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Tourists flock to natural spectacles at Dongjiang Lake

Huang Ying and Feng Zhiwei
Updated: Oct 7,2015 1:59 PM     China Daily

Dongjiang Lake, when covered in fog, conjures up the images of heaven described in ancient Chinese legends.[Photo/China Daily]

Dongjiang Lake in Chenzhou, located in southeastern Hunan province, was granted a national 5A-level tourist attraction in July by the National Tourism Administration, the eighth destination in Hunan province to be designated with a 5A-level status.

A national scenic spot and wetland park, the Dongjiang Lake scenic area includes the Hougu Mountain Rainfall, Dongjiang Reservoir Dam, Yongcui Gorge and Swan Mountain National Forest Park. Known for its resplendent natural beauty, the total scenic area covers 160 square kilometers. The 8.12 billion cubic meters of water of Dongjiang Lake meets national drinking standards.

Photographers snap shots of a fishman and a woman on the boat on Aug 19.[Photo/China Daily]

Dongjiang Lake scenic area is rich in dense forest cover and all of the natural vegetation within it are classified as class-one reserve. Tourists can enjoy a wide variety of recreational options in the area’s rivers, lakes, waterfalls and springs such as rafting, water slides and fishing.

One of the most remarkable natural spectacles in Dongjiang Lake scenic area is the seemingly magical water mist that forms just before sunrise and right after sunset over Dongjiang Lake from April to November every year. Across the 12-kilometer flat lake, between the gatehouse of the Dongjiang Lake scenic area and the Dongjiang Reservoir Dam, rosy clouds slowly rise, giving off walls of color and radiance.

The number of tourists to Dongjiang Lake scenic area has more than doubled since the area was named a national 5A-level tourist attraction in July. Zixing-a county-level city in which the Dongjiang Lake scenic area is located-has made great efforts to promote the idea of civilized tourism and improve industry services in an aim to enhance tourists’ experiences.

In recent years, Zixing has invested billions of yuan to upgrade the scenic area’s facilities.

Another highlight of the area is the abundance of wild fish. Dongjiang Lake is rich in bream, whitebait, grass carp and carp.

From Aug 20 to 22, Zixing hosts a fish festival that presents a variety of local fish delicacies and snacks cooked in traditional methods.

In addition to the culinary feast, the city holds a traditional folk art activity in which lifelike dragons conduct a series of dance performances.

Before the Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holidays approach came, which usually means hikes in ticket prices for tourist attractions across the country, the tourism bureau of Zixing have vowed that entrance fees for Dongjiang Lake scenic area will not rise. They honored their promise

There currently are four tourist routes around the scenic area, with entrance fees ranging from 80 yuan to 318 yuan per person.

Hunan province has 264 A-level tourist destinations, 555 star-rated tourist hotels and 848 travel agencies, said Gao Yang, deputy director of the Hunan Tourism Bureau. In 2014, the number of domestic and overseas tourists visiting Hunan exceeded 400 million, with total tourism revenue surpassing 300 billion yuan.