Take a bus and go to Fenghuang, a very nice little town where Chinese like to get married. A green rive flow slowly through the old town and little boats offer the opportunity to see the town from the river. You can walk along narrow pedestrian lanes. The athmosphere is very pleasant even if the place is quite touristy.
Visit the old river town of Fenghuang, two hours by bus from Huaihua. Fenghuang is described elsewhere on VT. The bus station is on the west side of the City center. Going to Fenghuang is a must! You should stay in Fenghuang a minimum of one night. When you arrive at the bus station, there will be a lot of people approaching to offer a place to stay. Just follow and inspect what's on offer. Probably you'll get an acceptable room at an acceptableprice, and the landlords will most probably give lots of good advice about what to see, where to go, etc.
While you're there, you can visit a Miao-village some one hour away by bus.
Also, going to the nearby town of Zhijiang is a good idea. One day is enough. The Sino-american war memorial and museum is located there. (The old airfield has just recently been renovated to become a civilian airport).
In Zhijiang proper, there's a famous Dong minority "wind-and-rain bridge." It's quite impressive! Inside the brigde there are numerous shops, and four or five dentist consultancies. All the passers-by can stop and look down your throat and chat with the dentist while she fixes your tooth problem. The equipment is up-to-date.
To love Huaihua, you would need to be an afficionado of small Chinese cities. The city keeps its charms well hidden, and the Huaihua Museum was closed (seemingly indefinitely) when we were there.
The riverside area (actually there are two of them) is very rundown and infested with rubbish along the banks. Huiahua has well and truly turned its back on the waterfront: one stretch of recent speculative apartment buildings, painted bright pink, sits completely vacant alongside the main agricultural equipment market and the city power station. To the south, Huaihua's steel mill belches smoke. It's not the prettiest place in China!
However, the valleys to the north of Huaihua, on the road to Fenghuang and Jishou rapidly become pretty, descending down a long winding valley, past several derelict templesto wards Maiyan. This long valley would make excellent walking and desrves to be explored. The wooden buildings, many belonging to Miao and Tujia people, are mostly in good condition and one village is even built completely out of adobe brick - strange how just one village can be totally out of synch with neighbouring communities.
No.215 Yingfeng West Road, Hecheng District, Huaihua, Hunan, 418000, China
Good for: Couples
No.8 Wuyang Avenue, Xixin District, Huaihua, Hunan, 418000, China
Good for: Business
This hotel is surprisingly good, and is basically at 4-star level. Its location is both useful (in...more
Intersection of Shuntian South Road and Yingfeng East Road, Hecheng District, Huaihua, Hunan, 418000
First Qiaotou, Fuzhou South Road, Huaihua, Hunan, 419400, China
I ended up here for my caffeine fix several times during the days I was in Huaihua.
Good coffee and great staff: they came to my rescue when a group of very drunk laobans (from out of town) began pestering me while I was working one evening.
From November 2005 China Southern offers an air service to 'Zhijiang Hunan' airport, some 45 mins. from Huaihua center.
From Beijing and Shanghai by train: some 23 hours.
From Guangzhou central railway station: 13 hours (Preferrable!).
There are good bus services inside town, but taxis are plenty and cheap.
To Zhijiang and Fenghuang: regular bus services. The roads are winding, so the 2 hour trip to Fenghuang is not especially comfortable.
Train: From Huaihua you can travel to
Huaihua is a very busy station, but with ony a small proportion carrying people! The rest are endless coal and mineral trains taking their products (seemingly mainly to Shenzhen). This is the junction for three lines and there seems to be constant movement on the tracks.
Oh...and a new line is being built to link through Tongren and north-eastern Guizhou to Chongqing.
The station is at the top end of Hezhou Lu, but you can always just follow the lines....they all meet here!
There are direct trains to Beijing, Changsha and Shenzhen from here (the latter heads north to Zhanjiajie first...go figure!)
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