Fenghuang, China, April 2019: To the South of the historic tourist core, Fenghuang has a thriving local scene – A high street like any other high street one would see in England. Full of modernity and with all the functionality of modern life in China. The markets here are quite interesting, not that bustling with stall holders getting in some napping time. Its also considerably cheaper to eat in the real town to – dumpling soup around £1.17, a cheap and tasty lunch from one of the many little 2 table cafes around the place.
Walking back to base then through a hive of activity as the town wakes from the lunchtime siesta. locals busy going about their daily business, not a single tourist insight – a strange feeling being the only westerner in a local area, but not as bad as being the only westerner in Ganxia, shenzhen!
Several varieties of Chilli’s at the local town market.
Fenghuang High Street
The Fenghuang Indoor Market
Fenghuang, China, April 2019: Although the tourist focus is along the river banks, Fenghuang also has a network of quaint and attractive stone paved back streets. narrow, well preserved and free of traffic apart from the odd scooter rider chancing their luck with the authorities! There exists about half a dozen museums located within noteworthy ancient buildings located around the place. Visitors with an interest in ancient Chinese history will need to pay a fee for each visit or buy a one time visitors card covering all the museums – its a bout £12. Personally, museums don’t interest me that much so ill skip it all for now and just stroll the quaint little lanes around the town taking in the atmosphere and mixing with locals.
Narrow streets back from the river.
Ancient town wall and lookout tower.
The towns only coffee shop, empty but and ideal escape from the rain.
The Town wall deterring would be invaders during ancient times.
Directions to noteworthy sites and prominent landmarks
While exploring the lanes and alleyways one should be prepared for a few aspects of the Chinese way of life – eating snakes and frogs. Yes, don’t be surprised to see a cage full of snakes awaiting the chop of a butchers knife! While western visitors will balk at such a notion, the natives I’m sure will be delighted that their snakes are quite fresh! A part from caged snakes and furry creatures, one can observe noodle production, chilli grinding and plenty of processed foods fast foods being deep fried. Oh, and a tone of candy production, yes, the Chinese developed a sweet tooth.
|for those in a hurry, good news for you. The place is small enough to cover on foot in about an hour, maybe two, including a quick look around one of the museums, before grabbing a few deep fried snacks. Despite the commercial aspect of mass tourism, Fenghuang is still a place where real people live and where visitors can enjoy a slice China past and later on, present!
Next, China present…Fenghuang.