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Fenghuang Ancient Town

Introducing Fenghuang Ancient Town, Fenghuang Ancient Town Guide, Fenghuang Ancient Town Travel Guide
Article from Zhangjiajie Municipal Commission of Tourism

Fenghuang Ancient Town is situated on the western boundary of Hunan Province in an area of outstanding natural beauty where mountains, water and blue skies prevail. Upon entering the town the visitor will be impressed by its air of mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity.

Fenghuang Ancient Town or Feng Huang Cheng is so called as legend has it that two of these fabulous birds flew over it and found the town so beautiful that they hovered there, reluctant to leave. Feng Huang is Chinese for Phoenix, the mythical bird of good omen and longevity that is consumed by fire to be re-born again from the flames.

Fenghuang Ancient Town is a world that is dominated by the colour green. The mountain slopes are covered with green foliage, the fields are green and even the Tuo Jiang River reflects the greenery. The bridges over the water and unique houses built on stilts display a harmony that is so often portrayed in traditional Chinese paintings. This is particularly true when mist pervades the scene in the early morning or after rain. It soon becomes apparent that the claim to being one of the two most beautiful towns in the whole of China is more than justified; the other town is Chang Ting in Fujian Province.

Fenghuang Ancient Town is a wonderful example of what villages were like prior to the onset of modernization. Here dozens of alleys paved with flagstones run between the houses, each showing wear caused by the feet of generations of local people who have used them when going about their daily business. For the visitor, these alleys are the way to see the typical high gabled wooden houses built on stilts along the banks of the Tuo Jiang River at close quarters.

Fenghuang Ancient Town was home to the versatile writer Shen Congwen (1902-88) who contributed greatly to the development of modern Chinese literature. Venerated by the local residents, the one time home and the tomb of this famous writer have become tourist attractions.

There are two other notable people from the town worthy of mention. The first is Xiong Xiling the famous philanthropist who was the first premier of the Republic of China (1921-49) following the fall of the Manchu. The other famous citizen is Huang Yongyu, an outstanding contemporary painter in the traditional Chinese style. His frescoes illustrating Buddhist stories in the Zhunti Nunnery are a major tourist attraction.

Fenghuang Ancient Towndoes not rely entirely upon natural beauty to attract the visitor for this ancient town with a history spanning 1300 years has a number of remarkable old gardens as well as distinctive residential buildings, elegant bridges and mysterious towers and pagodas. These architectural delights date from the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911). Those of special interest are the Wengchen Pavilion, Huang Si Qiao Castle, Tian Wang Temple, Da Cheng Hall, Chao Yang Palace, and the tomb of Shen Congwen and the residence of Xiong Xiling. Here too there are the North Gate and South Great Wall both excellent examples of municipal fortification.

In many ways, life has not changed here for centuries and this is typified by the tough, hard working yet simple-hearted people. Phoenix Ancient City offers the visitor from both home and abroad a view of a quite different China from anything experienced in the modern cities and large conurbations that are more widely known. We are sure that the opportunity to travel in such a picturesque region will be remembered as an experience of a lifetime.

Quick Facts on Fenghuang Ancient Town
• Name: Fenghuang Ancient Town
• Location: 200Km from Zhangjiajie
• Dates: Qing Dynasty (1704)
• Best Time to Visit: All Year
• Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 Hours
• Opening Hours: 08:00 - 18:00
• Admission Fee: CNY 148

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