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One of our tour highlights came the next day when we walked around the back alleys and laneways of the ancient town of Fenghuang. The area near the river is delightful especially near the city wall. We were taken by boat to the other side of the river for lunch and found this a very relaxing and peaceful experience.The town is situated on the western boundary of the Hunan province. It claims to be one of the two most beautiful towns in ...
... length of the town. We checked in and made our way to the river cruise. The cruise was on a gondola like boat and we drifted down the river for around 600m. We walked back up along the side of the river through the small tourist markets to the hotel. As dusk settled, the town lit up with fluorescent lights and with the national holiday tomorrow the people started to arrive. We had dinner at the hotel. Sleep was tough on a mattress like stone and a party across the ...
... giant cake on a big round log block. Aromas and smoke fill the warm evening air. A red candle in a paper boat floats downstream to be sacrificed at the three-foot waterfall spanning the murky green river (boatmen patrol scooping out rubbish).
Early this morning women squatted next to the water beating clothes clean with paddles, others took a swim, one man stood up to his waist in the water, raised his arms and clenched fists and roared. Old men squatted and ...
... were switched on - just managing to remain within the bounds of tastefulness without being kitsch. A few of the group followed the lights and spent an evening receiving free drinks from bars who wanted to put westerners on display in their window.
The attraction of Fenghuang is more in its general ambiance than any specific sights so we spent our only full day in the city walking along the river from coffee shop to coffee shop. The local tourist authority ...
Dep Chongqing 2nd July 23:58 Arr Huaihua 3rd July 20:00 The carriage bustles for an hour before gradually people start to doze. In the hard seats however, sleep is hard to come by. Some slump on the table, head in the crook of a folded arm, while others contort like abandoned marionettes. I merely sit straight-backed and close my eyes. The fluorescent lights stay on all night. I come to at 04:00 to find we've stopped. We barely move for the next six hours. The delays ...