Hunan (湖南) is a province in central China, home of Mao Zedong.
- 1 Changsha - capital of Hunan.
- 2 Yueyang - famous for Yueyang Tower (岳阳楼). Other attractions include smaller ancient towns and a national park in pingjiang.
- 3 Hengyang - Second largest city in Hunan and home of Mount Heng (Nanyue mountain).
- 4 Huaihua - important railway center in western Hunan. Several ancient towns belonging to ethnic minorities like the Dong and Miao.
- 5 Shaoyang - a very beautiful city of southwest Hunan with mountainous areas which are home to several ethnic minorities like Miao and Yao.
- 6 Zhuzhou - an important industrial city and one of the five busiest railway centers in Mainland China.
- 7 Fenghuang - A beautiful historic town close by the River Tuo, near the city of Jishou.
- 8 Changde - A city bordering the west side of Dongting Lake.
- 9 Zhangjiajie - Home of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain and Wulingyuan.
- 10 Shaoshan - Birthplace of Mao Zedong, and hub of Communist Party pilgrimage.
- 11 Tongdao Dong Autonomous County
- 12 Yongzhou
- 13 Jiangyong
- 14 Furong - a small historic town uniquely situated above a large waterfall. The town is roughly halfway between Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang.
- 1 Tianmen Mountain (Tianmenshan) - a scenic and historic mountain with stunning views
- 2 Wulingyuan - UNESCO World heritage. National GeoPark. Sandstone Peak Forest.
- 3 Mount Heng - (also called Nan Yue) one of the five sacred Taoist mountains of China. Nan Yue Temple lies in the foothills of the mountain.
- Meishan Dragon Palace - one of the most beautiful karst caves in China. There's an area of terrace named Ziquejie in the vicinity.
- Dongting Lake - the second biggest freshwater lake in China.
- Yueyang pavilion - a famous pavilion.
- Dehang - a small village, home to the Miao minority, with nice hiking opportunities.
- The Site of Laosicheng Tusi Domain, one of three sites of the Tusi chiefs listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
- 4 Zhangguying village. Small village from the Ming Dynasty.
- Tongdao Dong autonomous county
Different dialects exist in Hunan which date back thousands of years.
The Changsha dialect forms a dialect continuum that encompasses Changsha, Xiangtan, Zhuzhou and Yueyang. And these are believe to belong to the New Xiang Languages. Old Xiang or archaic Xiang is spoken in rural and mountainous areas like Shaoyang and Loudi.
The local dialects in the western part of Hunan are generally known as southwestern Mandarin, and it's similar to the ones spoken around Sichuan and Chongqing. Few can understand English. Standard Mandarin can be understood by most although in the countryside and smaller cities most people may only be able to reply in their local dialect. There are some unique terms in the various regional dialects in Hunan; however, the most noticeable differences are in the local pronunciation, which differs widely from standard Mandarin.
Railroads criss cross the province connecting major cities, with lines going off to other cities like Wuhan
Starting from December 2016, a new high-speed intercity railway has been running between the provincial capital Changsha, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou, with the intention of creating one single megalopolis. These trains start with C.
High Speed trains also reaches major destinations (except for zhangjiajie!) like Huaihua, Hengyang, Yongzhou, Chenzhou, Yueyang, Xiangtan, Zhuzhou and several others !
Changsha to Zhangjiajie generally takes 5 hours by normal train, although the K9031 takes 10 hours !
Probably the best attraction in Hunan is the fabulous Wulingyuan mountain, a stunning sandstone karst landscape. Several cable cars shorten distances, and there are many hiking opportunities. The China Danxia landscape near Langshan are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Try Hunan's spicy food, one of the eight cuisines in China, renowned for its spicy taste and flavor.