Phoenix Ancient Town (Fenghuang)
'Fenghuang' 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. Phoenix Ancient Town 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.
The 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 arrival visitor will be impressed by its air of mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity. This 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.
Stretching diagonally from the northwest to southeast of the town, Tuo Jiang River is a life force of the local people. Here in its waters women wash their clothes and 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 visitors up and down stream for sightseeing.
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 (1921-1949) 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.
Phoenix Ancient Town does 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. The town 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.
|South Bus Station||09:00, 15:40||CNY 134||around 5.5 to 6.5 hours|
|West Bus Station||09:00, 10:40, 14:20, 17:20||CNY 145|
|Changzhutan Bus Station||07:30, 10:00, 14:50, 16:50||CNY 158|
|Lituo Express Bus Station||16:30||CNY 149|
Central Bus Station (near the Zhangjiajie Railway Station):
Bus schedule:09:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30 and 17:20
Bus fare: around CNY 80
Duration: around 4 hours
Or alternatively, you can take regular buses every half an hour from the bus station to Jishou first. It costs around CNY 50 per person. The whole journey is around 2.5 hours. Upon arrival, you can take regular bus to get there. It takes around 1 hour.
Zhangjiajie Airport is also a choice. Upon arrival, visitors take bus no. 4 or catch a taxi to the Central Bus Station. Then refer to the instruction above.
Tongren North Bus Station (near Tongren Railway Station):
Buses depart around every one hour from 07:30 to 16:30. Bus fare is around CNY 20. It takes about 1.5 hours.
Tongren Fenghuang Airport:
It is a feeder airport about 30km from Phoenix Ancient Town. It offers flights to and from Beijing, Changsha, Guiyang (Guizhou Province), Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Shanghai at present. Visitors can take tourist bus (07:30 - 16:30) from the airport to reach the town directly. It costs around CNY 22 per person and takes around 1 hours.
Turn to Jishou North Bus Station near the railway station. There are regular buses to Phoenix Ancient Town, 80 minutes. Bus fare is around CNY 23.
If visitors arrive at Huaihua Railway Station, they can take bus no. 17 and get off at West Bus Station. There are regular buses to the town. It takes around 1.5 hours. Bus ticket is around CNY 38. Arriving at Huaihua South Railway Station, they can take bus no. 12 and get off at Mayang Road Crossing Station. Then walk toward west about 400 yards (350 meters) along Huaixi Road to find the bus station.
|Admission Fee|| |
Visitors don't need to pay for admission of the ancient town, but they need to buy a ticket if they want to visit the scenic spots inside.
Phoenix Town Community Phoenix Town Photo Album