Outside my Front Door is a series of posts by fellow travel bloggers who share what is … outside of their own front door
eTramping is a budget travel blog where Agness and Cez are sharing their tips on how to travel the world with $25 in their pocket. This Polish duo has been on the road since 2011, living and working in different countries all over Asia. They are currently based in China where they dig into baozi and jiaozi, explore local temples and teach English to kindergarten students. If you would like to read more about their adventures, you can check out their “Add the Brick to the Great Wall:” Experience-based Advice for China from Expats” e-book or visit eTramping.
Outside my front door: Frozen in time Fenghuang
I have been living, working and travelling in China for over 2 years. It has been truly an incredible experience for me and after visiting over 12 out of 22 provinces, I have my favourite spot I often come back to. It’s a very special and close to my heart mystical place where mountains, water and blue skies prevail. It’s a place hidden from tourists and favoured by the Mother Nature where I often hide when I need a break from work, from my travels. It’s called Fenghuang and it’s located in Hunan province, China.
Without a doubt, Fenghuang is the place where time stops. Its scenery leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller. Why do I love to explore Fenghuang? Mainly the sake of its ancient architecture and authentic Chinese look.
What’s so special about Fenghuang? Every single local house is decorated by flashy lanterns and colourful lights so the whole place looks like a fairy tale. If you take a walk at night, you can admire the glowing buildings with a spectacular view of local bridges, Chinese lanterns hanging on the trees, small waterfalls and boats crossing the river.
What others love the most about this town is that it has not evolved during the past few centuries. Locals live here like they used to live hundreds of years ago giving us a view of a quiet and traditional China, totally different from modern cities and large conurbations.
When I feel stressed out or just need a break from my travels and work, I take a boat and go for a day trip around the town. I speak to locals, I buy some handmade jewellery and dig into plates of baozi (local Chinese dumplings). Rowboats are used as one of the main means of transportation here. Tourists are more than welcome to take one of them to explore the town. It is a fantastic experience and the prices here are unbeatable. A day in Fenghuang costs less than $25 a day so I can easily afford to travel there anytime I want to.
The life here is peaceful and calm. People don’t rush. Time stops and I finally have time to discover myself and think of my life.
If you are looking for some off the beaten track places in China where you can experience the real Chinese culture and tradition, make sure Fenghuang goes first on your list.