Almost every tourist takes one of the boat rides down the Tuojiang River. We were no exception and Travels With Sheila gives it a big thumbs up. Also called the Tuo River, views of Ancient Fenghuang spread out on both banks are beyond incredible and my 50 plus photographs and video just can’t do it justice.
Continuing from Xiong Xiling’s house down the small and narrow streets and alleyways, looking… browsing…looking… browsing… before reaching the river. There were two shops selling “older” Miao silver necklaces and jewelry. I didn’t even bother to inquire the asking price because I already knew how expensive genuine items are. The new headdresses that the Miao wear are made of aluminum or lightweight tin. The genuine articles have been sold off ages ago. The flattened pigs faces and bodies hanging from ropes or tacked to posts never failed to bring a smile to my face. Vegetarian granddaughter, Sarah, would have keeled over in shock and/or had fits seeing displays of dead animals and god knows what she would have done seeing animals in cages waiting to be slaughtered for lunch and dinner.
All the tourist boats leave from the Tujiang River Wharf…View image… on the quay located on the main side of Fenghuang Old Town…View image. The 15-minute cruise on the Tuojiang River ends on the other side of the river not far from the covered bridge. The “do not miss” boat ride will give you another perspective of the ancient dwellings lining both sides, propped up on stilts.
The boatman poled the boat away from the wharf and into the quiet Tuojiang River. Passing old houses with traditional Chinese red lanterns hung from each, people eating and getting an occasional glimpse of the inside of an ancient house.
We began to hear loud banging noises and as the boat rounded a turn, women were washing clothes all along the river’s edge, bashing the dirt out with sticks. Women alone. Women scrubbing shoes with a brush…View image. Women in sociable groups, soaping, beating and rinsing…View image. This was endlessly fascinating as long as I wasn’t the one beating dirt out of clothes.
Heads swiveling from bank to bank, the silent boat glided towards the covered Hong Bridge…. And the Tuojiang River sights kicked into high gear…