Phoenix Ancient Town “Fenghuang, China – Day 6

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I have learn my lesson; in China I don’t have to wake up at 6.00 a.m., as the morning sun rise  around 7.00 a.m. I am ready to go for my morning walk around the riverside and love to see the local scenery where the tourists were still in bed.

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Phoenix is in an area of outstanding natural beauty where mountains, water and blue skies. Upon arrival visitor will be impressed by its air of mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity. This is a world that is dominated by the color green. The mountain slopes are covered with green foliage, the fields are green and even the Tuo Jiang River reflects the greenery. The bridges over the water and unique houses built on stilts display a harmony that is so often portrayed in traditional Chinese paintings. This is particularly true when mist pervades the scene in the early morning or after rain. It soon becomes apparent that the claim to being one of the two most beautiful towns in the whole of China.

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I am lucky this morning as the sun-ray reflected through a tree and shone on the pavement, The multicolor created a halo whenever someone walk through it.  I have not seen this scenery in Avatar Mountains but happy to see it here.  After about half an hour the mist covered part of the river and slowly the river was totally covered in mist. It was spectacular view and it lasted only for 10 to 15 minutes.

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The locals  use the river to do their washing, bathing, washing food and vegetables. This morning the local were busy washing clothing, faces, swimming and bathing in this river. Some workers were collecting the rubbish from a boat and others were putting stones on the river to create a walking path across the river.  I am impressed by the simplicity  life style in this little town.

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When I  was back in Singapore about 3 days  and read from the newspaper report that this town have been covered by flood. the water rose above to the top of the bridges  and about 140,000 tourists and locals have to be excavate to a safe place. My heart go to these locals and wonder how long will it take them to rebuilt their homes again.

I will continue my this last part of journey in my next blog as I was too sick to join the tour after this Phoenix Ancient Town.

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Phoenix Ancient Town (Fenghuang), China

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After our visit to Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China, our driver proceed to drive us to Phoenix Ancient town also know as ‘Fenghuang’. It took about 3 to 4 hours to reach Phoenix Ancient Town and the hotel which we booked online do not has any car park  so our driver had to let us off behind of the hotel. It about 10 minutes walk to the hotel and once we check in, we took our dinner at the restaurant in the hotel

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It was not expensive to eat in the restaurant as my children and one of my friend didn’t want to go shopping in the nite at the Phoenix Ancient Town. We left the hotel around 8.30 p.m. and our guide arranged for the driver to take us to visit the nite market where there were stalls selling local crafts, and embroidery.

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There is an entrance fee charge for entering into this town, it used to be free of charge but the local governments want to charge tourists for visiting this town so the monies can be used for upgrading this town.

 

‘Fenghuang’ is Chinese for ‘Phoenix’, the mythical bird of good omen and longevity that is consumed by fire to be re-born again from the flames. Phoenix Ancient 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.

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There were lot of locals and tourists in this town and it was surrounded by the river. We were shocked to see that lot of night clubs or bars have notices that Japanese are not welcome in their clubs. The shops and the streets are brightly light up and there are bridges for tourists and locals to cross over the the other sides of the river.

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We did some shopping and went back to the hotel around 10.30 p.m. as our guide will meet us at 8.30 a.m. the next day. This is quite a different experience as we didn’t expect night shopping in this ancient town and all the shops opened till 11.00 p.m.

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Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China – Part 2

_DSC1061.1 _DSC1056.1We enjoyed ourselves and love the mountains songs sung by the Shop owner and our tour guide from the Red Rocks Forest National Geopark.We talk with the locals about their life living in this beautiful place. From the youngsters they want to earn more monies to survive but the older generations they are happy and content with present life.

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After hours of free entertainment from both of the guide and the shop owner, we have to carry with our trekking into the red rocks forest. We are amazed to found that one section of the red rocks  were surrounded with sunflowers and other species of flowers.  It just getting better than we expect as in these conditions we don’t expect to see flowers and it was a shock to see sunflowers blooming among these rocks.

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About half an hour, we came upon the lake where the rocks were reflected on the still water.  We stay here for a bit to take photos as we have to trek for an hour to reach the visitor’s shop where the staffs were busy embroidery beautiful landscape painting onto the canvas.

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This is an amazing beautiful, and astonishing  place to visit. I would love to come back to this place again once they are fully completed. I tried to download the mountains songs unfortunately, the system can’t accept my itune video on it.

Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China – part 1

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After our tour at the Furong Ancient Town, our tour guide lead us to the Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China. This park is near to Furong Town, it was opened to public in 2011 and it is still under construction to built this park.  The weather was about 38 degree and it was so hot that we had difficulties to walk under the hot sun.  The rocks are bright red colors under the bright sunlight.

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Sources from the China Tourism

Xiangxi Red Rock Forest locates in Jietong and Duanlong township in Guzhang county with an area of 30 kilometers square. Its opposite bank is the famous scenic spot“Fu Rong Town”. It is the unique red carbonic acid rock forest in China formed in Cambrian. Very long time ago, here spread over a sea of water.

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Now,Red Rock Forest is being developed into a national geological park where karst, gorge, karst cave, valley and waterfall are distributed together. It is really a resort of both high value of geologic and scientific research, aesthetic appreciation and tour landscape. Another attracting and mysterious thing is that the color of rock here can change with weather and temperature. In summer with hot sun, its color turns into fiery red. During cloudy day, it would be maroon with purple. However in heavy rainy day, it is black.

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We walked  for about 1 hour and stop for a break to buy some water melons from the hawker selling the fruits. It was refreshing and gave us some energy to walk further into the forest of red rocks.  We walked for another hour and came to the top of the mountains where there was a small shop with seats under the shelter of the hot sun and sitting at there we can view the forest of red rocks.

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We bought bottle of drinks from the shop and owner of the shop  is an old man sitting with us. He is so kind and helpful and he started to sing to us so as to entertain us. We also have a lady guide from this park which our tour guide provide it for us and both of them singing together.  Sitting around in this shelter we have so much fun that we stayed at this place for about 2 hours.

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He look so happy even he earn peanut for his living as we found out that there wasn’t  a lot tourists come to this park as it is  not fully finish yet and there are still lot of works to be done so that it is worth the value for money they charge for the entrance fee for this park.

I will continue this Red Rocks Forest in my 2nd blogging.

Day 4 – Furong Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie, China

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Our Day 4 at Zhangjiajie, one of my sister’s friend is ill with flue and our tour guide Tung also got the flu. Even they were ill but our tour  was still on. Today we were to visit Furong Ancient Town when we reach the Furong Ancient town, our guide leaded us to the restaurant just next to the entrance to have our breakfast of Rice Tofu dessert as it is the most popular dish in this town. Once we went into the Ancient Town, our guide arrange for the guide working in this old town to guide us into this old ancient town.

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Furong Ancient Town, Furong (Hibiscus) Town is originally named Wengoun. It is an ancient town where Tujiazu people live together. Until now, in the town, pavement laid with black flagstones and ancient domestic house (mainly Diaojiaolou) are well preserved. The famous movie Furong Town directed by Xiejin is shot here. At Furong Town, the local specialty, “rice tofu” it is said that the most genuine shop is in the vicinity of toril. That shop is the rice tofu shop in the movie

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The scenery in the town has unique bearing. Shops with trap dorrs are on both sides of five-mile street of black flagstone. Tujia Diaojiaolou {stilted house} are set up against the slope. The simple bearing of Tujiazu is very charming. In the Warring States Period, “Xizhou Copper Pillar” set as a war covenant made between the emperor of Chu, Maxifan and the King of headman remains as before. On “Xizhou Copper Pillar”. key cultural relic under state protection, more than 2300 characters are inscribed, the covenant of dismissing troops and reconciling made between the emperor of Chu, Maxifan and the King of headman in 940 A.D. is recorded.

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It is a precious object of studying nation relation in ancient China. Beside there is Wangoun waterfall which is about 60 meters high and 70 meters wide here. Walking behind the hanging screen of the waterfall is like placing oneself in a crystal palace.

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Furong Ancient Town is a town where lot of locals still living in this town but the local government change the policy of entrance charges  to collect revenue for this ancient town. The locals used the side entrance and they don’t have to pay for the entrance fees.

Day 3 – Secret Hideaway – Zhangjiajie, China

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Visiting two museum a day, our team need a break of Chinese Culture and they were tired and need something to lighten up their day. The tour guide told us that the driver have arranged lunch for us at a seafood restaurant in a secret hideaway where the locals go for fishing.

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Once reached the restaurant, one of my friend was sick  with flu. We enjoyed our lunch but this lunch was too expensive it cost us 800.00 rem which the tour guide let us know that all this was arranged by the Driver. So we had been conned but it was alright as we spend the late afternoon in this village with spring water flowing  into dam. The children enjoying themselves catching little crabs.

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We just don’t want to move any more so we just soak in the fresh water and enjoy the scenery. Times passing very fast and it was time to go back to the hotel to get change and out for dinner.  We didn’t want to have any dinner but our tour guide told us the night market where the locals  go for barbeque foods and local cuisine is worth a visit.

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We went to the night market and it was crowded;  our tour guide know which stalls is the best and arranged a table for us and we did enjoyed the local cuisine which was cheap and the foods were well cooked.  Our guide is a young teenage  and he make sure we enjoy our day and all our day trips ended around 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. which is value for monies as his fee is only 200 rem per day. Normally all guides finish at 5.00 p.m. and sent you back to your hotel. We are very lucky to have him to guide us in Zhangjiajie.

Tujia Oldest House, Zhangjiajie, China

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Our next destination was to visit the Tujia Oldest House, Zhangjiajie, China

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Tujia within its enclosed walls. It is a kaleidoscope of Tujia culture, folk residences, daily labor activities, wedding customs, attires, crafts including batik, brocade, embroidery, stone carvings and root sculptures as well as a myriad of primitive and enchanting tribe dances, such as Maogusi Dance, Bronze Bell Dance and Baishou Dance, which are performed everyday on its squares.

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Tujia architectures include Baishou Hall, Tusi Castle, Tujia Village and Houwang Palace. Setting in lush trees, pristine streams and wild blossoms, these wood-stone establishments blend in with the environment harmoniously. Featuring upturned eaves, fabulous paintings and delicate sculptures, they are living testaments to the aristocracy of Tujia nobles.

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I am shocked to find that the locals are not so keen on the culture or traditional architectures, mainly to earn monies and most of the younger ones if they have the chance they will leave the hometown  and stay in the bigger town to look for work and earning monies.

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The Tujia oldest house is worth the monies for the entrance tickets., there are lot of old relics and antique furniture and equipments used in the ancient times  have been well preserved and the tourists can even sit on it and have a go on the wedding carriage.  There is a school room, 2 princess rooms with layers of wood craving on the panels and the more panels it house it represent high status in the family. As this house belong to someone in the high status of royal families so it consider a posh house in those days. There is much details on this house but I find fascinating and interesting and it is great to sit on those antique furniture in the ancient times.