I spent my holiday from work in China by travelling to Phoenix Town (Feng Huang Xiang in Chinese) with my girlfriend. I have read a view articles about it before but realize that it's mostly a Chinese attraction. It's a famous town for couples to visit though I haven't seen that many around there.
The town consists of an old part and new part. The old part is the main point of interests and lies around the Tuojiang river. It has many hotels, bars, restaurants and old buildings. The new part has larger hotels and more city like structures.
The special part is the beautiful scenery looking from the side of the river or from 1 of the bridges that cross it. They are the Feng Huang bridge, the largest bridge and several smaller bridges varying from stone paths to stone blocks in the river that you can walk on.
English language is hardly spoken in the town so I was lucky to have a Chinese guide with me. The hotels offer various excursions to see the area around Phoenix Town including a visit to a village of the Miao minority (Miao Zhai).
All in all it's a spectacular experience if you are looking for traditional Chinese living style, old buildings and culture. You will find it all here, including many local foods and tons of tourist stores. The midnight clock is at about 12:00 at which most of the bars close, for the convenience of hotel guests.
In Phoenix Town you can find excursions to the mountain area surrounding Phoenix Town or further off the beaten path: Miao Zhai Xiang, one of the villages from the Miao Zu minority in China. Of about 56 Chinese minority groups, this is 1 that inhabits some areas south of China, and has it's own language dialect, clothing style, constructing style and meals.
It is very distant to reach and takes about 90 minutes travel by bus. This includes a long track of unpaved road on which the bus literally bounces it's way to a mountain pass. There it will stop in a small village that you cross along with the group to a mountain pass. Up the mountain pass is a lake along with a dam that holds the water. You cross the lake by a small boat with engine and you end shortly on the other side. You then cross a mountain pass between rocky cliffs and next in a lit cave passage to another lake. There another boat can bring you to the Miao village. The buildings are all made from bricks that are cut from the mountain it's built upon. There are a few open areas where the population welcomes visitors and where you can eat outside on benches. Most of the population is in traditional clothing and cooking and crafting is still used by primitive tools (though you can occasionally find a television in one of the buildings). The way back is by a nearby road that leads back to the unpaved road.
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No.215 Yingfeng West Road, Hecheng District, Huaihua, Hunan, 418000, China
Good for: Couples