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Beauty and charm weave their magic

Fu Chao and Feng Zhiwei
Updated: Sep 15,2014 11:31 AM     China Daily

Fenghuang county in Hunan province is a popular tourist destination thanks to its well-preserved ancient buildings and stunning scenery.China Daily

For years, people have read about Hunan province and its many cities and counties through poems and essays by famous writers throughout Chinese history. They have also experienced the charms of ancient and modern Hunan for themselves, which is famous for its natural scenery, its local ethnic cultures, its spicy cuisine and its booming TV industry, which produces many of the country’s most popular shows.

The popular tourist destination in Central China will once again be in the spotlight when the 2014 Hunan International Tourism Festival starts on Sept 16.

Langshan Mountain

Shaoyang, a city in the northeastern part of the province, can trace its history back more than 2,500 years. Inside its administrative area is Langshan Mountain, which is renowned for its spectacular Danxia landscape and considered one of the world’s natural treasures.

An autumn sky stretches across a village in the mountains.China Daily

The Danxia landform is unique to southeast, southwest and northwest China. It is characterized by the forest of red sandstone peaks with sharp cliff faces. The Danxia landform in Langshan Mountain is rare because of its size.

The Fuyi River, which runs through the Langshan Mountain area, provides a beautiful flowing contrast to the grandeur of the mountains.

The Langshan Mountain area is also home to a variety of precious animals and plants, as well as relics from the Neolithic Age some 4,500 years ago, castles where warriors or peasants in the Chinese history fight for their future, and ancestral temples and the tomb of a royal minister from the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Various ethnic groups, including Yao, Miao and Zhuang peoples, also live in the area, with their unique folk cultures preserved.

Donating Lake

Donating Lake is the second-largest fresh water lake in China. It is depicted in many artistic works and mentioned in historic records.

An essay written by Fan Zhongyan, a politician and writer in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), which is also in the Chinese middle school textbook, makes the lake and Yueyang Tower a household name and a must-see site in Hunan.

First built around AD 220, Yueyang Tower has been renovated many times. The present tower rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty is characterized by typical architecture of the dynasty.

Less than 40 kilometers away from the tower is the Junshan Wild Lotus Park, which covers an area of more than four square kilometers. It is the largest park of its kind ever known in Asia. The China Wild Lotus Tourism Festival was held at the park in 2010 and 2011.

On the western side of Dongting Lake is another famous ancient city, Changde.

Running across the northeastern part of the city, Liuye Lake is a very important resource for the city’s tourism and economy.

Liu Dichen, secretary of the Liuye Lake Tourism Area Committee, said that a “water cultural city” is going to be created along the lake in the future.

Liu has been working on developing Changde’s water resource as a tourist attraction for a long time.

Changde is one of the venues for the upcoming international tourism festival. There will be an outdoor travel outfit expo in the city during the festival.

Xiangxi

A road bridge spans a gorge in the Xiangxi mountainous region.China Daily

A wasteland before, Xiangxi is now a place of scenic beauty and cultural value. The Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture, located in the northeastern part of the province, now has the most tourism resources in the province. It is home to Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Fenghuang Ancient City, Hongjiang Ancient City and Langshan Mountain.

As a cluster of Miao and Tujia ethnic groups, Xiangxi has a variety of traditions and folk cultures. Folk legends and historical myths make Xiangxi a place of stories, adding its appeal to tourists from around the world.

Ruching and Pingjiang counties

Hunan has many counties with different cultures and landscapes. Ruching county in Chenzhou city is famous for its high-temperature hot spring. The hot spring is the backbone of the county’s tourism industry, which has improved the lives of the local residents.

Pingjiang county in Yueyang city has improved its transportation network to welcome tourists from the world. In the county, people can enjoy thrilling canyon drifting.

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