Fenghuang Ancient Town
Free for entrance, but they need to buy a ticket if they want to visit the scenic spots inside.
Combo ticket: CNY 148 (including Former Residence of Shen Congwen, Formal Residence of Xiong XiLing, Yang Family Memorial Temple, East Gate Tower, Boat ride on Tuojiang River, Longevity Palace, Chongde Hall, Fenghuang Ancient City Museum, and Hongqiao Art Museum)
Note: The combo ticket is valid for two days. A visitor can enter the above-mentioned spots once within the validity of the ticket.
Opening Hours ：all day
Type : Historic Sites
Recommended Length of Visit : half day
Fenghuang Ancient Town, aka Phoenix Ancient Town and Feng Huang Gu Cheng in Chinese, is situated on the western boundary of Hunan Province in an area of outstanding natural beauty where mountains, water and blue sky prevail. 'Fenghuang' in Chinese is 'Phoenix', the mythical bird of good omen and longevity that is consumed by fire to be re-born again from the flames. It's said that two of these fabulous birds flew over it and found the Fenghuang Town so beautiful that they hovered there, reluctant to leave,and then the small town named Fenghuang.
Upon arrival visitor will be impressed by its mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity air.The scenic spots inside the Fenghuang Ancient Town remain attracting the whole year, but the best time to visit is period from July to September, when the weather is rather moderate. 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.
Besides the beautiful scenery, Fenghuang Ancient Town is also a famous historic and cultural city and home to minority groups (Tujia & Miao). A visit to Fenghuang Ancient Town will give you an idea of what life was like years ago. 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。Highlights in the ancient city are: Miaozhai, the bonfire party, the Southern Great Wall, the natural wonders Qiliang.
Tuo Jiang River
Stretching diagonally from the northwest to southeast of the Fenghuang Ancient Town, Tuo Jiang River is a life force of the local people. Women wash their clothes and the men fish with their nets in this river, it also provides a means for boatmen to support their families by ferrying visitors up and down stream for sightseeing.
The Miao ethnic minority is predominantly settled here and visit to a Miao village is a wonderful journey when going to Fenghuang. The Miao women have a natural beauty that renders the use of cosmetics quite unnecessary. They love to dress in traditional blue garments set off with a white scarf. They also love their silver jewellery especially during festivals. Visitors will find a large array of hand made items of silver ornaments for sale in the local shops. Home made tie-dyes, printed and batik cloths are other local specialities that make wonderful souvenirs. The Miao are friendly and hospitable and like nothing more than to interact with visitors with a variety of traditional entertainments and activities. Food here also is different from that found elsewhere in China. Pickled red peppers are a particular local delicacy and their appetizing smell wafts from the many small family run restaurants.
Buildings in Fenghuang Ancient Town
Fenghuang Ancient Town does not rely entirely upon natural beauty to attract the visitor,for this ancient town with a history spanning 1,300 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. 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.
Famous People from the Town
Fenghuang Ancient Town was home to the versatile writer Shen Congwen (1902-1988) 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 (1921-1949) 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.
Get to Fenghuang Ancient Town
▶From Changsha(around 5.5 to 6.5h)
South Bus Station ：15:40CNY 134
West Bus Station：09:00/10:50/14:20/16:50 CNY 145
Changzhutan Bus Station：07:30/10:00/ 13:30/16:20 CNY 158
Lituo Express Bus Station：12:30/16:00 CNY 149
▶From Zhangjiajie (around 4 hours)
1)Central Bus Station (near the Zhangjiajie Railway Station):
Bus schedule: 08:30/09:00/10:00/12:30/14:30/15:30/16:20/17:20
Bus fee: around CNY 80
2)Alternatively, you can take regular buses from the bus station to Jishou first. It costs around CNY 55 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.
Tongren Tourist Bus Station (near Tongren Railway Station):
Buses depart around every one hour from 08:40 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 Fenghuang 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 from the airport to reach the town directly, which takes around 1 hour.
Turn to Jishou North Bus Station near the railway station. There are regular buses to Fenghuang Ancient Town, 80 minutes. Bus fare is around CNY 25.
If visitors arrive at Huaihua Railway Station, they can take bus 7, 8, 48, 116, 204 or K204 to West Bus Station. There are regular buses to the town. It takes around 1.5 hours. Bus ticket is around CNY 39. Arriving at Huaihua South Railway Station, they can take bus 116 or K12 to the bus station.