habitat Environment Model Award," "China Historical and Cultural Famous Town," "First Batch of Chinese Characteristic Towns," and "National 4A-level Tourist Scenic Area."
Datong received over seven hundred thousand visitors in 2019. Now that its infrastructure and supporting services have gradually improved, the scenic area has become a comprehensive tourist attraction that integrates leisure sightseeing, study tours, and historical exploration.
Reported by Cheng Hao
Edited and translated by Zheng Chen