Saturday, 28 April 2018

Phoenix Ancient Town: My Photo Gallery

Named after a mythical bird that symbolizes longevity the ancient town of Phoenix (Fenghuang) has been listed as one of the five most beautiful towns of China. This town is located on the western boundary of Hunan Province approximately 430 km from the city of Changsha and 250 km from Zhangjiajie. 
It has a history that spans 300 years being established as early as 1704 and is one of the few towns that was spared the aftermath of wars and natural disasters. 

It  owes its charms partly to its natural settings as it is nestled in the midst of verdant hills, and run through by the calm and green waters of Tuojiang River.  

There are more than 200 old residential buildings, 20 cobble-paved streets and 10 lanes, ancient walls, gate towers, temples and bridges within the town. It is indeed a place where you can walk back in time and soak in the traditional culture of its populace.

The street along both sides of the river bank are totally pedestrianized and the best way to explore the town is on foot. 

Boats are aplenty along the river. These were once the main mode of transportation and today it is a source of income for some who would ferry tourists for short cruises. The town is only accessible to motorized vehicles from streets parallel to the bank further away from the river.

This man was seen catching tiny prawns with a net. Women could also be seen washing their clothes and utensils in the river. The tide of modernization has not stopped the residents of Phoenix from observing their traditional customs and lifestyle.

The beauty of Tuojiang River lies in its calmness and green water which is quite transparent producing a good reflection of things that stand in its midst.

One of the most prominent landmark of Phoenix is Rainbow Bridge (Hongqiao) which links the opposite banks of the river. Stores selling a range of merchandise line the bridge and this attracts a big crowd at night.

There are many other bridges that cross the river. Seen here is Wind Bridge. Not all the bridges are ancient though as some were constructed not too long ago.

Many buildings are well preserved and they are very unique. The diaojiaolou are wooden houses built on stilts and they are a sight to behold.

A must try food in the town is the live prawns fritters. For 5CNY you get to taste prawn fritters made from baby prawns that are still alive and jumping.

The black stinky tofu is another popular snack commonly sold by food vendors along the cobbled streets.

Some age old cottage industries are fun to watch out for. This shop sells a variety of home-made wine. Walking along the streets and lanes, you will also get to see how traditional snacks and delicacies are made.

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