The tourist boom hasn’t really hit Dehang yet in the extent to which Fenghuang has been hit. There are a lot of day trippers coming in from both Fenghuang and Jishou. But in the morning and late afternoon the village is snoozing and it’s calm and quiet.
The restaurant overlooking one of the village’s bridges.
Jielong Inn, where we are staying, is a great alternative to visiting the village on a day trip. Personally I like the atmosphere better here than over in Fenghuang. And we both feel rested after a couple of days here. We pay 60 RMB for a double room with fan and shared bathroom. It’s a bit damp since there’s no air condition but it’s well worth the money. It’s a family that runs the little inn with a restaurant on the ground floor and first floor, and rooms for rent on the second floor. The food is delicious and two stirfried vegetable dishes and a huge bowl of rice costs only 20 RMB!
Since the villagers are getting ready for the tourist invasion there are a lot of nicknacks for sale everywhere (as in Fenghuang). It kind of ruins the genuine feel of the village but I can totally understand why they all want to sell – because almost EVERY Chinese tourist that comes here buys at least one souvenir. There are a lot of building going on here – as in the rest of China. I just hope they won’t get their heads into deep so they destroy the serenity of the nature out here. Because once you have walked right outside the centre of the village onto one of the hiking trails the silence hits you.
The most gorgeous hike is to the Heaven-asking rooftop. 3 hours there and back and we were alone for the entire hike accept for 4-5 people when we reached the platform. There is a bus going directly from Dehang village to the viewpoint and almost all the Chinese tourist will take this bus instead of hiking the trail. This means you have it all to yourself! And it’s beautiful!
All the trails are paived with flat stones (aka no natural trail) but I don’t mind. Because the trail is mostly even you can focus more on the beautiful view along rice fields and waterfalls than on where you’re placing your feet.