Located in the southwest of Hunan province, at the foot of a mountain and along the banks of Tuojiang River, Fenghuang is an ancient town with long history. The town is named after the mountain shaping like a flying phoenix behind the town. With quite a long history, the town is particularly well-preserved with many distinctive architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles. There are well-preserved ancient residential buildings with the history over 200 years, ancient lanes and alleys, as well as ancient town walls in the Fenghuang Ancient Town. Besides, the town harbors many unique ethnic languages, customs and folk arts.
What to See in Fenghuang Ancient Town
The Tuojiang River is the largest river within Fenghuang County. It is the mother river for the ancient town Fenghuang. It would make you feel like traveling in a scroll painting to get on the local boat, enjoying the folk songs sung by the helmsman, watch the unique stilted houses of Tujia Nationality all along the river bank.
The ancient town
The town is with long history. You can feel its history in every corner of the town. The city wall along the south bank of the Tuojiang River is built with mauve stones and sands, presenting an elegant and marvelous style. Tow ancient towers with distinct Qing Dynasty style sit at the east and north part of the city wall respectively.
There are four ancient city gates in the town, protecting the town from ancient times.
Museums, Temples and Former Residences of Celebrities
You can find many mesuems, temples and formaer residences of celebrities in the ancient city. They are all free tickets.
With a classic designing of three arches, the bridge is also called Wind and Rain Bridge.
Things to do in Fenghuang Ancient Town
Tasting ginger candy
The ginger candy is a well-known local snack in Fenghuang. The procedure of it is all man-made, with a history of more than 100 years.
Trying local dish
One of the most famous local dishes is the Xuepaya, a dish made by sticky rice, duck blood and duck meat.
Rafting on the Tuojiang River
There are many local style buildings (they call Diaojiaolou, a kind of stilted building of Miao, Buyi, Dong and Tujia minorities) along banks of the Tuojiang River. Some of these building are with the history of more than 100 years. You can take a closer look at the real life of local people and culture of the ancient town by rafting on the Tuojiang River.
Weather of Fenghuang Ancient Town
Fenghuang has a subtropical monsoon humid climate featured distinct four seasons, sufficient rainfall and abundant sunshine. With an average temperature of 16 Celsius degrees, it is a place that suitable for travel in all seasons. In spring, the weather is quite fine with a temperature of about 20 Celsius degree. The plants turn to green and the beautiful Tuojiang River is often under the mist and fog in the early morning. In autumn, the temperature decrease to cool from the hot summer and at the same time, all tasty wild fruits are ripe and sold in the streets. In winter, if it snows, the whitening Fenghuang is of great charming.
How to Get Fenghuang
There is no airport in Fenghuang now. However, you can take flights to the three airports near Fenghuang, and then take bus to Fenghuang Ancient Town. These airports are: Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport, Changsha Huanghua International Airport and Tongren Fenghuang Airport.
There is no train station in Fenghuang. You have to transit through the nearby cities of Jishou, Huaihua or Tongren in Guizhou. Jishou is the closest and it seems that most travelers arrived by train from Changsha, Zhangjiajie or Nanning.
Fenghuang is directly connected by bus to most cities of Hunan province including Changsha (mostly from Changsha West Bus Station), Changde, Wulingyuan (Wulingyuan Bus Station is in Wulingyuan District of Zhangjiajie), Zhangjiajie (Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station is in Yongding District), Huaihua and Jishou. Jishou is the main town near Fenghuang, just taking 45 minutes of driving to arrive at Fenghuang Ancient Town.
1. Coins can not be used in the ancient town so please bring paper money. All the shops, restaurants, inns and hotels accecpt Alipay and Wechatpay.
2. Don’t accept the free services or gifts like the joss sticks and candles burning at a temple as you will finally pay a lot for it.
3. Take care for the butter-tonsiled drivers, service suppliers and never trust on cheap tickets or the so-called perfect extra itineraries.
4. Never open your umbrella while visiting the local peoples’ houses and don’t step on the door sills.