Hunan meant "south of the lake", as the province is situated south of the second largest freshwater lake in China--Dongting Lake. 211,800 sq kilometers in size with a population of 65 million, Hunan is the home province of Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China. At the same time, it is rich in productions of tea, rice, mandarins, dried chili, cigarettes and Xiang embroidery.
Also rated as "The Land of Fish and Rice", the Hunan cuisine features both ingredients in hot, spicy, peppery, sour or sweet taste. Some notable dishes include: DongAn chicken, peppery and hot chicken, hot and spicy frog leg, fried fish slices, Dongting fat fish maw, spicy bamboo shoots and fermented tofu.
Attractions to visit
As the capital of the Hunan Province, Changsha is listed among the 24 most reputable historical and cultural cities in China recently; it is also a vital political, economical and cultural center of the province.
- Yuelu Mountain
With breathtaking sceneries, spectacular valleys and an elevation of 300 meters, the Yuelu Mountain is the best place to enjoy the fabulous view of the city of Changsha. The Yuelu Academy, which is built at the foot of the mountain during the Northern Song Dynasty, had successfully educated well-known generals and celebrities of later times.
- Hunan Provincial Museum
Among all the cultural relics on display, the corpse of Xin Zhui, which is discovered in the Han tombs at Mawangdui is the most fascinating. The 2,100 year-old Mummy is so well preserved that the soft tissues of its bone joints remained elastic and that archaeologists could find watermelon seeds within its stomach. Another valuable item from the same tomb is the delicate silk garments with intricate designs, rare threads and raw materials; currently, none of the textile research institutes in China can design and produce silk garments with the same quality.
It is the birthplace and hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Visitors can visit Mao's former residence during his childhood and teen years and the museum built in the memories of this important founding father of China.
Among one of the five Sacred Mountains in China, Hengshan Mountain has 72 peaks and is 1,290 meters above sea level. Its main scenic spot is the best location to enjoy the spectacular sunrise and the sea of clouds sceneries.
- Nanyue Temple
This palace-like temple is 9,800 meters in size and contains the most ancient architectural buildings in southern China.
- Water Screen Cave
The interior of the cave is eight meters wide and has a waterfall that splashes out the cave with an elevation of 10 meters. It is the residence of the Monkey King, as depicted in the novel "Journey to the West".
Located at the confluence of the Yangtze River and Dongting Lake, it is a popular tourist city despite being small in size.
- Yueyang Pavilion
Situated in the nearby Dongting Lake and built during the Tang Dynasty, the pavilion is 20 meters in height, certainly a fantastic place to enjoy the sceneries of the lake.
- Dongting Lake
Rated as the second largest freshwater lake in China, the Dongting Lake has spectacular sceneries and covers an area of 2,820 square kilometers.
- Junshan Mountain
Located on one of the islands in Dongting Lake, it has 72 peaks and known as "The Fairy Mountain of Dongting Lake".
Zhangjiajie (Wulingyuan Scenic Spot)
Situated 400 kilometers away from Changsha, the scenic spot is the first to be listed as an UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. It is definitely a great place to explore the natural wonders, such as rare rock formations, streams, caves, waterfalls and forests, etc. Covering an area of 500 square kilometers, the scenic spot has various reputable sites, such as the Yellow Stone Village and Golden Whip Stream in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianzi Mountain, Yellow Dragon Cave, Baofeng Lake and Maoyan River.
Fenghuang meant "Phoenix" in Mandarin. This ancient city earned its name because of a peak, which looked very similar to the bird. Pursuing fabulous sceneries at the same time, visitors may choose to explore the city on foot or by boat.