Fenghuang Ancient Town, also known as Phoenix 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.
Fenghuang means phoenix in Chinese. In Chinese culture, the male one is called Feng, and the female called Huang. According to the legend, some phoenixes flew over this small city and were so absorbed by its beauty, so they were reluctant to leave and stay here permanently, hence, the name - Phoenix Town or Fenghuang Town.
The town is situated on the western boundary of Hunan Province in an area of outstanding natural beauty where mountains, water and blue skies prevail. Upon entering the town the visitor will be impressed by its air of mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity.
Fenghuang is the home to minority ethnic groups, mainly Miao and Tujia nationalities. The batik and tie-dye are very popular among the minorities here. Miao and Tujia have their own ways to produce the cloth with unique folk patterns. Beside, they also make embroidery (Tujia), silverware (miao) and paper cut. The gingier candy is also a well-known specialty in Fenghuang.
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 is more than justified; the other town is Chang Ting in Fujian Province.
The major attractions in Fenghuang includes cruise at Tui River, East Gate of Fenghuang, the Residence of Mr. Shen Cong-wen, Southern Great Wall built in Ming Dynasty and Qiliang Cave. Besides, the small town gives birth to several celebrities, such as, the famous writer - Sheng Cong-wen and the painter-Huang Yongyu.