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Fengsheng ʢ

High in a valley above the Yangtze River, Fengsheng is at the junction of two important horse trading routes.  A well defined stone path from Guizhou in the south converges with the wider more heavily trafficked bluestone flagged road from the down river city of Fuling in the east.  Visiting Fengsheng - whose name means rich and sumptuous - on market day, you could be mistaken for thinking you had woken up in the last century, as farmers and merchants descend on the village from miles around. 

In fact Fengsheng became so prosperous that the wealthy residents built themselves defensive towers to help protect their growing wealth and property from bandits.  Today, five rammed earth, bullet riddled, Diao Lou or defensive towers still stand in the valley.  Sadly, after surviving the civil war and decades of decay, two interesting old buildings were recently ravaged by fire, one more than nine years ago and the other just last year.

Fengsheng is still a working town.  While many of the younger generation have moved away to find work the older folk continue their lifelong occupations, weaving ordinary useful everyday bamboo products, blacksmithing, barbering, tending crops, preserving food and serving tea.

Best to visit on Market Days which fall on the odd days of the month.  Signs have recently been added so a self-guided walk is informative and relatively easy.  Another interesting fact about Fengsheng is a spring, the towns water supply, which has the strange habit of rising water levels three times per day and rocks with hollow centers filled with water .  The spring can be found amongst the rice terraces less than two kilometers beyond the town.  Ask the locals and they'll point the way.  Late in the afternoon is a good time to watch the spring waters rising.

Date: 10 Dec 10    Views: 670    Comments: 0          

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