Fenghuang Ancient Town is also called Phoenix Ancient Town is an ancient town in Fenghuang County, Hunan Province, China. Ancient town was built on the bank of Tuo Jiang River over 1000 years ago. This is the most attractive monument of culture and history in the country of Great Wall.
History of Fenghuang ancient town
Fenghuang ancient town was built in 686 during Tang dynasty and became the center of culture, politic and even military of this area in the period of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1644), when most residents were soldiers who had to come here to protect land from the uprising of Miao. The big wall in the south of town was built from Ming Dynasty (1573-1620) existed to this day as a historic testament of this period. But the typical architecture of Fenghuang ancient town was created by Han and Miao people, built and completed in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Roof tiles lines is curly and meandering covering wooden houses on stilts from the ground 5m – 7m, along blue Tuo Jiang River .
Along Tuo Jiang River about 5 km have a lot of bridges: wooden bridge, stone bridge… but the most especially bridge is “charming Hongqiao” with unique architecture of the roof. This is a bridge was designed with “Phoenix” architecture style. If you stand from this side of bridge and looking to the other side, you will see looming Fenghuang ancient town stretches with deep alleys, old houses with yin and yang roof tiles are covered by green moss, sometime it look very grey. Some statues were put on the top of curved roof in artist way. Entering in this ancient town over 1,300 years old, visitors will feel like straying into fairy tales.
The poetic beauty of Fenghuang ancient town
While Hunan province is developing constantly, Fenghuang ancient town seems to be still keep its ancient features after 1,300 years. The ancients were very lucid and clever to choose this area for living and building, left a monumental heritage for today. Old houses are close to mountains and show their shadow to Tuo Jiang River creating a charming picture. Fenghuang ancient town became a tourist site that everyone wants to visit once.
Tuo Jiang River (flowing through the ancient town) is not too deep. The river bed has a lot of algae and moss which make water become greenish. Looking from above, Tuo Jiang River like a cerulean silk piece stretching along the ancient town, two banks are connected to each other by petite and slender wooden bridges.
Life of local people
Let’s do a tour around the ancient town, you will easily encounter daily life scenes of local people here. Besides unique customs of Miao people, Tuo Jiang River flow through the ancient town has become an interesting tourist destination and attracting many tourists.
According to historic documentary, the original Phoenix town was just a small citadel on one side of the river. Over time, people began to move and live in both sides of river, making river banks become highlight features of Fenghuang ancient town. Here, you can see firsthand the busy daily life of local people both riversides. Although every family here has private bathrooms, washer, dryer, but they still keep their habits of washing, bathing, doing dishes, washing fruits and vegetables… on the river. And every morning or every afternoon, apparently swimming on the river has become a familiar ritual of local people.
Along the blue stone path, stores sell many traditional products of local: wine jars of Han people, silver jewelry of Miao people or lovely lantern of Tujia people… always busy with buyers and sellers.