8 Best Places to Visit in Hunan for First-time Visitors
Hunan is one of the biggest and most important provinces in China since 350 BCE when it became part of the State of Chu. It is home to the world’s biggest ethnic group, the Han Chinese people. Its capital, Changsha is currently one of the most important commercial and manufacturing centers in China. Hunan has many tourist attractions but it is famous among nature lovers for breathtaking and stunning scenery.
Here are the best places to visit in Hunan for first-time visitors:
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Spread across a scenic area of over 11,900 hectares, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is part of the Wulingyuan Scenic Area which is well-known for its natural pillar-like formations that are scattered through the region. Covered in dense forests, the picturesque scenery became a distinct hallmark of China as its landscape was depicted in many ancient paintings. The highlights of this national forest are Bailong Elevator, world’s tallest outdoor lift, and Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge, the longest and the highest pedestrian glass bridges in the world.
Mount Tianzi Nature Reserve, Zhangjiajie
Tianzi Mountain is made up of sedimentary rocks that were eroded by water and wind forming the quartz stones of the mountain almost 318 million years ago. It is known as the “Monarch of the Peak Forest” since it offers a breathtaking view of the entire Wulingyan Scenic Area from its top. Tianzi Mountain Nature Reserve, Suoxi Valley Nature Reserve, Yangjiajie Scenic Area, and Zhangjiajie National Forest Park together add up to form the Wulingyuan Scenic Area featuring over 560 attractions including the viewpoints.
Fenghuang Ancient Town
With over 1300 years of history, Fenghuang Ancient Town is one of the most historic places to visit in Hunan. Also known as Phoenix Ancient town, it was built during the Qing Dynasty and is still well-preserved to this day making it as a popular tourist spot. The old town of Fenghuang has many ancient streets, passages, residences, castles, walls, temples, historical and cultural sites to visit.
The Southern Great Wall, Fenghuang
The Southern Great Wall of Fenghuang, also known as Miaojiang Great Wall, was built by the Ming dynasty to defend against the Mio people on the southern border. As one of the greatest ancient architectures in China, the southern wall represents the politics, history and cultural heritage of Chinese in relation to its ethnic minorities.
Former Residence of Chairman Mao, Changsha
It is the former residence of Mao Zedong, the “first leader of the People’s Republic of China”. Chairman Mao was born to one of the wealthiest farmers in Shaoshan village at this house which was built during the Qing Dynasty. It is one of the most historic places to visit in Hunan as well as China and a must-see for many first-time tourists.
Dongting Lake is a huge and deep lake which is a flood basin of the Yangtze River. The Hunan province gets its name from its relative location to the Dongting Lake as it translates to “South of the Lake”. It is the most prominent Chinese Cultural spot as the birthplace of the Dragon Boat Racing and home to the Jushan Island. The lake is not only picturesque but is also a home to the endangered finless porpoise.
Overlooking the amazing Dongting Lake, located on a city gate, Yueyang tower is the only ancient building with a smooth, curvy and gorgeously yellow structure that is shaped like a Chinese general’s helmet. One of the three great towers of Jiangnan, it became famous for being the subject of Fan Zhongyan’s most famous literary work “Memorial to Yueyang Tower” during the Northern Song dynasty.
Junshan Island is a tear-drop shaped island located in the Dongting Lake and is well known for the Junshan Silver Needle Tea. Besides being a former Taoist retreat, it is home to 72 peaks and is also known as Mount Dongting.
Located on the Xiang River’s west bank, Mount Yuelu is a picturesque place with many scenic spots and attractions to offer including the Lushan Temple, Qingfeng Gorge, and Yunlu Palace. The highlight of Mount Yuele is the ancient Yuele Academy founded in the 10th century during the Song dynasty. It was considered one of the four most renowned academies during its time because Zhu Xi and Zhang Shi, two popular Confucian scholars lectured here. Mount Yuele is a serene place to visit in Changsha.
When you’re touring in Hunan, make sure you visit all the '9 best places to see in Hunan'. If you have plans to visit Hunan, don’t delay. Book your flight tickets with iEagle and fly to these awesome attraction in Hunan.