Hunan Province has a history of nearly 3,000 years.
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Its industries include nonferrous metallurgy, iron and steel, machinery, electric power, coal, textiles, chemicals, electronics, and food processing. Special local products are Xiang embroidery and porcelain.
Liu Shaoqi Memorial Museum刘少奇纪念馆
The Memorial Museum of Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969) was listed in 2001 as one of the first batch of 4A-class tourism resorts by the National Tourism Administration of China. The museum consists of the former residence, the memorial hall, the bronze statue of Liu Shaoqi, and the square. The residence was renovated in 1980 to appear in its original state as when Liu was born in 1898. Twelve photos and 178 utensils are exhibited in the residence, vividly reflecting Liu’s living conditions when he was a child and a young man. The Memorial Hall includes a lobby and eight exhibition rooms, where 605 photos and 188 relics or replicas are placed to display Liu’s revolutionary career. The 7.1-meter-high bronze statue was built on the square 100 meters from the memorial hall. In recent years, new scenic spots have been built in the neighbourhood, making the memorial museum both a sacred place of the revolution and a tourist attraction.
The Southern Great Wall 南方长城
In Fenghuang (Phoenix) County, this section of the Southern Great Wall has similar defensive functions and structures as the Ming-dynasty Great Wall in north China. Located at the border of Hunan and Guizhou, the Southern Great Wall starts at Xiqueying Village of Guzheng County and ends at the Tingziguan Pass with a total length of more than 190 kilometers. According to the textual research, by the specialists, the Southern Great Wall was first built in 1615 at a tremendous financial cost. Mostly constructed on high and precipitous ridges, 4,000-5,000 soldiers used to be stationed along this section of the Southern Great Wall.
The Yandi Mausoleum 炎帝陵
Yandi, also known as Shennong神农, was one of the original five legendary rulers. Emperor Yandi and Emperor Huangdi have been regarded as the ancestors of the Chinese nation炎帝为我国传说中的古帝.The Yandi Mausoleum is located in Hunan Province’s Yanling County炎陵县(the then Lingxian County酃县). Legend tells that Yandi taught his people how to farm, weave cloth and make earthen wares史称其教民耕农.To cure people’s diseases, Yandi tasted different medicinal herbs尝百草，发明医药, and unfortunately died of poisonous herbs. As the inventor of farming civilization, Chinese people have remembered Yandi from generation to generation for his pioneering spirit and selfless devotion.
The Yandi Mausoleum was built before the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). Emperors of different dynasties offered sacrifices to Yandi every year. Memorial activities were also popular among the people. In 1986, the Hunan provincial government renovated the main hall of the Yandi Mausoleum. Party and State leaders have written inscriptions for the mausoleum. As an important cultural relic under state protection, the Yandi Mausoleum has attracted overseas Chinese, who come here to “seek roots” and take part in various cultural activities. Overseas tourists also come here to attend the memorial ceremony and visit such scenic spots as Jinggang Mountains and the Peach Blossom Cave State Forest Park.
Yueyang Tower 岳阳楼
Standing in the western part of Yueyang City, the majestic Yueyang Tower overlooks Dongting Lake and faces Junshan Islet in the distance. It is one of the three famous towers south of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River, the other two being Huanghe Tower in Wuchang and Tengwang Pavilion in Nanchang. The predecessor of Yueyang Tower was a platform on which Lu Su, a general of Wu State (222-280) duringt the Three Kingdoms period, reviewed the navy in training. The Tower was first built in 716. Both Li Bai and Du Fu, master poets of the Tand Dynasty descended it and composed poems there. In 1045 during the Nothern Song Dynasty, Yueyang Tower was reconstructed, and Fan Zhongyan, a man of letters, was invited to write Notes on Yue yang Tower. “Being the first to show concern for the people and the last to enjoy comforts,” a line from Fan’s masterpiece essay, has made Yueyang Tower known through the ages. The Tower has undergone many renovations but it maintains its architectural style and appearance. The Tower we See today is a three-story wooden structure with four columns, upturned eaves, and a helmet-style top. It is a major historical relic under state protection.
Zhangjiajie Scenic Area 张家界风景区
Zhangjiajie Scenic Area is situated at the juncture of Zhangjiajie City, Sangzhi County and Cili County. Zhangjiajie scenic area together with the neighbouring Suoxiyu belonging to Wulingyuan Scenic Area lie in the northwest Hunan Province. There are immense forests of ancient trees, with more than 2,000 marvellous peaks. They are concentrated on the characteristics of strangeness, wildness, loftiness, perilousness, peacefulness, and elegance 集中了奇﹑野﹑峻﹑险﹑幽﹑秀。The sheer precipices and overhanging rocks and towering aloft of the Qingbianyan Huangshizhai (at an elevation of 1,334 meters, the summit) are very projecting. In 1982, it was designated as a National Forest Park. It encompasses 13,000 square kilometers. The entire area is a primitive limestone landscape, home to over 500 species of trees and animals. Rare trees include the gingko, dove tree and dawn redwood, fauna ranges from civet cats and monkeys to game, birds, and salamanders. It is also home to three ethnic groups—Tujia, Bai and Miao, which together make up approximately 70％ of the local population. Although influenced by China’s dominant Han culture, these ethnic group people maintain much of their traditional culture, including the language, festivals, clothing, and architectural styles as well. UNESCO inscribed the Wulingyuan scenic area, Hunan Province on the World Heitage List in 1992.
Hengshan Mountain 衡山
Also known as Nanyue 南岳, Hengshan Mountain, the most famous for its beauty in South China, is one of China’s five most distinguished mountains across the country. Its range beginning south from Huiyan Peak (Wild Goose Returning) 迴雁峰 (It is the “Number One” of the famous peaks of Mount Hengshan. Legend has it that wild geese always linger in this region on their southward migration.) in Hengyang city winds its way north to Yuele Mountain in Changshan City, stretching out 400 kilometers with 72 peaks rising from the horizon, of which five are the most well known such as Zhurong (God of fire) 祝融, Tianzhu 天柱, Furong (Hibiscus) 芙蓉, Zigai紫盖 and Shilin 石廪 and with Zhurong 祝融 as its highest peak, 1,290 meters above sea level. It is 45 kilometers away from Hengyang City. In Hengyang Mountain there are many places of historic interest and scenic spots and is also an illustrious sacred place of Religion in China. There both the temples of Buddhism and Taoism have long been scattering in the deep forests in the Mountain and the two religions co-existed and flourished peacefully ever since, constituting a “miracle” in China’s renowned mountains. The steles, stone inscriptions, sculptures are dotted everywhere in the Mountain and it has got its reputation for being a mystery area of civilization since Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. The Mountain has been accredited as one of the five celebrated mountains for its unique characteristic of incorporating into itself the antiquity, grace, serenity of seclusion, risk and wonder to form a marvelous spectacle for sightseeing 它集古﹑奇﹑险﹑幽﹑秀于一体。The Visitor can enjoy himself /herself with different scenery in different seasons as s /he can have a beautiful sight of hundreds of flowers blossoming in spring, a good look of immense clouds floating and winding around the Mountain valleys in summer, joyous watch of sunrise in autumn and pleasurably wandering in snow world in winter. It is indeed a very magnificent scenic spot for the tourist for sightseeing, for vocation and for summer resort. The Five Sacred Mountains 五岳in China refer to the Eastern Mountain (Mount Tai) 东岳泰山 in Shandong Province, the Southern Mountain (Mount Hengshan) 南岳衡山 in Hunan Province, the Western Mountain (Mount Huashan) 西岳华山 in Shaaxi Province, the Northern Mountain (Mount Hengshan) 北岳恒山 in Shanxi Province, and Central Mountain (Mount Songshan) 中岳嵩山 in Henan Province.
Phoenix County 凤凰县
Lies in the south of the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Minorities Autonomous Prefecture, Phoenix County—a treasure trove and pristine paradise in Hunan Province—is one of China’s famous historical and cultural cities. It is known as the hometown of Shen Congwen 沈从文 (1902-1988), a distinguished writer, hailed as the father of modern Chinese pastoral. Covering an area of 1,751 square kilometers and sitting on the Tuojiang River 沱江, the County boasts 31 villages and townships embracing 370,000 inhabitants, of whom 62.5 per cent of the total population in the County are minority people. In 687 in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a County named Weiyang 渭阳县was set up there. Since then the County has for long been the political, military, economic and cultural center of the Xiangxi region (west Hunan). The county’s traditional layout, style and features took shape in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and have been well preserved. At present, the County has 68 historical buildings and 116 relics. It also has over 120 residences and 20stone pavements with distinct Ming-and Qing-dynasty characteristics. The Yellow Silk Bridge Castle, built during the Tang Dynasty, is one of the best-preserved stone castles in China. The meandering Xiangxi Border Wall, which was built during the Ming Dynasty, has been recognized as China’s Southern Great Wall and has attracted world attention. The corner buildings, former Wanming Pagoda, and Shawan Ancient Residential Quarters are all valuable historical buildings. The phoenix is emblematic of good luck in Chinese culture, and the County has turned out many influential personalities in the political, military and artistic arenas. The politician, philanthropist and educator Xiong Xiling熊希龄(1867-1937), the past oralist Shen Congwen and the famous painter Huang Yongyu黄永玉have brought national and even world fame to this outlying county.
As an ethnic group area, Phoenix County has kept intact its unique folklore. Its Hunan culture, glamorous local dialect, exquisite Miao costume and diverse eating habits have greatly fascinated tourists from home and abroad. The local Nuo Opera is regarded as a living fossil of Chinese opera 中国原始戏剧活化石――喃堂戏. It is named after Nuo, a god who drives away pestilence. The County is also famous for its variety of handicrafts. The time-honoured Miao minority’s wax painting or batik is still a favourite among art lovers.
Apart from this cultural heritage, Phoenix County abounds with natural resources and captivating scenes. The Nanhua Mountain National Forest Park 南华山国家森林公园, with forest coverage of over 98 percent, is the habitat of 100 precious animals and plants. The 12-kilometer-long Qiliang Cave 奇梁洞is characterized by seclusion, splendour and adventure. In recent years, local governments in the County and the whole autonomous prefecture have spared no effort in revamping a number of key cultural relics. They have spared no effort in revamping a number of key cultural relics. They have turned the 5.3-kilometer-long stone pavement into a pedestrian street and cleared some disorderly and illegally built buildings.
The County has been striving to be inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the near future.
Encompassing 210 square kilometers and with population of 100,000, shaoshan is the birthplace of the late Chairman Mao Zedong, with views of verdant countryside along well-paved routes en route. The visitor will view the distinctive styles of Hunan dress, its unique farmer hats, carts and architecture from the motorcoach with extended commentary en route by microphone. Shaoshan is nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by hills, the highest of which is the site of a Taoist hermitage. The visit to Shaoshan will include the Mao Zedong Birthplace, a relatively large peasant house with three bedrooms, a spare guest room, rice granary, separate kitchen, adjoining bathroom, stable area, sheds and small pond dating from 1893. The tourist will also visit the Mao Zedong Museum, opened in 1967, which focuses on the Chairman’s early childhood and revolutionary activities spanning three decades between 1920 and 1950.
Mao Zedong Memorial Hall 毛泽东故居
The house where Mao Zedong was born and grew up boasts 13 rooms, including three bedrooms, a spare guest room, a rice granary, kitchen, adjoining bathroom, stable area, and sheds for cows, tools, and wood. Just in front of the house is a small pond with lotus flowers where Mao Zedong used to swim as a little boy.