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New charge to visit old city | Updated: 2013-03-21 21:54

Tourists visiting Fenghuang, a famous ancient town in Central China, will be required to buy tickets from April 10, the local government has announced.

Entrance tickets into the old town of Fenghuang will cost 148 yuan ($24), and will allow tourists to visit anywhere in the old town and the neighboring Nanhua Mountain, according to the announcement on Tuesday.

It said tourists who buy the tickets when they first arrive can return as many times as they like, free of charge, for one year. Visitors who have bought three tickets will receive a free lifetime pass, said Zhou Jianliang, an official in charge of the management of the old town, on Wednesday.

"The tickets will allow people to visit any spot in our old town as well as the neighboring Nanhua Mountain," he said. "It's cheaper than before and can help local tourism pursue better development as a whole instead of having scattered attractions."

Visiting the old town of Fenghuang, also called Phoenix city, in Huaihua, Hunan province, is currently free of charge. Visitors will soon have to pay 148 yuan to visit the nine spots including the former residence of Shen Congwen, a famous writer, and another 108 yuan to visit the neighboring mountain.

Some visitors complained about the extra charge.

A male netizen, with the online name Apengge wrote on his micro blog that it’s not appropriate to charge when people enter the town. He has visited these spots before and wants to stroll through the town, but will not return because of the high charge.

Fenghuang draws millions of tourists every year for its wonderful natural landscapes. It is known as the setting of love stories created by author Shen.

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