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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top attractions in Hunan, China

Hunan is a fantastic part of China that counts many famous scenic spots. Among these, the best-known include: Dongting Lake, the Yueyang Padoga, Fenhuang Ancient Town and the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area where the gorgeous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is located.

 The following are the top 10 attractions that Hunan Province has on offer.

Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area(武陵源自然风景区)

The Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area is located in Zhangjiajie City, about 265 kilometers (164.66 miles) away from the provincial capital of Changsha, Hunan Province.

Covering an area of more than 26,000 hectares, Wulingyuan is composed of the world-famous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, the Tianzishan mountain range and the Suoxi Valley, which all together offer visitors a large number and variety of scenic sights. It is known for its beautiful forests, odd-shaped rock formations, exquisite canyons, limestone caves and jaw-droppingly stuning panoramic views. It is also home to a wide number of endangered plant and animal species.

The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

Admission: 248 yuan (US$39.22)/person

 Mount Heng(衡山)

Located some 45 kilometers (27.96 miles) north from Hengyang City, Mount Heng is one of the five famous Chinese mountains in China. Thanks to its favorable climate, it enjoys a reputation of being "the most outstanding amongst all five." The mountain stretches out over 150 kilometers (93.21 miles), with a total of 72 peaks.

Mount Heng features dense forests, flowers, bamboo and serene gullies, all surrounded by the clouds and fog. The place looks like it comes straight out of a fairytale. It has good scenery throughout all four seasons, with a flower market in spring, a summery sea of clouds, a sensational autumn sunrise l and a white winter wonderland.

Admission:100 yuan (US$15.84)/person

Fenghuang Ancient Town(凤凰古城)

Located on the western edge of Hunan Province next to Guizhou, Fenghuang Ancient Town, also known as Phoenix Ancient Town, is one of the most beautiful towns in China.

With a l history of 1,300 years, the town features distinct residential buildings, elegant bridges plus several mysterious towers and pagodas. Upon entering the town, the visitor will immediately get a sense of the area's mystery, elegance and primitive simplicity. When an early morning mist sets in around the bridges over the water and stilted houses, the area simply becomes a mirror of traditional Chinese paintings.

Visiting a Miao village is a must when traveling in Fenghuang. Visitors will find a large array of silver ornaments, homemade tie-dyes, and unique local snacks there.

Admission:186 yuan (US$29.47)/person

Mount Lang(崀山)

Located in Xingning County, Shaoyang City, Hunan Province, Mount Lang is a scenic area close to Guilin of Guangxi in the south and Zhangjiajie of Hunan in the north. It features a galaxy of Danxia landforms. Huge deep red rocks in various bizarre shapes present tourists with a marvelous view.

Including Mount Lang, a total of six Chinese areas were named UNESCO Natural World Heritage in 2010 because of their Danxia landforms. The other five are: Mount Danxia in Guangdong Province, Taining in Fujian Province, Mount Longhu in Jiangxi Province, Chishui in Guizhou Province and Mount Jianglang in Zhejiang Province.

The mountain is covered by dense vegetation, with clear streams flowing through, which have attracted a great number of animals. The whole area is divided into five partscalled Purple Glow Land, Fuyi River, Camel Peak, Ox Nose Castle and Octagonal Castle, respectively.

Admission:130 yuan (US$20.6)/person

Yueyang Tower(岳阳楼)

The Yueyang Tower is an ancient architectural treasure on the shores of Dongting Lake in Yueyang City, Hunan Province. It is known as one of the four famous Chinese towers,. The other three are the Yellow Crane Tower in Hubei Province, the Penglai Pavilion in Shandong Province and the Tengwang Pavilion in Jiangxi Province.

The tower was first built around 220 during China's Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), when Lu Su, commander in chief of the forces of Wu, was sent to the area to fortify it and he trained the fleet there. The main tower bears a flying eave and helmet roof with wooden constructions in a unique style.

Standing on the tower, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Dongting Lake.

Admission: Free

Dongting Lake(洞庭湖)

Located in northern Hunan Province, Dongting Lake is the second largest fresh water lake in China, which is usually praised as "the picturesque Dongting Lake with 400 kilometer span." The lakeside Yueyang Tower is one of the four famous Chinese towers.

There is an island located right in the lake named Junshan where, or so legend has it, two wives of the ancient Shun Di Emperor, Ehuang and Nuying, died to become goddesses of the Xiangjiang River after searching thousands of miles for their husband.

The vast lake, the famous tower, the mysterious island and the legend, all these have made the lake a popular site throughout the decades.

Admission: Free


Mawangdui is an archaeological site located in Changsha, Hunan Province. The site consists of two saddle-shaped small hills, set20 meters apart, that are connected to each other underground.

Mawangdui contains the tombs of three people from the western Han Dynasty (206 BC–9 AD), including Marquis Li Cang, his wife, and a male who is believed to be their son. The site was excavated from 1972 to 1974.

Tombs No.1 and No. 2 have been filled, and only tomb No. 3 is open to visitors. Most of the artifacts from Mawangdui are now on display at the Hunan Provincial Museum, which is free to visit.

Admission: 2 yuan (US$0.32)/person

Juzi Island(橘子洲)

Juzi Island, also known as Ju Island or Orange Island, is a shoal located in the center of Xiangjiang River, opposite Hunan's capital city of Changsha. It was named after the oranges scattered across the island during the harvesting season.

Formed in 305, the island got its name in the six century, from the poem of a famous poet in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). At 140 meters long and 40 meters wide, the island looks like a huge green vessel, covered in a carpet of flourishing trees. It is believed to be the largest inland islet in the world and is now a popular site for summer relaxing in Changsha as temperatures never go soaring high, not even May to July.

Admission: Free

Yuelu Academy(岳麓书院)

The Yuelu Academy is located on the eastern side of Yuelu Mountain in Changsha, capital of Hunan Province, found on the western bank of the Xiangjiang River. It was established in 976, the 9th year of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), under the reign of Emperor Kaibao, and was one of China's four most prestigious academies of the past 1,000 years. Renowned Confucian scholars Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi both lectured at the academy.

Since 1926, the academy has become a part of Hunan University. It is now a research center for humanities, social sciences and Chinese studies.

Admission: 50 yuan (US$7.91)/person

Peach Blossom Land(桃花源)

Peach Blossom Land, located at 23 kilometers (14.29 miles) from Changde City, is a fairytale land described by Tao Yuanming (365-427), a famous poet of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (316-420).

With a history of more than 1,600 years, the area now has become a famous tourist site. It features beautiful mountains, peach forests, fields, temples, as well as the mystique of many wonderful legends. It has nearly 100 spots and four great scenic areas, including the Taoxian Ridge, Taoyuan Mountain, Taohua Mountain and Qinren Village. Every year, the area witnesses a peach blossom party which is an important festival in Hunan.

Admission: High season: 75 yuan (US$11.88)/person (March-October)

                     Low season: 65 yuan (US$10.3)/person (November-February)

Source: by Xu Lin

from China Travel & Tourism News


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