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Phoenix Ancient Town, called Fenghuang Ancient Town in China, is located at the southwest ridge of central China's Hunan Province. Hemmed in by rolling mountains and watered by a smoothly flowing river, flagstone streets, rows of traditional wooden houses built on stilts, towers, bridges everywhere, small boats rowed down the river, that's a portrait of Fenghuang.
Stretching diagonally from the northwest to southeast of the town, Tuo Jiang River is a life force of the local people. In its waters women wash their clothes and clean rice and vegetables while the men fish with their nets, while on the bank food is prepared in much the same way as it has for centuries. The river also provides a means for boatmen to support their families by ferrying tourists up and down stream so that they may admire the many splendours of the town. On the bank, food is prepared in much the same way as it has been for centuries.
The image of those stilted houses built on the high riverbank and the green mountains behind them reflecting in the limpid wave of the Tuo Jiang shows a harmony of the ancient city.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.Along the old street are the crusted brick walls and plain thresholds. There are not many shops or colorful advertisement. Most of the houses open their doors and windows, which is assuring to visitors.Such profound and mystical scenes will evoke people's longing for a more remote and simpler time.
Being endowed with beautiful scenery, Ancient Town of Phoenix is also a famous historic and cultural city. From time immemorial, lots of virtuous and outstanding persons have been cultivated in the western area of Hunan Province. Among them is the great literary master Shen Congwen, who ever depicted in his works an incomparably beautiful world in the west of Hunan Province. It is based on Ancient Town of Phoenix that this beautiful world was described. His works have been translated into many foreign languages, by virtue of which large quantities of readers around the world are deeply attracted by the elegant scenery and rustic folkway described in the work.
Attractions in Phoenix Town
The design of stilted houses is amazing. Every house is connected by corridors on three sides and has wooden balustrades (stairs and railing, usually leading to a balcony, bridge, or terrace) protruding over the river, offering great views. On sunny days, many housewives wash and club their clothes under the stilted houses. It is a real sight to see them splashing water, stirring ripples on the river.
Former Residence of Xiong Xiling
Xiong Xiling was a great philanthropist, and the first premier of the Republic of China (1911-1949). His former residence, a traditional architecture done in Miao style, has a total area of 800 square meters.
Former Residence of Shen Congwen
Shen Congwen (1902-1988) was one of the most famous writers in Chinese history as well as a historian and archaeologist. He contributed greatly to the development of modern Chinese literature and was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1991, his former residence was listed as a cultural relic, and has been carefully restored. Venerated by the local residents, the one-time home and the tomb of this famous and versatile writer have become tourist attractions.
The Rainbow Bridge located at the center of town. A typical covered bridge, the Rainbow Bridge has a bright-vermeil (gold over sterling silver) body.
Southern Great Wall
in 2000, archaeologists discovered more than 200 kilometers of ancient walls, similar to the world-famous Great Wall in Beijing. Research revealed that this wall was part of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Great Wall.
Weather in Phoenix Ancient Town
Ancient Town of Phoenix belongs to monsoon climate, warm and humid, with distinctive seasonal changes. The annual average temperature is around 15 centigrade degree.
The best way to travel to Fenghuang is first to go to Huaihua and then proceed to Fenghuang via bus.There are trains from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou running via Huaihua and trains from Guiyang, Guangzhou terminating in Huaihua.
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