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Beautiful Phoenix Ancient Town

 2014-10-14    sonrisabai    Tours    Zhangjiajie    1902  

Once upon a time,there was a holy bird called “phoenix” in ancient India, when they reached the age of 500, they would burn themselves into ashes with scented wood, then came back to life again. Simply, it never dies. Pheonix can be found almost in all humans culture, regardless the region. It is called Benu in Egypt, Garuda in India, Anqa in Arab, Simorgh in Persia. One thing of western and oriental phoenix culture have in common is phoenix both stands for life, vitality and passion.

In ancient China, phoeix was regarded as the king of all the birds. According to an ancient literature,” Phoenix has head like rooster, neck like snake, chin like swallow, back like turtle, tail like fish, with 5 colors. They symbolize auspicious omen and immortality. In traditional Chinese culture, phoenix and dragon have always been looked up upon and considered as a good sign.

Most people would think dragon speaks for Chinese culture the best. For those who have visited the Forbidden city and other royal palace, dragon is everywhere. As a matter of fact, of all the artifacts that have been unearthed so far, pheonix related stuff is much more than dragon. Paintings and carving can be seen on tons of potteries and other daily-used tools. The oldest artifact can be traced back to 7400 years ago, which was about two flying pheonix on a white pottery.

Pheonix Ancient Town is located in the southwest area of Xiangxi autonomous prefecture, Hunan province. It got the name because they have a moutain with a shape like a flying pheonix. It covers an area of more than 1700 square meters, with main population of Miao people and Tu people, which both are ethnic minorities. Situated besides the Tuo river and wrapped with mountains, it is a perfect combination of nature and human. Back to Qing dynasty, a writer from New Zealand once commented it was one of the most beautiful towns in China.

The greatest feature of Pheonix ancient town is probabaly it’s size. It’s like a shining pearl hiding deep in the mountain, with little connection of the outside world. It is so tiny to the point that there is only one formal nice street, which is also a natural green gallery. But don’t get down too soon, there are still many interesting shops along the street. If you are plan to bring back some fun stuff, you wouldn’t get disappointed for sure.

The most popular item are the ginger sweets. Traditional Chinese Medicine thinks wet and humid weather brings dampness to people thus leads to illness. Ginger just could ease away dampness inside the body thus locals loves ginger sweets. Life here is slow and at ease, women hand-washing clothes by the river, outdoor restaurant with special dishes, temples and massage salon, all for a better experience of living. My personal advice would be taking a map of town with you so you won’t miss out all the nice places.

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