Disclaimer note : This is based on my 2011 impression. As I’ve written all about it during my visit, yet was unable to publish this until now.
As per mentioned on my first Fenghuang Post,
I took the leap to visit Hunan because I’m out of other options…and also to visit a dear friend of mine.
My first impression of this town is that , it’s very touristy and full of stuffs that you could find in any other popular tourist spots.
Bars, restaurants,souvenir shops dominates the main streets.
Snacks and locally branded products are plenty, but none really clicked with me.
The town is divided by a river, strolling from both sides are delightful, especially during the night when all the neons started to illuminate the town, bringing a new characteristic to the ancient town.
While the streets are long and seems unending, it does end and it led to an urban/living space for the locals. Some may find the stray paths to be more engaging since we can finally enjoy the proper feeling of the ancient town. (editor’s note : this may change in 2019…)
For those seeking photographic spots, the old pagoda at the river’s turning point is your best bet. Very panoramic, especially during the golden hour.
During the nights, you could climb up the largest bridge in town or around the riverside to properly take the other persona of the town.
However, personally I think the best moment to capture the essence of this ancient town is during early morning where the crowds are off and if you’re lucky, mists will present itself!
Accommodation is plenty and not hard to get by,I stayed in a youth hostel during that time, though…
Foods were adequate. I didn’t gave it too much of a thought during my younger days, but If I ever had the chance to return, I’ll try this part seriously.
Putting aside it’s inevitable touristy feel, it still radiates a serene and authentic feel of a respectable ancient town…during the early morning.
The architecture from Ming and Qing dynasty was preserved quite well, combined with a background of mountains nearby and natural flow of a river ; To be called as one of the beautiful ancient town is definitely sounds true!
All in all, Fenghuang Ancient town left a great and everlasting impression for me. I still recommend people to visit this place until today.
However, I need to return and see how the years of heavy tourism changed this place…