Hunan has a humid, subtropical climate. The monsoon rain falls mostly in April, May, and June. July and August are uncomfortably hot and humid. The best time to visit is in the fall, when temperatures are cooler and the rainfall lighter. For persons who live in cold northern climate, traveling to Hunan in the winter can be pleasant. After all, any place that grows oranges can't be all that cold. Low temperatures in winter are usually above freezing, with daily highs around 10C (5F). Annual rainfall is around 1,250 - 1,750 millimeters. Northern Hunan has more climate extremes than southern Hunan. It can get colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.
The headspring of life, Dongting Lake, is frequently mist-covered in the early morning. It is the second largest lake in China. Yueyang City, located on the shore of Dongting Lake, is home to one of China's three famous towers. Yueyang Pavilion was originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The present tower is of recent reconstruction, built in the style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
In 1982, China established its first national forest park. Zhangjaijie National Forest Park was established in a particular scenic area in northwest Hunan. The park is especially known for its quartz-sandstone rock formations, bare stone sculpted by nature and set among green trees and frequent clouds.
The high and steep Mt. Hengshan is frequently snow-capped in the winter, contrasting with the subtropical fields that one sees below it. Mt. Hengshan is one of the five most famous mountains in China. Known for its precarious cliffs, it is a holy mountain for both Taoists and Buddhists.
The region along the Yuanjiang River is especially well known for its serene beauty. It takes is name, the Peach Blossom Fountainhead, from a work of Chinese literature from the Jin Dynasty (265-420). Tao Yuanming wrote about an isolated Utopia-like paradise where generations of people had escaped from the difficulties that others had experienced. The Yuanjiang River region has been a travel destination since ancient times.
Historic Changsha, one of China's famous cultural centers, is the capital of Hunan Province. It is also a tourism center, offering its visitors many historical sites and other places of interest.
Hunan's cuisine has its unique flavor. In Hunan, nearly every dish tastes hot, and delicious. The people of Hunan like eating peppery foods.
Hunan's products include Xiang embroidery, one of China's four famous embroideries. It has high artistic value. With 200 years of history behind them, the chrysanthemum stone carvings of Liuyang are vivid and exquisite. Liuyang City is known for its firecrackers, which are popular all over China.
With abundant natural resources, Hunan covers 210,000 square kilometers (80,000 square miles). It is adjacent to Jiangxi Province in the east, Chongqing Municipality and Guizhou Province in the west, Guangdong Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region in the south, and Hubei Province in the north. Hunan has a total population of 64,400,700. It is multiethnic, with Maio, Dong, and Yao being the most numerous minorities. Their unique cultures and ethnic customs attract numerous tourists.
Many great people have come from Hunan Province. In ancient times, Quyuan, a patriotic poet, committed suicide by throwing himself into the Miluo River. The story of his death and the search for his body started the tradition of Dragon Boat Festival. Chairman Mao, idol of the Chinese people, was born in Shaoshan. Zhu Rongji, one of the important leaders in our country, also comes from Hunan Province. All of these prove that Hunan is a place for talents culturing as well as being a tourist destination.
Hunan Province has the honor of being the birthplace of more Communist revolutionaries than any other province in China. The ate Chairman Mao was born here in the village of Shaoshan 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of Changsha, the provincial capital, and the former president of China, Liu Shaochi, whom Mao had purged in 1967, was also born nearby. Three of the members of the present ruling Politburo come from one county - Liuyang County, 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Changsha - including the present Communist party chief, Hu Yaobang.
Major Attractions in Hunan Province
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