It was January 2nd, my birthday. My best friends, Jordan and Hu, wanted to surprise me and make this day special for me so they took me to Fenghuang, one of the oldest and most beautiful towns in China. It could not be a better surprise taking into account how much I love to travel. They planned everything including renting a car and booking accommodation so these two days were stress free :-). We spent there all afternoon and night and came back to the school next day in the evening. Fenghuang is a town which can be easily sightseen within one day, including a night as the night scenery is the most beautiful. All houses are decorated with colorful lights so the town looks amazing (have a look at the pictures in the gallery).
Fenghuang is Chinese for “phoenix”, the mythical bird which is a good omen symbolizing longevity. Fenghuang is an ancient community located on the western edge of Hunan Province, about 3 hours by car from my school.
Why is Fenghuang so extraordinary and worth seeing? Because it is an example of what villages were like before the start of modernization: wooden boats, Chinese style buildings, traditional food and people dressed like this place was frozen in time. In Fenghuang, dozens of lanes are paved with stones that run between the wooden houses. It was raining almost all day when we got there but the scenery was even more beautiful. The foggy river created a charming picturesque scene of Southwest China. The charm of Fenghuang goes beyond the natural beauty though. The town has a number of old gardens as well as distinctive residential buildings, many bridges and mysterious towers. The part of the Great Wall can be spotted here as well. It’s another, after Biancheng, place where you can see the real picture of China, taste some smoked sausages and meat and drink some old Chinese wine.
If you are in China looking for a spiritual place, Fenghuang should be definitely your number one on your list.
I keep enjoing China every day!It’s been nearly 5 months since I came to China. So far, I have visited 9 out of 22 provinces, seen more than 30 different cities and towns tasting different food, making friends with hundreds of people and getting to know Chinese culture and tradition. New place, new adventure and new experience every day!