Originally built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and renovated recently, the Wanming Pagoda is a hexagonal brick structure with seven storeys and is located right on the edge of the river. With flying eaves and a pinnacle roof, it makes for a beautiful reflection in the water.
This is the southern gate into the old town. Behind it, just inside the old town is a square which features a model of a phoenix - a mythical bid from which the town is named. Fenghuang Cheng or Phoenix 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.
A long part of the old town wall is still standing, stretching for about 400 meters along the south bank of the river. The North Gate Tower is found halfway along its length and the East Gate Tower is found at its eastern point. This tower was built in 1715. The wall used to surround the old town and was 2km in length, 5.7 meters in height and 3.7 meters wide.
I saw a couple of waterwheels in Lijiang, Yunnan, and there's a few along the river here in Fenghuang. These particular ones lie on the north bank near the stepping stones and look like they're part of a mill. There's more upstream.
Tuo Jiang River, the biggest river within the county, is one of the branches of Wushui River. Originating from Nanshan Gorge of Dusha, Kuhe, it flows through Fenghuang County from west to east, passing nine counties and towns including La’ershan and Fenghuang County, and then plunges into the Wushui River. It is 131 kilometres in length, among which 96.9 kilometres is in Fenghuang County. Tour boats can take you along the river where you'll get the chance to flow down some of weirs. You can watch the boatman pushing the boats up the weirs with the help of rollers underneath - quite an ingenious idea!
These types of house are called Diaojiaolou (Chinese for building with hanging legs). The design keeps the buildings safe from the spring floods. These houses really define the old town and give it its "picturesque-ness". You can witness the daily goings-on outside them. More photos can be found in my travelogues.
These are some street scenes from within the old town. The old town covers an area of about 1.8 sq km with over 300 local-style houses, 20 streets and 10 lanes.
This temple is located in the heart of the old town near Fucheng Gate and features an ancient theatrical stage and main hall.
There were once four gates into the old town. This particular one is the North Gate, I think anyway! It's located along the road that leads to the large Fenghuang Bridge.
This waterwheel is located just upstream from the ugly Fenghuang Bridge, just in front of a series of weirs. No idea why or what reason it's used for. Just another picture opportunity!
This is the main road bridge through the old town and is rather ugly compared to its surroundings. Anyway, it does offer great views along the river.
A couple of other ways to cross the river, other than the conventional bridges, are by taking these stepping stones (which are actually concrete posts) and a rather precarious wooden bridge.
This bridge spans the Tuo River and is the main sight within the old town. It's a covered bridge and is full of shops. Make sure you see it at night as its illuminated.