China (People's Republic of China)

Languages: Chinese

Currencies: CNY · Chinese yuan (¥)

Capitol: Beijing

Continents: Asia

Borders: Russia, Tajikistan, Laos, North Korea, Bhutan, India, Macau, Nepal, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan

More useful information

Area: 9,706,961km2

Population: 1,402,112,000

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +86

Timezones: UTC+08:00

Last updated on February 23, 2024

FENGHUANG ANCIENT CITY also known as Phoenix Ancient Town (located in Huan Province) is the kind of a destination that will totally blow your mind. It 400 years old city used to be praised as the most beautiful city in China – just as Louis Aileen, the famous writer described. There is a bunch of magnificent things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town.With its unrealistic beauty and atmosphere it offers a glimpse into traditional Chinese life and history. 

FAIRYTALE NIGHT VIEW: Best time to admire its well-preserved ancient architecture and cultural heritage is at night time when the city lights up in some kind a fairytale. The wooden houses, stone-paved streets and intricately carved details look stunning at evening aura. The buildings showcase traditional Ming and Qing dynasty architecture style.

Magic things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town in Fenghuang County in China.

Getting to Fenghuang Ancient Town.

High speed trains in China are top quality and a life saver with such huge distances. However my advise would be booking your tickets much in advance for two reasons – price & availability. It was so hard for me to organize trains, as a lot connections were booked out, including First & Business class. Thankfully there is TRIP.COM the most efficient with best deals ticket service in China for trains, flights, hotels & attractions. It made my trip so easier. I made so many changes to my ticket schedules and all was accomodated perfectly. I used their customer service inquiring for my tours purchased with trip.com and the help center was quick, live (no bots), highly helpul and efficient. 

I also used local flights – which often equal the price of a train ticket. I mostly used Skycanner.com – check for best last-minute flight and airline deals.

If you have just arrived to Fenghuang high speed railway station only to visit the Phoenix Ancient City – there are few ways to go from there – shuttle bus, public transport or taxi:

This attraction is perfectly organized from this point with the Tourism Office. In the middle of the main train station hall there is Fenghuang Ancient Town Tourism Inquiry Service & Ticket Office. There are many options for sightseeing the Ancient Twon and rural tourist attractions of the province. All information is available at the desk, there are also leaflets with bus tours and schedules.

SHUTTLE BUSES FROM FENGHUANG RAILWAY STATION: There are dedicated shuttle buses taking you directly to the Ancient Town of Fenghuang – there are 2 routes available – check at the leaflets. Buses from the railways station operate from 7.00am-22.00pm.

SHUTTLE BUSES INSIDE THE ANCIENT TOWN: There are few lines: A, B and C taking you through the highlights of the ancient town.

Getting to Phoenix Ancient Town on your own.

PUBLIC BUS: Getting to Phoenix Ancient Town on your own. From the Fenghuang Railway Station follow signs toward Bus Station – once you leave the railway station building, take the stairs up, the big building on your right is a bus station. Go to the ticket office and for 7Yuan there is a LOCAL BUS NO 1 going directly to the Ancient Town – the bus station is literally 100m from the main bridge of the town. The ride takes about 25 minutes.

TAXI: Taxi service in China is extremely good, they operate in every town or city. Taxi area is always well marked from airport or train station entrances. Always check the taximeter is on, however if you are using the official taxi service there is no place for scamming. The ride from the Train Station to Phoenix Ancient Town is aroun 30-35 Yuan.

How long should I stay in Phoenix Ancient Town?

There are so many fascinating things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town, that your stay should be at least 1 day and 1 night. However, I would recommend 2-3 days at least.

I stayed for 5 days and it was optimal time to explore the area and visit nearby attractions – Fenghuang is a great gateaway for number of sights you have to visit in China for jaw dropping views 😉 -Tianmen Mountain and Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge!

Where to stay in Phoenix Ancient Town?

Entry for the Phoenix Ancient Town is free. 

You should stay in the middle of this fairytale town – near the river or/with river view option.

My initial plan was to stay in Backpackers Hostel – you won’t hear me saying this often but avoid this place! – the standard is below zero, lovely old lady but in February the room was colder than outside temperature (2 Celsius degrees) and they refused to turn on heating. That’s highly not fair – avoid.

I arrived at the city at 11pm, tired after days of hiking and traveling. So the last thing I had in mind is searching for another hostel – but since I didn’t have a choice I upgraded my target and went for Return Home Boutique Hostel! OMG what a stunning place! Rooms are beautifully arranged, amazing bathroom with hairdryer, cattles, toileters and additional service available in house. 

Phoenix Best River View and B&B will get you amazing vews over the city but you can browse different options on agoda.com.

Visit the Phoenix Hotel Hill.

There’s 50 Yuan entrance to this scenic area but I still think it’s worth to go. The entrance leads througha  hotel elevator. The path brings you to stunning city views spots, evevator bridge and to the top of the hill. 

Magnificent places to visit in China.

I’m not surprised China is among top 5 tourist destinations in the world! There are so amny attractions, I would need a year to discover all. However with some planning and organized tours, it’s possible to reach stunning places despite the enormous distances and as I mentioned Fenghuang is a great gateaway for number of destinations.

I have visited all three attractions below and they are breathtaking! In Zhangjiajie National Forest Park you must visit the Canyon and the longest Glass Bridge in the world! 

Tianmen Mountain is a beautiful journey to the Heaven Gate, as it is called. 

Phoenix Ancient Town by night.

One of the things you need to see in Phoenix Ancient Town is its night time glow. As the sun sets, the streets of Fenghuang Ancient Town come alive with a myriad of vibrant lights. Take a walk along the street of Phoenix Ancient Town and you will feel like in a fairytale, where you are surrounded by thousands of traditional red lanterns, colorful bulbs and decorative illuminations. It all adorn the ancient buildings, creating a magical and romantic ambiance and the illuminated bridges cast beautiful reflection on the water. Take a walk around the ancient town through the narrow alleys. In summer the crowds must be incredible.

Take a walk along Tuojiang River, which flows through Fenghunag Ancient City addition to its picturesque charm. A stone-paved path will lead you along the river to explore the area and Hong Bridge. 

River Boat Cruise & Hong Bridge.

Take a boat cruise – its ana amazing experience to drift through the illuminated city on a green river. The boats are widely accessible, I chose night tour which I think is much better that the morning one. There are number of bridges in Phoenix Ancient City, Hong Bridge is a spectaculat stone, three-arch bridge.

Magic things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town in Fenghuang County in China.

Join a bonfire PARTY!

One of the best things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town area is Bonfire Party, organized beside the river at night time (around 8-9pm). Tickets prices depend on a season, however there was no paid entry at the time I was there. Bonfire Party showcases beautifully traditions of the ethnic Miao minority. If you want to explore more about this ethnic group you should go and visit Tehang village to see their real living style.

In the eventing time there are usually lots of performances in the ancient town. Dance performances on the river stage, dragon flyes, some 3D animations. There are magics in Fenghuang!

Night market and & street food will blow your mind!

OMG! You will not believe what creatures are served there 😉 fried larvas, tiny micro shrimps, crabs and all parts of animals are among fried delights. Tough life for a vegetarian heh! 

The night market is located just near the main bridge passing. Dishes are incredible but CHILLI is the king here! If you’re not a fan of spicy food ask to remove chilli from your dish, otherwise it is going to burn your mouth inside out!

There are plenty of shops with famous handicrafts and souvenirs and street food stands – one of my favourite below, where you can choose yourself the engriediens and the old lasy will cook it for you – with noodles or in a soup, whatever you prefer – delicious!!

Meet Miao ethnic minority & try on traditional outfits.

Fenghuang Ancient Town is home for the Miao and Tujia ethnic minorities. You’ll have a chance to observe the minorities while walking around the town, the have its own language and customs. There are many local shops with traditional outfits, you are free to try on and also do a traditional make up.

Huilongge Diaojiao Building.

Riverside Stilt House – alongside the Tuojiang River you will also find charming stilt houses  built on wooded stilts – the houses are called Diaojiaolou. These are typical houses for one of the minorities – Miao, living in the town. At night these houses are beautifully lit with soft lights illuminating the river’s reflection.

Tuojiang Ancient Street.

The ancient street is one of the best things to see in Phoenix Ancient Town itself. Walking the main path along the river you will reach Tuojiang Ancient Street with impressive water wheel and spectacular river bridges.

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!
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