Hunan Travel Guide

Nestled in the midst of the Yangtze River, Hunan derives its name from its vast majority residing south of the Dongting Lake. The province is affectionately known as "Xiang" due to the mighty Xiangjiang River, the largest waterway that gracefully traverses entire Hunan. Its bustling capital, Changsha, serves as the heartbeat of this lush land, pulsating with not just breathtaking natural wonders, unique cuisine culture, but also illustrious historical figures and ancient monuments.

Ancient poets and patriots such as Qu Yuan of the Pre-Qin period; Jia Yi, a political commentator of the Western Han Dynasty; Cai Lun, the inventor of papermaking in the Eastern Han Dynasty; Huai Su, a renowned calligrapher of the Tang Dynasty; and Zhu Xi, a Neo-Confucian philosopher of the Southern Song Dynasty, all once delivered impassioned speeches and exerted their efforts on this land -- Hunan. In modern times, enlightened thinkers like Wei Yuan, renowned officials such as Zeng Guofan and Zuo Zongtang, as well as the reform pioneer Tan Sitong, have all made significant contributions to the founding of the People's Republic of China in Hunan. Moreover, Hunan is also the birthplace of the leader of the Chinese people, Chairman Mao Zedong.

Here, you can wander through the Fenghuang Ancient Town, immerse yourself in the distinctive Tujia ethnic culture; or take a boat ride to admire the nightscape and feel the unique charm of Miao architecture. Hunan is not just the birthplace of the renowned writer Shen Congwen, but also the setting for his celebrated novel "Border Town." Standing on the banks of the Orange Isle, gazing northward as the Xiangjiang River flows away, you can almost envision engaging in spirited discussions about the country and life with those energetic and ambitious youths of the past. When you ascend Yuelu Mountain, the scroll of history unfolds before your eyes, with trees, temples, lakes and rivers all within view. Entering the Aiwan Pavilion to share a pot of tea with an old friend, you escape the hustle and bustle of the city to solely enjoy the tranquility brought by the beauty of nature. Zhangjiajie, Yueyang Tower, Dongting Lake, and Furong Ancient Town are all condensed embodiments and witnesses of Hunan's rich history, as well as artistic creations crafted by nature over thousands of years.

The folk culture in Hunan are vibrant and diverse. Xiang embroidery and Flower Drum Opera are listed as national intangible cultural heritages, while the Miao's Drum Dance in Xiangxi, Tujia Hand-waving Dance and Changde Silk String offer unique folkloric flavors. Hunan cuisine, also known as Xiang cuisine, primarily uses chili peppers as its ingredient and emphasizes freshness, tenderness, and deliciousness. This culinary tradition dates back to the Han Dynasty and is one of the eight major cuisines of Han Chinese food culture.

The Hunan Travel Guide we've offered is just a glimpse into the vast array of wonders that await you. There are numerous scenic spots, delectable cuisines, and rich cultures in Hunan that are still left for you to explore! Come and join us to explore Hunan

Not so keen on culture but rather have a penchant for Mountains, Lakes, and Bizarre Rocks? Then our special Zhangjiajie Tour will fulfill all your expectations!


Chinese: 湖南 Hunan                  Area: 211,800 square kilometers

Time Zone: UTC+8                     Population: 65.68 million

Location: Central South China   Climate: Subtropical Humid Monsoon Climate

Post Code: 410011-427000        Administration Type: Provincial-level Administrative Region

Area Code: 0730-0746               Average Annual Rainfall: 1435.6mm

Top Hunan Tourist Attractions

Orange Isle(Orange Island Park)

1.pngOrange Isle

The Orange Isle, nestled in the heart of Xiangjiang River within the urban sprawl of Changsha, stands as one of the many alluvial sandbars downstream of the river and boasts the title of the world's largest inland island. It is not just a distinctive landmark of Changsha, but also a fountainhead of inspiration for Chairman Mao in his academic pursuits and poetic endeavors. Embraced by a rich history and profound cultural heritage, it is revered as "the cradle of Hunan culture."

Yuelu Mountain

49dc7becefbc2e9dd14243eb43fb9040.pngYuelu Mountain

Yuelu Mountain, a magnificent peak standing on the west bank of the Xiangjiang River, has been the cultural backbone of Hunan since ancient times. Its name originates from an ancient description in the Nanyue Records during the Liu Song period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties. The scenic area is rich in vegetation, with 977 species of plants, mainly subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests and warm coniferous forests, serving as a cradle for many rare and endangered trees. Yuelu Mountain is also famous for the coexistence of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, and has gathered the wisdom and efforts of ancient scholars, monks, and literati. Within the 5.28 square kilometers of the Yuelu Mountain Scenic Area, there are numerous scenic spots such as Yuelu Academy, Aiwan Pavilion, and Lushan Temple, each carrying profound historical and cultural connotations. 

Hunan Museum

45b4c12f495167d96a9c947b27709aae.pngHunan Museum

Hunan Museum is a comprehensive museum located in Changsha City. Founded in 1951, it is one of the important cultural institutions in Hunan Province. The museum is dedicated to collecting, studying, and displaying the historical, cultural, and artistic heritage of Hunan Province and its surrounding areas, boasting a rich collection of artifacts and exhibits, including archaeological artifacts, artworks, historical materials, and folk culture. Among them, the artifacts unearthed from the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tombs are one of the museum's significant features, showcasing the unique charm of ancient Han culture. 

Changsha Streets and Alleys


Changsha is a city that enjoys both modern skyscrapers and ancient streets. It offers not only spicy and delicious cuisine but also serene and profound historical heritages. The Orange Isle carries the memories of the great man, while the thousand-year-old Yuelu Academy whispers the aspirations of scholars. The poetic charm of Aiwan Pavilion is fascinating, and the artifacts excavated from the Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tombs at the Hunan Museum narrate vivid and colorful historical stories. These attractions allow you to delve into the past of Changsha and connect with its soul. Besides these must-visit sites, wandering through the streets and alleys of Changsha, where urban bustle meets profound culture, is also a wonderful choice. Now, let us guide you through these streets and alleys (such as Wenheyou, Huangxing Road Pedestrian Street, Taiping Old Street, Pozi Street, Changsha International Financial Center, and Tianxin Pavilion) to experience the unique culture of Changsha.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

4b1b82533fda89e31b68ad37b6f3b143.pngZhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China's first national forest park, is located in Zhangjiajie City, Hunan Province, boasting fantastic natural scenery and abundant ecological resources. Spanning a total area of 4,810 hectares, this park is renowned for its unique quartz sandstone peak forest landscape, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. It captivates visitors with its amazing peaks, serene valleys, and elegant forests. The major attractions of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park include the Golden Whip Stream Scenic Area, Huangshizhai Scenic Area, and Yuanjiajie Scenic Area. 


Tianmen Mountain

5c7431b022d0730adac67c4bb2b9fc3b.pngTianmen Mountain

Amidst the mountains of Western Hunan, there hides a magnificent one - Tianmen Mountain. This peak, resembling a wise old man who has witnessed the vicissitudes of time, stands quietly between heaven and earth, narrating stories spanning billions of years. The most well-known feature of Tianmen Mountain is its towering Tianmen Cave, reaching hundreds of meters high. It seems like a window left by heaven on earth, allowing people to glimpse the mysteries of paradise. However, the charm of this Mountain extends far beyond that. As you ascend the winding mountain path, the scenery along the way is picturesque. The strange peaks and unique stones, each with its distinct shape, resemble an eagle spreading its wings to fly, or an old man meditating with closed eyes, as if they are masterpieces carefully made by nature's sculptor. Each one is filled with vitality and a sense of story.

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon

1a5ca37ca435f51984cd2a00afb5910c.pngZhangjiajie Grand Canyon

Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, located in Sanguansi Township, Cili County, Zhangjiajie City, is adjacent to the World Natural Heritage Wulingyuan Scenic Spot. It integrates beautiful peaks, secluded valleys, mysterious caves in mountain rocks, gorges, springs, and lakes, earning the reputation of being a Museum of Zhangjiajie Landforms. The magnificent cliffs and precipices, the poetic and dreamlike canyon scenery, the world-renowned pedestrian glass bridge, the rich and diverse cultural history, and the thrilling extreme experiences, all await you at Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon!

Fenghuang Ancient Town

bcd371476720cda45f49f30346525335.pngFenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town, situated in the southwest of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province, is rich in history and cultural heritage. It was founded in the Tang Dynasty, flourished during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and boasts a history spanning over 1,300 years, making it a place filled with mystique. The ancient town is renowned for its unique architectural style. Many of the buildings here adopt a wooden structure, with stone walls and tiled roofs. Additionally, it boasts numerous ancient streets, alleys, and dwellings, all of which are witnesses to its rich history and culture. Within Fenghuang Ancient Town, there are numerous scenic spots worthy of a visit, such as Former Residence of Shen Congwen, the Ancient Town MuseumLongevity Palace, and the East Gate Tower. Furthermore, rowing on the Tuojiang River is also a favorite activity for tourists, where you can take a boat to admire the scenery along both sides of the river, experiencing the harmonious coexistence of the ancient town and nature.

Furong Ancient Town

2a45c4e747c72c30ad5966df5594fedd.pngFurong Ancient Town

Furong Ancient Town, situated in the southern part of Yongshun County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province, borders Changguan Town to the east and Hexi Town to the south. This region enjoys a unique topographical landscape, with its terrain sloping gently from northeast to southwest. This is a region where Tujia and Miao ethnic groups gather, where folk activities are vibrant and diverse, such as dragon and lion dances, and hillside singing, all filled with a strong local flavor. Moreover, Furong Ancient Town is also home to the largest waterfall in Xiangxi - Furong Waterfall, which adds immeasurable charm to this small town.



Upon entering Yueyang, you are immediately drawn to the rippling Dongting Lake. The lake surface, resembling a mirror, reflects the blue sky, white clouds, verdant mountains, and lush trees, creating a flowing scroll of breathtaking scenery. Standing by the lakeside, Yueyang Tower, the iconic landmark of Yueyang, rises majestically. It stands guard like a watcher of history, having witnessed countless changes of the past. As the sun sets, its golden rays illuminate the lake, blending harmoniously with the tower and the surrounding landscapes, painting a picture of indescribable beauty. Beyond its natural beauty, Yueyang also harbors a rich historical and cultural heritage. This place has been a gathering spot for scholars and poets, who have left behind numerous beloved poems. Fan Zhongyan's "On Yueyang Tower" has particularly brought fame to Yueyang Tower across the world. Here, you can sense the ancients' awe for nature and reflections on life, as well as appreciate the realm of transcending worldly affairs and pursuing spiritual freedom.



Chenzhou, aptly named "The City Amongst the Forests", is a verdant canvas where mountains serve as screens and rivers and lakes pulse as lifeblood. Here lies Dongjiang Lake, a misty paradise where the rain and mist blend into a dreamlike vision. Chenzhou also boasts the Yangtianhu Grassland, the alpine grassland farthest south in China. With a summer average temperature of 20°C and a lush green season spanning nine months, it offers a tapestry of meadows, lakes, and wetlands. But Chenzhou's treasures do not end there. There lies the enchanting Gaoyi Ridge, a secret land of splendid red rocks and emerald waters. Let us guide you through the enchanting Chenzhou, where you will feel the gentle charm of a southern water town and enjoy the majestic beauty of northern mountains. Here, nature whispers tales of wonder, and every step takes you deeper into a storybook world.



Nestled in the northwestern corner of Hunan Province, Xiangxi Prefecture is a land blessed with pristine natural wonders and vibrant cultural landscapes. Here, where the Tujia and Miao ethnic groups flourish, you can dress in the traditional attire of the Miao people, admire the age-old beauty of stilted building groups, and dance to the rhythmic tunes of Miao and Tujia music. Beyond that, you can step into the Red Stone Forest and marvel at the enigmatic wonders of karst topography. As you wander through the ancient streets of Qianzhou Ancient City, you'll sense the whispers of history, echoing through the centuries. Ascend the cliff path of Aizhai Village and admire the awe-inspiring spectacle of the soaring Bridge and treacherous Highway. In Dehang Miao Village, the vibrant beats of the Miao's Drum Dance will give you a warm embrace of authentic culture and unadulterated folk spirit. Or, stand atop the dam of Changtangang Reservoir, a monument to the ingenuity of ancient peoples, and inhale the crisp air, letting your soul bask in the serenity and comfort of this remote paradise.

Shaoshan Scenic Spot

af7c842315b01222904397f4b6bd1e4d.pngShaoshan Scenic Spot

Shaoshan is renowned worldwide as the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong. Every inch of land here seems to be soaked with the blood and sweat of the revolutionary martyrs. Walking through the fields of Shaoshan, you can almost hear the shouts and resounding songs of those bygone days. Every mountain peak and stream bear witness to those magnificent and tumultuous times. Shaoshan possesses unparalleled natural beauty. Here, there are verdant rolling hills and crystal-clear streams. In spring, all things come to life, and the mountains are dotted with flowers. In summer, the trees provide a cool shade, and the gentle breeze blows through. Autumn paints the forests in a blaze of colors, laden with ripe fruits. Winter dresses the landscape in a pristine white, making it particularly enchanting. No matter when you visit Shaoshan, you can always feel the captivating charm of nature.

Hengshan Scenic Area 

095adef6b083b91884cc6d73e3fa41e1.pngHengshan Scenic Area 

Hengshan, also known as Nanyue, with its main part situated in Nanyue District, Hengyang City, Hunan Province, is a renowned sacred site for both Taoism and Buddhism in China. The mountain and its surroundings are home to over 200 temples and Taoist monasteries. The Taoist history of Hengshan dates back to the Han Dynasty, while Buddhism began to spread during the Liang Dynasty. Each temple and monastery bears rich historical memories and cultural significance, offering you a spiritual cleansing and enlightenment through devout worship. The mountain deity of Hengshan is Zhu Rong, the folk-revered Fire God. Commissioned by the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) to guard Hengshan, he taught the people how to use fire, nurturing all living things. Hengshan also boasts numerous historical and cultural relics, such as the Martyrs Shrine, Rock Wear Poetry Forest, and the Jingang Dagoba.

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