Hunan, which means "South of the Lake", is the main rice-growing area in China and the hometown of Mao Zedong, a great man of China. With the Xiang River runs through the province, Hunan boasts its abbreviated name "Xiang". Therefore, the Hunan Opera is called "Xiang Opera", Hunan Dishes called "Xiang Dishes" and Hunan culture called "Hu Xiang Culture".
With the Dongting Lake on the north, Hunan is a beautiful place with yellow rice field, clean streams and green hills where many minorities inhabit happily, such as the Tujia, Miao, Dong, Yao, and Bai People. Those ethnic groups are gifted great dancers and singers, which makes Hunan an ideal place to enjoy the famous folk songs, dances and experience the unique folk customs.
As one of the most popular destinations in China, Hunan is full of a variety of tourism resources, both natural and historical. Those include: Zhajiajie, a magic place gifted by the nature; Yueyang, famous for the Yueyang Tower and the Dongting Lake; Taoyuan, one of the most beautiful fairy lands; Mt. Hengshan, one of the most four famous mountains in China. Changsha, the capital of Hunan, is one of the historical and cultural cities. Shaoshan is the birthplace of Mao Zedong and so on.
Recommended Scenic Spots
Zhajiajie in Hunan
Lying on the northwest of Hunan, Zhajiajie is recognized as "a rarely charming belle in the boudoir" by the famous Chinese painter Wu Guanzhong. Zhajiajie is the first National Forest Park in China featured by its unique hills, queer ridges and peaks, tranquil valleys, thrilling streams and abundant plant and animal resources.
As the maze of nature, Zhajiajie is full of spiffy spots, such as the grotesque Zhajiajie Forest Park (including the breathtaking Cloud-picking Terrace, the outstripping Yellow Lion Village, the great Golden Whip Crag, the clear Golden Whip Stream, the dilapidated walls of Yangjiajie), the impressive Mt. Tianzi, the singular Suoxi Gully, the beautiful Maoyan River, the stalwart Mt. Tianmen, and the supernatural Jiutian Cave.
In addition, the tourists take great delight in taking about the Puguang Temple, Yuhuang Cave and some other great human attractions as well as the appealing customs of the local ethnic people. Zhangjiajie also abounds in many rare plants and flowers, including the Chinese dove tree, Chinese tulip tree, ginkgo and five-color flower.
Zhangjiajie Forest Park
"Most peaks in Zhangjiajie demonstrate more abrupt contour than the legacy presented in America and Australia. Spectacular and irregular stone forests, luxuriantly green vegetation as well as clear lakes, streams, and very impressive karst caves and underground rivers are possessed of and undeniable beauty."
----International Nature and Natural Resources Protection Union
Suoxi Gully is renowned for its queen peaks, clear waters, mystery caves and deep valleys. The attractions include Huanglong Cave, Baofeng Lake, Ten-li Corridor, West Sea, Shengtangwan and Suoxi Gully.
Whenever mention the picturesque Mt. Tianzi, the tourists would think about the unique four wonders, the sea of cloud, the harmony of rosy clouds and the sun, the shadow under the moon and the foggy pine in the winter.
Key attractions in Zhangjiajie are Laoren Peak, Huanglong Spring, Longwang Cave, Lake of Heaven, Xianren Bridge, Shezi Cliff, Yubi Peak and Qianceng Cliff
Dongting Lake in Hunan
Dongting Lake covers an area of 2,820 sq km and is the 2nd largest freshwater lake in China. Located in the mid reaches of the Yangtze River, the lake extends between Hunan and Hubei provinces. Fringed with reeds and lotus ponds, the magical lake is known as the setting of many traditional fairy tales and legends.
On the banks of the lake are many villages with paddy fields and cane fields. But the main livelihood for many villagers is still fishing. The graceful Yueyang Tower is also found on the eastern banks of the lake.
There are several islands on the lake, the most famous being Junshan Island, known for its silver needle tea.