Fenghuang, in English called Phoenix Ancient Town, is a beautiful little village in Hunan province in the middle of China. Fenghuang means phoenix in Chinese and the legend says that two of these majestic birds flew over the village long time ago and because of its beauty, they settled there. I would definitely agree on the beauty aspect of this story. When I first arrived, I was appalled by the charm of this old place. Some people call Suzhou the Venice of China but I personally think Fenghuang might as well have this title because of its nice river floating down through the town of small wooden houses.
After a fun day of climbing through the forest on top of the Zhangjiajie Avatar mountains, I was now up for more cultural inspiration so I found this little ethnic park on my way around town (Zhangjiajie). The people working there are from the ethnic minority called Tujia and they all wore the minority’s traditional clothing. When I arrived at the entrance (picture above), I couldn’t stop taking photos of these cute girls in their colourful outfits.
Zhangjiajie, also called the Avatar mountains, is a beautiful range of mountains in Hunan province of China. The national park is massive and full of stunning sights and curious monkeys (take care of your food because they’ll be there if you’re eating too obviously).
Today, I’ll take you through my trip from Beijing to Hunan’s Avatar mountains. I hope you’ll fall in love with this place as much as I did and who knows maybe you’ll even consider going there after seeing the beautiful pictures of stunning views because it is actually really easy to get around if you just prepare a bit beforehand (Get those Chinese names down on your phone to show the Chinese if you are lost at a train or bus station). Cheers!
“I arrived in the beautiful area of Qinhuangdao called Beidaihe. Most famous for hosting top-secret political meetings for the Chinese Communist Party. When I saw the place, I quickly knew why they chose to go here only a few hours from Beijing with the fast train. The beaches are white, the sky is blue, and the fresh air is such a great change from Beijing’s pollution. Furthermore, the place is also much more laid-back than the bustling metropolis.
The Chinese government is slowly opening up for free visa stop-overs. This is great because I love to come back to Beijing for a few days, say hello to friends, enjoy some noodles and then move on to my next destination. Now, it is possible for foreigners to stay in Beijing up to 72 hours without a visa. This almost sounds too good to be true, right? But it’s not. I’ve done it twice now and it’s super convenient.