Great Wall Tour
The Great Wall is an emblem of China. Hebei Province has the most
representative architectural structures of it, including sections of the
Ming Great Wall, more than 2,000km long, 286 passes and fortifications,
and 20 or so of the wall's best sections. Laolongtou, where the Great
Wall dips into the sea, Shanhaiguan, reputedly the first pass on the
wall, Jinshanling, where the Great Wall looks the most magnificent, and
Panjiakou, where the Great Wall runs across an expanse of water-all
these places are in Hebei Province. Hiking or bicycling along the Great
Wall proves a most unforgettable experience.
East and West Qing
The remains of Qing emperors Kangxi and Qianlong, and the Empress
Dowager Cixi were buried in the 2,5000square-km East Tombs in Zunhua.
The underground palaces of the tombs of Qianlong and Cixi are open to
tourists. Emperor Yongzheng and Pu Yi, China's last emperor, were buried
at the 100-square-km West Tombs of the Qing in Yixian County.
Health-care is an old tradition in Baoding, a famed historical and
cultural city where the average life expectancy is 6.4 years higher than
the national average. Visitors to the city may learn something about the
martial arts, qigong, taiji boxing, shuttlecock kicking, tonic diet, hot
spring bathing, traditional massage, and the varied old-age life. They
may also visit such hostrcal sites as the mansion of the governor of
Zhili, the Ancient Lotus Pond, and the
Temple of the King of Medicine.
Three-Kingdom Cultural Tour
Zhuozhou is fabled in the Three-Kingdom history. The Peach Garden, where
Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei became sworn brothers, Sanjy Palace in
memory of their brotherhood in Liu Bei's birthplace, and the temple of
Zhang Fei and the well in which he fetched water, are still there.
Zhuozhou is the largest site of Asia's film-making center run by China
Wuqiao is a land of acrobatics. Everybody in this county, senior
citizens and toddlers alike, plays one acrobatic stunt or another.
Acrobatics troupes are a dime a dozen there. The Wuqiao International
Acrobatic Festival is an annual event.
Martial Arts Tour
Hebei is a cradle of Chinese martial arts. Practicing marital arts is a
local obsession for both Cangzhou city, a famous land of martial arts,
and Yongnian County in Handan, where the yang and Wu styles of taijie
boxing were originated. And Baoding is famed for its wrestling. Large
numbers of martial arts studios and classes in these places have
attracted numerous visitors and marital arts fans from around the world.
Lying by the
and 270km east of Beijing, Qinhuangdao was the oldest beach resort in
China. Major attractions: Laolongtou, Shanhaiguan ("No.1 Pass Under
Heaven"), Great Wall Museum, Wildlife Zoo, Marine world, Wanbo Cultural
city. Among the beach resorts are Beidaihe, Nandaihe, and Changli Golden
Coast International Sand-Sliding Centre. Beidaihe, where top Chinese
leaders run state affairs in summer, is also ideal for bio-tourism and
bird watching. Seventy percent of the beach is covered with forests,
which are home to 405 kinds of birds, including 68 world-or
national-class species under state protection. In summer Beidaihe is the
venue of Great Wall Cultural festival, the Sea Tour Carnival, and
Seaside Bird Watching Festival.
Linji Monastery in
County was the cradle of the Linji Sect, one of the five Ch'an schools
of Buddhism, which has achieved wide popularity in
Japan, South Korea, and south east Asia since its inception by the Tang
monk Yixuan. Pilgrims always throng Longxing Monastery in Zhengding.
Tour of Handan
The famous historical and cultural city of
Handan, 420km from
Beijing, has a lot to offer its visitors. These include Congtai Terrace
in Wuling, capital of Zhao during the Warring States Period; ruins of
the imperial city of the state of Zhao; grottoes at Xiangtang Mountain;
the palace of Nuwa, the legendary creator-goddess, and where she patched
up the sky with stone blocks; and ruins of the Cizhou Porcelain Kilns of
the Song. Handan is also where 1,000 or so Chinese idioms were
originated. Yongnian County is where the Yang and Wu schools of taiji
boxing rose, and a cultural center in association with taiji boxing.
Yongnian International Taiji Boxers' Gathering is a popular event for
fans from around the world to compete and swap experience.
There are a number of
tourist zones in Shanxi Provinces. These include Datong, Mount Wutai,
Taiyuan, Jinzhong, Linfen, Yuncheng, Changzhi, Jincheng and
Datong Tourist Zone
Major attractions: Yungang Grottoes, Mount hengshan (Northern Holy
Mountain), Xuankong (Overhanging) Monastery, and Wooden Pagoda in
Yinxian County. Huayan and Shanhua monasteries of the Liao and
Nine-Dragon Wall of the Ming are in Datong, the provincial capital. On
the outskirts: a section of the Great Wall which served as the boundary
between two states in ancient times, watch towers, volcanoes, and the
ruins of an ancient battlefield at Jinshatan.
With some 51,000 sculptures of varying sizes in 53 rock caves, the 1,
500-uear-old Yungang Grottoes in west Datong is the largest cluster of
grottoes in China and a world-famous treasure house of art.
The precipitous and picturesque Mount Hengshan is one of the five holy
Midway up its slope is the Xuankong (Overhanging) Monastery, a rare
alpine complex built in the late Northern Wei, with 40 or so halls and
chambers hanging on the rock face of a sheer cliff.
At a height of 67.3 metres, the Wooden Pagoda in Yingxian County is
China's tallest and oldest multiple-floored Buddhist pagoda constructed
entirely of wood. It is also extolled as an outstanding example of
Chinese architecture, interior decoration and sculpture.
With a vast assemblage of natural scenery, historical and cultural
heritage, classic architecture, Buddhism, and peculiar folkways, Mount
Wutai Tourist Zone in the county of the same name in northeast Shanxi is
a welcome resort for those who come for sightseeing, holidaymaking and
recuperation purposes. The center of the zone,
is nestled in the mountains. Buddhism is thriving at Mount Wutai, which
is the domain of Bodhisattva Manjusri. Construction of Buddhist temples
began during the Eastern Han, and today 48 of them are still there, with
several hundred monks and nuns.
Mount Wutai is a
showcase of classical Chinese architecture, sculpture and painting.
Mount Wutai International Tourist Month is a major tourist event, which
takes place annually from July 25 to August 25.
The zone consists of
Jiaocheng, Qixian and Pingyao and 5 other counties and cities. Major
attractions: Jinci Temple, Tianlong Mountain, Twin Pagoda Temple,
Xuanzhong Monastery, the ancient city wall of Pingyao, Shuanglin Temple,
Zhenguo Temple, Folklore Museum at Qiaojiabao, and the liquor distilling
center, Xinghua (Apricot Blossom) Village. Taiyuan, known in earlier
days as Jinyang, is a famous historical city. With 2.7 million
residents, it is the capital of Shanxi Province.
Built prior to the Northern Wei, Jinci Temple in the southwest of Datong
is noted for its "three wonders": two trees (a cypress dating back to
the Zhou and a scholar tree planted in the Sui), an ever gurgling
spring, and Song-dynasty statues of seven serving maids. The 42 painted
female figure sculptures enshrined in the temple, looking lifelike in
image and graphic in expression, are acclaimed as paragons of classical
Ancient City of
Pingyao is one of four Chinese ancient cities that have remained largely
intact to this day along with
Jingzhou and Xingcheng in Liaoning Province.
The house, which belonged to a rich and famous Shanxi merchant family,
is billed as an emblem of the
culture that thrived as a result of Burgeoning local commerce.
Linfen Tourist Zone
Linfen is a city with a long history and rich natural resources by the
Fenhe River. The Linfen Tourist Zone embraces such tourist destinations
as the temple in honour of the legendary king Yao in Linfen; the temple
dedicated to the
East Holy Mountain
in Puxian County; Guangsheng Temple, a giant scholar tree, and the
prison where Su Shan, a famed opera heroine, was jailed in Hongdong
County; and Folklore Museum at Dingcun Village in Xiangfen. Hukou
Waterfall in Jixian County is the most spectacular sight on the Yellow
River. The International Yellow River Hukou Rafting Month, an annual
event which takes place September 19-October 18 in Jixian County, draws
many tourists from around the world.
Situated in the southernmost part of
Shanxi and known in
old days as Hedong (meaning "east of the
Yellow River"), Yuncheng is part of a "tourist golden delta"
which also includes
Xi'an and Luoyang.
Attractions: the temple dedicated to Lord Guan and the family temple of
Changping in Xiezhou Town, hometown of the legendary General Guanyu, and
the Yuan-dynasty murals in Yongle Palace in Ruicheng. The Lord Guan
Cultural Festival is an annual event which takes place on October 18 in
Xiezhou Town. Lord
Guan Worship is a salient feature of tourist festivals in Shanxi.
Hohhot (meaning "green city") is capital of Inner Mongolia Autonomous
Region. Hohhot Airport, 18km from downtown, operates regular flights to
and from Beijing,
Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen Wuhan and Shijiazhuang. The local railway
station runs fast through trains to many major cities in China and
international trains bound for Moscow and Ulan Bator.
The big temple, known as 1h Ju Zhao in Mongolian, was first built in
1579, or 7th year of Wanli reign of the Ming, and is the top ranking and
most influential of all the 15 lamaseries in Hohhot.
The Great Mosque
Built in 1693 (32nd year of the Kangxi Reign of the Qing), the mosque is
Hohhot's oldest and largest Moslem establishment, which features a
typical Arabian dome and elaborate carvings. During Ramandan (fasting
month). Local Muslims are allowed to mount the building to marvel at the
Also known as Sarira Pagoda of Diamond Throne, Five-Pagoda Temple was
built in 1732, the 10th year of Yongzheng Reign of the Qing, a
16-metre-high structure consisting of five tiny pagodas that are
elevated atop a Diamond Throne. It is also known as "Thousand Buddha
Pagoda" for the 1,560 relief sculptures of Buddhas carved into the
Tomb of Princess
The tumulus buried with the remains of Princess Zhaojun takes the shape
of a 33-metre-high earth mound. Zhaojun, a Western Han stunning beauty,
was married voluntarily to a Xiongnu chieftain to foster fraternity
between the Hans and the nomads and win peace for northern borders. Her
moving deeds have attracted many tourists to her tomb, 9 km from
The Museum of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, covering a total
floor space of 5,000 square meters in downtown Hohhot, features four
galleries on nature and history in the region, and development of local
is a major industrial and tourist city in eastern
Bod Ger (Wudang)
The Bad Ger Lamasery is the largest and best-preserved Tibetan-style
lamasery in the entire autonomous region. Built during the Kangxi reign
of the Qing, it is patterned after the Tashilhunpo Monastery of Tibet,
consisting of six main halls, three Living Buddha mansions, a memorial
hall and 2,500 rooms.
The mausoleum of Genghis Khan (1162-1227), a pre-eminent 12th-century
Mongolian monarch, is found in Ejan Horo Banner. The coffins containing
the remains of the Khan and his wife are enshrined in the bedroom palace
behind the memorial hall in the center of three interconnected halls in
the design of Mongolian yurts. The entire complex is splendidly
ornamented and forever enshrouded in the smoke of burning incense sticks
offered by pilgrims from around the world. Four grand sacrificial
ceremonies are held there every year.
Resonant Sand Bay
The Resonant Sand Bay 45km from Baotou emits a sound like the purring of
a car or an aircraft engine whenever someone is sliding down the top of
its 90-metre-high slope with a 45-degree gradient. Visitors may also go
horseback or camelback riding or enjoy local folk singing and dancing.
Xilamuren and gegentala, 87km and 145km north of Hohhot respectively,
are two major idyllic pasturelands in
Inner Mongolia. Similar grasslands are also available in the
suburbs of Baotou,
Erenhot, Ulanhot, and Hailar, where visitors may go in for horseback or
camelback riding, attend folk singing and dancing, and taste roast whole
Kubuqi, Badain Jaran, Tenggeli, Ulanbuh and Maowusu are famous deserts
of Inner Mongolia, whose landscape is mystified by a combination of sand
dunes, basins, lake, rolling country, and flatlands, a landscape
suitable for desert expeditions.
Wrestling, horse racing and archery are the three traditional items for
Nadam (meaning entertainment or frolicking) the foremost traditional
festival for Mongol nomads taking place in July or August. The festival
today also includes equestrian polo, horsemanship, track-and-field
events, and folk singing and dancing.
The Mongols are brave and industrious and hospitable. Visitors to a
local family are invariably treated to bowls of buttered tea and other
dairy products. They live in yurts, a kind or round enclosure with a
skylight opened into its domed top. They use a kind of cart fashioned
out of birch and elm wood; each weighs 50kg and is enough for a load of
several hundred kg. Traditional festivals include "Lesser New Year"
(23rd of 12th lunar month), when sacrifices are offered to God of Fire,
and "Greater New Year" (Spring Festival), when each family gets together
for dinner and pays homage to ancestors.
Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province, and a major industrial city. In
1625, Nurhaci, founder of the Jin, moved his capital to Shenyang, which
later became the capital of the Manchus before they took control of
central China. Much of Shenyang's rich historical heritage is attributed
to the Qing's formative years.
First built in 1625 for Nurhachi, and inherited by his son Abahai Huang
Taiji), the Former Imperial Palace of Shenyang is one of two royal
complexes extant in China today. The splendid and distinctly ethnic
architectural style of the palace, which includes Dazheng (Grand
Politics) Hall, the Ten Princes' Pavilion, Chongzhen (Golden Chimes),
Phoenix Chamber, and Qingning (Pure Tranquility) Pavilion, are still in
perfect shape. On Saturday afternoons during the May October period, the
Former Imperial Palace is the venue for the show of the parade of a
grand royal procession.
Zhaoling & Fuling
The Zhaoling, also known as Northern Mausoleum as it is in the northern
suburbs of Shenyang, was the tomb of the second Qing emperor, Huang Taji,
and his consorts. Buried under the Fuling of Eastern Mausoleum were the
remains of Nurhachi and his wife, Empress Xiaoci.
Sept. 18 Incident
The museum, housed inside the Monument to the September 18 Incident at
the Marco Polo Bridge, recaptures the incident launched by Japanese
militarists and exposes Japanese atrocities in the war that ensued.
Weird Slope of
The 100-metre-long Weird Slope is found near Qingshuitai Town in the
northern suburbs of Shenyang and the Shenyang-Changchun Expressway, and
35km from downtown Shenyang. The weirdness about it is that auto drivers
and bicyclists can effortlessly slide up the slope but have to go down
the distance by stepping on the accelerator or pedaling real hard. The
slope is part of a scenic zone that also includes the Xiangshan
Mountain, the Chain Bridge and the Peng'en Temple.
This is China's
largest indoor recreational center-on-the-water, and the largest
amusement park-on-the-water in Asia.
The beautiful seaside city of
Dalian on the southern
tip of Liaodong Peninsula is a nice sightseeing, recuperating and
holidaymaking destination. It is particularly suitable for convention or
awarded tours. Dalian is skirted on three sides by the sea, and its long
coast opens onto a myriad of islands. The landscape is fabulous, the
weather pleasant, and the urban environment neat and tidy. When night
falls the city takes on an enchanting look. Dalian is the venue of a
series of annual large-scale events, including Dalian International
Fashion Festival, the festival to greet New Year with firework displays,
International Marathon competition, and International Locust Watching
The beach, lying in southern Dalian, is a celebrated summering place in
and a national scenic resort. Major scenic spots: Wooden-Club Isle,
Hutan (Tiger's Beach) Amusement Park, Beida (Grand North) Bridge, Yanwo
(Swallow Nestle) Peak, Fojiazhuang Park, Forest Zoo, Xinghai (Star Sea)
Bay, Xinghai Park, Shenya Marine World, and Heishi (Black Rock) Reefs. A
seaside highway runs by all these attractions.
Xinghai is the largest seaside park of Dalian which consists of a
seashore park and a bathing ground.
Lushunkou is a national scenic resort and a famed military harbour which
in the westernmost part of
and the southernmost tip of Liaodong Peninsula. The largest of its kind
in Dalian, the Lushukou Scenic Resort comprises 8 scenic zones,
including reefs, islands, mountains, Snake Isle and Bird Isle. Russian
and Japanese occupation, and the Japanese-Russian War of 1894-1895, has
with quite a few landmarks, including
Baiyushan Pagoda, Lushun Prison, and Russian pillboxes at Eastern Jiguan
National Tourist & Holiday Resort
It has a flat 7.5km-long bathing ground covered with fine sand, a modern
golf club, and a hunting club.
Shenya Marine world
An aquarium of world caliber close by the Xinghai Park, the Shenya
Marine World's 118-metre-long undersea tunnel enables visitors to
observe this world of 10,000 fish and sea creatures in 200 species at
Holidaymaking and sightseeing are perfectly combined in the Provincial
Bingyu Holiday Resort in north Zhuanghe City, which is suggestive of the
quaint peculiarities of the Stone forest of Yunnan and the graceful
allure of the landscape of
In winter, the sports facilities of Bingyu attract a constant stream of
winter sports buffs.
Dalian International Fashion Festival, which takes place in September
every year, sets the stage for a keenly contested competition among
fashion designers from all over the world and word-famous fashion
models. Among the other activities held during the festival are
full-length variety shows in City Square, a world fashion exhibition,
garment export negotiations, and parades of fashion models.
Nicknamed "Capital of Chinese Steel Industry", Anshan in central
Liaoning is a major iron and steel industrial base. In recent years, it
has also been rising as a new tourist destination.
A famous mountain 18km to the southeast of Anshan in northeast China,
the 708. 3-metre-high Qianshan Mountain is densely wooded, and abounds
in flora and fauna. Among its scenic spots is a new discovery-a nature
ought statue of the Buddha, which stands meters tall. The place has
since become the venue of Qianshan Great uddha estival, which takes
place in June every year.
River in Cave
A river 3,000 meters long, 2 meters deep and wide enough for 20 to 30
boats, is found flowing through a giant 5 million-year cave 35km from
downtown Benxi. The cave is also filled with countless stalagmites and
stone flowers, pillars and curtains. Access to the cave is by regular
tourist buses running between Shenyang and Benxi during weekends and
The Fengguo Temple possesses the largest single-floor ancient wooden
hall in China. When it was completed in 1020, it was known as the
of the Great Buddha, or Temple of Seven Buddhas. Enshrined in the
Mahavira Hall are 7 Liao-dynasty statues of Buddhas sitting cross-legged
on lotus thrones. Each statue is more than 9 meters in height.
Ancient City of
One of the four well-preserved Ming dynasty cities, Xincheng was a major
defense fortress in the late Ming. Its city wall and many buildings are
in Ming and Qing architectural styles.
As the boundary between China and Korea, the Yalu River flows across the
city of Dandong for approximately 300km. From the city's
and Yalu Park one can feast his eyes on the fascinating landscape on
both sides of the river.
Winter sightseeing is a hot tourist program in northeast China. From
December to February, the land of Liaoning Province teems with winter
sports lovers. This is particularly the case with Qipan Mountain of
Shenyang, and Bingyu of Dalian, where visitors can go skating, skiing,
winter swimming, and sleighing, and discover local folklore by attending
ice lantern shows, folk singing and dancing (including walking on
stilts, model boat dance, and yangge dance).
Changchun, capital of Jilin Province, is lauded variously as "Forest
City", "City of Spring North of the Great Wall", "Auto City"
"Motion-picture City", where transportation is convenient, auto making
has become a full-fledged industry, commerce is thriving, and tourism is
making big strides.
Changchun used to be the capital of the puppet "Manchukuo
rigged up by Japanese invaders. During his 1932-1945 tenure as the bogus
emperor, Aisin Gioro Pu Yi had left a legacy there, including his
imperial palace, the puppet state council, and many other large
buildings each with a style.
The local people extol Jingyue (Clear Moon) Pool in Changchun as
"Sparkling Emerald Pearl" and regard it as a "sister" to Taiwan's Riyue
(Sun and Moon) Pool. The 4.3-square-km pool is in a national forest park
where the ecological system is well protected. The place has become a
national forest park and a scenic resort where holidaymakers go for
sightseeing, recuperating, recreation, and other purposes. Facilities,
including a world-class skiing ground, have been built to wow sightseers
and winter sports fans.
Motion Picture City
The well-known Changchun Film Studio, where many outstanding movies have
been made, lures visitors with a series of tourist and recreational
programmers related to the motion picture industry. Asia's largest
indoor film studio is in this motion picture center.
Jilin:The waterfront city of
Jilin is a major
tourist city by Songhua River.
Rimed Trees in
The rimed trees of
are extolled as one of tour major natural wonders of China along with
Three Gorges of the Yangtze River, the landscape of Jilin, and the Stone
Forest of Yunnan. In winter the
keeps flowing through Jilin despite the subfreezing temperature, and the
vapor rising from the surface of the river freezes when it meets the
pines and willows ashore. Thus encrusted with layers upon layer of ice,
the tree branches and twigs look transparent and form a spectacular
crystal world that never fails to attract visitors.
The 550-square-km Songhua Lake in southeast Jilin City is part of a
national scenic resort with limpid water and elegant mountains. Like
Songhua River, the lake looks exceptionally attractive in winter with
Beidahu Skiiing Ground is in Songhua Lake Scenic Resort, 56km from
downtown Jilin and 141km from Changchun. With an ideal terrain, a long
and prodigious snowing season, relatively mild temperature, and equipped
with world-calibre facilities, it is a renowned skiing ground in China.
Yanji, capital of
provides vital access to the Changbai Mountains and the Tianchi Lake.
Transportation is made convenient by regular flights that link the city
with major cities all over the country. The local Koreans, living in
compact communities, are born singers and dancers.
The volcanic Tianchi (Heavenly) Lake, 10 square km in area and 204
meters in average depth (373 meters at the deepest), marks the boundary
of China and Korea on the top of Baitou Mountain, the main peak of
Changbei Mountains. Skirted on all sides by mountains, the lake is known
for its sublime natural beauty.
Covering a total area of 2,000 square km, Changbai Mountains Nature
Reserve is, as a mammoth natural zoo and botanical garden, part of the
UNESCO'S Man and Biosphere Program. The
Lake, Vertical Scenery, Aerial Park, hot springs, and waterfalls are
among the six local natural wonders. The mountains, covered with
primitive forests, make an excellent bio-tour destination.
Ji'an a city on the
was the capital of Koguryo in ancient times. Among its many sites of
historical interest are the General's Tomb, a stone table dedicated to a
local king, and nearly 10,000 ancient tombs.
On the edge of the Songliao Plain, and in Tongyu County in eastern
Horqin Grassland, Xianghai nature Reserve is the natural habitat for 293
kinds of precious birds, including six breeds of cranes. The idyllic
prairie and the local Mongol folklore combine to make this bird watching
place a very fascinating place.
Skiing tours to
are one of a series of New Millennium
tourist programs. Songhua Lake, Changbai Mountains, Jingyue Pool in
Changchun and Beidahu near the city of Jilin are major destinations for
Changchun International Film
Venue: Changchun; Time: August 23-28.
Rimed Tree Festival:
Time: January 18-23;
What's no: winter sports, ice lantern and bonfire parties, and Manchu
and Korean folklore celebrations.
Yanbian Korean Folklore Festival:
Venue: Yanji; Time: August 31-September 3;
What's on: authentic Korean folkways and performances, and tours of
capital of Hunan Province, is a famous historical and cultural city
whose tourist resources are predicated on its historical heritage. Among
the city's 20 or so major attractions are Yuelu Academy, Han tombs at
Mawangdui, King of Wu Sun Quan's government archives on bamboo slips
found at Zhoumalou, and Hunan Embroidery Institute.
Academy at the foot of Yuelu Mountain in west Changsha, was the most
important of all the four academies of the Song as well as China's
earliest government-funded institution of higher learning. The buildings
extant on the premises are mostly a Qing legacy. Since the Song many
famous scholars had lectured and studied in this academy.
Han Tombs at Mawangdui
Manwangdui, a place in the eastern suburb of Changsha, achieved world
fame overnight in the 1970s with the discovery of precious cultural
relics from three large Han tombs. Most eye-catching of these finds was
a woman's corpse so well preserved that some of its bone joints could
still be flexed, and some of its soft tissues were still elastic,
despite the passage of 2,100 years. Among the other invaluable finds
were 3,000 exquisite pieces of lacquer ware and paintings on silk. The
corpse and the other artifacts are on display in Hunan Museum.
Archives on Bamboo Slips
A total of
170,000 bamboo slips were excavated from Zhoumalou, Changsha, in
December 1996. Inscribed on these slips were official documents of
Changsha Prefecture during the reign of Sun Quan of the
of Wu. These files have furnished valuable material for research into
the history of the Three Kingdoms Period (196-265).
30-metre-high ancient city wall, Tianxinge Pavilion provides an overview
of the entire city.
Mao's Residence in Shaoshan
104 km west of
was the birthplace of Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of
China. Mao's former residence is furnished the way it was during his
childhood and teenage years.
situated where the Yangtze flows past Dongting Lake in north Hunan, was
known as Baling or Yuezhou in old times. Today, it is a famous
historical and cultural city and a key tourist center whose major scenic
spots include Yueyang Tower, Junshan Mountain, Qu Yuan's Temple and
Tuanhu Lake. Yueyang is also the venue of a world-famous international
dragon boat competition that takes place during the Dragon Boat Festival
an area of 2,820 square km, Dongting is the second largest freshwater
lake which is connected with the mighty Yangtze. The lake's Junshan
Island, looking magnificent with 72 peaks, is known for a kind of local
temple, situated on
Mountain by Miluo River in Yueyang, was dedicated to Qu Yuan, a
celebrated patriotic poet of ancient China.
Lake in Junshan District and some 20 km from
downtown Yueyang, covers an area of 200 hectares. In summer, lotus
flowers protruding from the midst of green leaves in a riot of colours,
and it is the best season for boating and picking lotus seeds.
poised atop the western city gate of Yueyang, is one of the three major
towers in south China. Construction of this tower began in 716, or the
4th year of Kaiyuan reign of the Tang. The fame of this tower stems
largely from the essay "On Yueyang Tower" by Fan Zhongyan, a famed Song
city of Hengyang is 45km south of Hengshan Mountain, the southern holy
mountain of China and a famed national tourist resort. Most visitors
choose to stop over at Hengyang before proceeding to Hengshan Mountain.
southern holy mountain in China, Hengshan looks at once old, graceful,
mysterious, breathtaking and exotic. Its 72 peaks form a range that
serpentines for as far as 400km. Atop Zhurong, the major peak 1,290
metres above sea level, are Zhurong Hall, Southern Heavenly Gate and
Moon Gazing Terrace.
Temple on Zhenbei Street at the entrance to the mountain is a giant
9,800-square-metre complex laid out in roughly the same way as the
Former Imperial Palace of Beijing. Eight Taoist temples on the eastern
side are arranged symmetrically with eight Buddhist temples on the
western side to indicate equality between Buddhism and Taoism. This
largest group of ancient structures in south China is the site of a
grand temple fair every August.
Emperor Yan's Mausoleum
to the southwest of
County is the mausoleum of Emperor Yan, the legendary Divine Peasant who
is regarded as a father of China. The buildings at the mausoleum were
reconstructed in 1988, forming a five-part complex in the style of a
majestic imperial palace. A grand ceremony is held every October to pay
tribute to this legendary forefather.
Zhangjiajie, a northwest
city 400 km from Changsha, is the site of the national Wulingyuan scenic
resort, the first in China to be endorsed by UNESCO as a world natural
heritage. The resort covers more than 500 square km and consists of
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and two nature reserves-Suoxi Gully and
Mountain. With an unmatched sandy quartzie and karst landform, the
resort is a sublime configuration of mountains, rivers, wood and caves.
Major sights: Yellowstone Village, Golden Whip Stream, Tianzhi Mountain,
Yellow Dragon Cave, Baofeng Lake and Maoyan River. Zhangjiajie
International Forest Protection Festival is an annual event which takes
place every September.
the eastern side of
Mountain in northwest Hunan, Jishou is the seat of Xiangxi Tujia and
Autonomous Prefecture. Visitors are attracted by the distinct folkways
of ethnic Tujia and Miao peoples.
something serene and mystic about Mengdong River as it twists and turns
across the karst terrain of Yongshun County 90 km west of Zhangjiajie.
Narrow and swift, and strewn with dangerous shoals and rapids, the river
is cut out for daredevils. Rubber dinghies are provided for those who
come to raft the river.
Qing architecture remains large intact in the ancient city of Fenghuang
(Phoenix) 53 km to the south of
The streets are paved with slate, and most dwellings sit on stilts,
looking classically elegant with flying eaves and curving roof corners.
The former residence of Shen Congwen, a modern Chinese author, is in the
most part of its 2,000-year history, Wangchun Town was the capital of
local ethnical tribal kings. Situated on the confluence of Mengdong and
Yuanshui rivers, the town features a bluestone-flagged 2.5-km-long main
street, an ancient town wall also built of bluestone, and ethnic Tujia
residents' stilted dwellings.
Taohuayuan Tourist Zone
the Shangri-la described in the famous Jin writer Tao Yuanming's
"Accounts of Taohuayuan", is in Taoyuan County under the jurisdiction of
Changde. The place is actually a world of peach orchards, which look
unusually beautiful when peach flowers are in full bloom. The peach
flower=watching festival takes place at Taohuayuan every March and