So, the promised part 2 of my trip to the province of Hunan. There will a lot of pictures again, so enjoy!
Last post left us late in the evening on the 28/3 after hiking through the mountains at Zhangjiajie. The next day we jumped on the bus to Fenghuang. Fenghuang is an old village that is populated with two of the minority groups of China, the Miao and the Tuija chinese people.
The bus ride took as about 5,5 hours, and was one of the scariest bus rides I have ever been on. The road was very narrow, and our bus driver had an obvious distaste for lorries. He seemed to nurse an overwhelming desire to overtake every lorry in sight, not to forget the other busses, and he drove the bus like it was a rally car. Not very pleasant on a narrow road with nothing but deep valleys on one or the other side...
But we made it, and then we had the task of finding a hostel to overnight in. After quite a walk from the bus station to the old part of the town on very soar legs, we found a room in one of the beautiful little guesthouses that were to be found all along the river.
We spent two days in Fenghuang. In the afternoon at 31/3 we took the bus (5h) back to Changsha were we slept one night again, only to take the early morning flight back to Qingdao the next day.
The pictures that follows will tell the story of what we saw in the beautiful old town of Fenghuang;
The city of Fenghuang is a fast growing city, and unfortunately they are destroying a lot of the old in the process of 'development'. It is quite a big city today, but we spent our time there only in the old part of the town. This was a few streets on both side of the river, and we criss-crossed them all a few times during our stay. Not many people are living here anymore, but everything has turned into a tourist place with hundreds of small shops, guesthouses, restaurants, cafe's, boat hiring, etc. You get the picture. Our first evening and second day it was raining, but in the morning of our last day the sun was shining again. So you will see a mixture of both foggy and sunny photos.
You could go on a boat ride on the river if you wanted to, even with a singing guide if you paid a little extra. We just watch the spectacle from the shore, enjoying walking along the riverside.
We chose to travel in March because of the season. It is not too cold nor too hot, and it is before the high tourist season, so it was nice and not too crowded.
The old streets were narrow, and people still used hand pulled carriages and traditional back packs for everything.
Our balcony at the guest house with river side view.
During the day, the old part of town seemed quite picturesque, but my god did that change in the evening... It become disco-hell... Lights came on, and not only to lit up the houses, but they were blinking, flashing and very bright. Not to mention the music. Every second bar at the riverside turned into a pub or disco in the evening, and they were all competing in having the loudest music. You know how sound carries quite well over water? Well, yeah! Luckily they had a rule that everything needed to be quiet at 23.30. Otherwise it would had been impossible to sleep.
Breakfast in the street. Noodle and wonton soup from a nice small lady.
Chinese tourists hiring local minority clothes and getting photographed. These were cheap costumes, but the real things are made out of sturdy woolen beautifully decorated by hand, and the head dresses are then of real silver. The headdresses were always the woman's only own wealth as a married woman, and her family had to provide for this 'dowry' for when she got married.
One of the local women in her traditional everyday wear. The silver headdresses were/are for celebrations. The older generation in the town were still dressed in this traditional way. The tunic was always of dark blue woolen with embroidery on the front (bright red and yellow flowers), it was black at the hem, and underneath black trousers. I have no idea if this woman is Miao or Tuija. The styrofoam this woman is carrying is maybe not so traditional, but she made such a bizarre sight that I had to capture it.
The local 'tractor's'. The horses was carrying heavy weights up and down those stairs and across the small bridge, but it was the only way of transportation in the old town if you had renovations going on... I felt sorry for the horses though, because they were treated like vehicles and not as animals.
It was obviously laundry day here, and everything from the sheets to kitchen ware and food was all washed at the same place.
You almost never see any baby carriages here in China, but in Fenghuang they still used the same way of transporting children as they have done for several thousands of years now...
Sausage shop. Or dried pigheads, dried ducks, or...
Mijo shop. A local spirit made of honey. We bought some for our goodnight cap!
We could have bought some snake vodka, but we passed. Next time maybe...
And in the evenings it was of course dinner time. They had a lovely BBQ street close to our guest house, and we tried out different things both nights.
Plenty of nice stuff to choose from. Seafood, meat and fresh vegetables.
Piglets, really tender and soft meat!
Whole grilled chickens, but we tasted the grilled rabbit instead.
And some nice crayfishes.
That was pretty much our travel to Hunan. I am really glad I was able to do this trip, because you were able to see a whole different side of China. I can highly recommend these places to who ever wants to visit China!
Thank you Inga for suggesting this beautiful trip, and for inviting me along!!!