Noilly Prattle: China 2017: 14 – around the old town

Monday, June 19, 2017

China 2017: 14 – around the old town

the road from Fenghuang to Sanjiang
     After leaving Wulingyuan we were basically winging it as far as land transportation was concerned. Our plan was to either take public transportation (buses or trains) depending on availability and convenience or arranging for a car and driver (a sort of Uber experience) through our hotels. Unfortunately, we had not expected the level of language difficulties that we encountered. I have already discussed the car and driver who drove us to Fenghuang. But now we needed to arrange the next leg of our journey from Fenghuang to Sanjiang about four hours away by bus or train.

Arrangements . . .

       Frustratingly, there were no convenient bus terminals or train stations in Fenghuang itself, so we decided to try and arrange another car and driver. I tried to get our hostess, Mrs. Yuan, to arrange something but communication broke down. Instead, Road Buddy wrote the Chinese characters for Sanjiang (三江) and a simple request on a piece of paper and we stopped a taxi and showed him the paper and asked if he could take us there and how much it would cost. He seemed to understand and radioed his boss and then offered us the ride for 1800 yuan, rather steep, but we said OK and he gave us his card and telephone number.

The old town . . .

had to go back to warmer clothing
this jolly fellow seems to
be carrying a wine jug
       With that settled we began to explore the old town. The weather had taken a turn for the worse. We had to take out cold weather clothes after having exchanged them for windbreakers in Wulingyuan and the first couple days in Fenghuang. It had gotten cloudy, a little misty and raw, threatening rain occasionally. Still, the old town is very picturesque in any weather conditions and is a pleasure to stroll and look around ever alert for interesting photo ops.

Fenghuang means "phoenix" - bronze sculpture is the symbol of Fenghuang

East Gate (background)

old town wall and North Gate
South Gate
Rainbow Bridge
heart of old town Fenghuang
Rainbow Bridge (background)
Rainbow Bridge through the mist
view from Rainbow Bridge looking west
view from Rainbow Bridge looking east
street market
old footbridge on the canal
wealthy merchants mansion - now a museum

At the Soul Cafe . . . 

"Taking a long time for those Margaritas, isn't it?"
         On the way back to our hotel, we stopped off at our go-to restaurant (Soul Cafe) near Rainbow Bridge, the most iconic structure in Fenghuang. Ordered a couple Margaritas along with a bacon and mushroom pizza. It seemed to take an inordinate amount of time for the drinks. The waitress apparently misunderstood the order because she finally brought a Margherita pizza instead of the drinks we ordered. I tried to explain the error. She was confused and flustered but finally understood and took the unwanted pizza back and brought the two Margaritas along with the bacon and mushroom pizza we had originally ordered. Typical language confusion day in Fenghuang!

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