Travel Theme: Multiples (2)

This is my second attempt at Alisa’s theme “Multiples” for this week. While I like nature and photographing nature, I also like photographing still objects. For a change, this post is not about nature.

Again, my photos are taken in various places. I am glad that I can show them in a set under a theme.  On their own, it would be rather difficult to present the individual pictures. When drafting  this post, I looked up the dictionary for the meaning of multiple. Usually, I am given a mathematical interpretation as to what is a multiple. I guess multiple may mean more than two (which is called couple or duplet etc). Here are some of the “Multiples” which have impressed us in our travels.

High up in Shangrila, Yunnan, we spotted these multiple timber screen doors in a temple. We liked the fine wood carving and the gold color on them.DSC_0058

Some very Chinese styled red lanterns at “Yellow Crane Tower”, a historic tower in WuChang, China, swaying in the wind.DSCF6108

Multiple umbrellas affording shade to visitors in the Resonant Desert in Inner Mongolia, China.DSCF2264

Multiple Aobaos at the Masuoleum of Genghis Khan in Inner Mongolia.DSCF2316

Multiple columns to the Celcus Library at Ephesus, Turkey.CIMG0226

Multiple columns and facades at the Dolmacbache Palace, facing the Bospohrus in Istanbul, Turkey.CIMG0544

Multiple ornamental columns and statues arranged in a semi-circle at Hero Square, Budapest.DSCF0148

Multiple arches seen in Lithuania, while travelling in the Baltic countries.DSC_0365

So, the world is full of  interesting “Multiples”!

Phoenix – FengHuang (鳳凰) Ancient City, China

We first learnt of this place through the paintings of the Chinese artist Wong Wing Yuk who has based many of his paintings on his home town Fenghuang or Phoenix City.

Fenghuang is the Chinese for “phoenix”, the king of  birds in legends, which is a good omen symbolizing longevity.

It is an ancient community located on the western edge of Hunan Province. This is like the Venice in the Orient;  an example what a village by a river was like before the date of modernization: timber boats, simple river crossings, Chinese style buildings on stilts, traditional food and tribal people dressed as if this place was frozen in time.

The charm of Fenghuang goes beyond the natural beauty. We first  took a stroll of the city, admiring at the ancient architecture. Some of the streets were paved with cobble stones. To our delight, we found a shop selling preserved pig head, meat and field rats.

We walked around the picturesque lanes and little squares. Then we went up to top of the city wall to have a good view of the Tuo river. The Tuo river was not deep , and the water was very clear. Locals cross the river by walking on a series of stepping stone blocks in the river.

Fenghuang was built  a few hundred years ago and restored quite a few times. It was one of the military outposts of the empire, built to keep the minority people Miao in check. But the most characteristic of Fenhuang are the houses along the river, built on timber stilts, with several floors, balconies and windows overlooking the river. We took a boat trip on the river, viewing timber houses leaning out onto the river, watching the locals doing their washing and cleaning vegetables in the river and all the comings and goings you expect or not expect on the river.

Going up and down the river, we were happy at the revelation of more and more river scenes, each one quite different to the other. We took more photos and were impressed with the covered bridge arch crossings above the water (top photo).

When the moon has risen and the place was almost completely dark, all we could see were the traditional red lanterns hanging from each of the timber houses and the faint outline of the distinctive tops of the buildings. We knew it was already late and we should be heading back to our hotel. We also knew we have covered one of the places we should see before we disappear from the face of this earth.