Xiangxi evokes images of Shen Congwen's beloved Cui Cui - gentle, relaxed, and alluring. The best way to experience it is by boat, tracing Shen's journey along the Yuan River back to Phoenix.
Nestled in western Hunan, Phoenix earns accolades as “China’s most beautiful small town” and “home of Chinese folk art.” Once a gathering place for politicians, warlords, chieftains, Miao people, and bandits, Phoenix was considered frontier wilderness.
Tujia houses dot the mountainsides - typically rectangular with three rooms and a central hall. Some have wooden frames with tiled roofs, others have bamboo walls and thatched tops.
Trekking through Wuling Mountains into Xiangxi's heartland, visitors can taste authentic local flavor in the capital Xiangxi, the border town Phoenix, and ancient Wang village. The cuisine is distinctly sour and spicy - just like Xiangxi itself.
Cruise the Yuan River, explore indigenous villages, and sample mouth-numbing cuisine. In Xiangxi, adventure and authenticity await.