China Travels: Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City (凤凰古镇)

Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City, in the Hunan Province, is one of the highlights from my recent trip to Mainland China.

Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Night view.
Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Night view.

It has been said that Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient city is the prettiest among all the ancient cities that you can find within China and while I haven’t been to all the ancient cities in China, it definitely ranks as the prettiest one that I’ve ever been to so far.

Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Day view.
Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Day view.

I was on a group tour so I have no idea how to get there via public transport. I also don’t know if it is standard in a group packaged tour to visit the Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City for a night view and a day view.

I must say that I was definitely very impressed with how clean the place was. I say this because just a few months ago (from the date of my visit, 18 & 19 October 2014), the entire town was flooded really badly. The water levels reached nearly the roof of the pavilion of this bridge!!

Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Night view.
Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. Night view.

There was absolutely no sign of damage from the flood waters at all. It was really amazing how everything was cleaned up.

Also, on both banks of the river, there are lots of pubs and clubs so the entire place has a very lively atmosphere. On the side where I was walking on, it’s a broad-walk and there were many tourists and locals who were taking a walk or just chilling by the river. Imagine the place as Clarke Quay meets Seoul’s Cheongyecheon. Very cool.

I would have loved to spend a couple of hours in the night and day that I was there strolling through the entire waterfront part of the city and not just walking straight through it. It’s quite a shame that our hotel wasn’t near enough to the river banks that we could walk back and spend more time in the place.

Do take note that you will need a ticket to enter the area to walk along certain parts of the river banks. I’m not sure which parts exactly or how much does the ticket cost. Such is the problem/bliss of going on a group packaged tour. Everything is taken care of for you but you trade off by basically rushing through the place.

That said, I do recommend that you spend at least one full day (if you can help it) exploring Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City. I spotted some accommodation that are along the river banks. I presume they are pricer but it would be worth it for the view and the lively atmosphere.

Check out the rest of my photos of Fenghuang (Phoenix) Ancient City:

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