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Scene Of Hunan Province

General Introduction

Hunan lies in the south of the middle Yangtze River valley, its name meaning "south of the lake" because most of it is located south of Dongting Lake. It has an area of 210,000 square kilometers and a population of 52.81 million, of which 4.99 million are in the cities and 47.82 million in the rural areas.


Scenic Spots

Changsha -- 'Long Sand Isle'
Hengyang -- Gateway to Hunan
Shaoshan -- Mao Zedong's Birthplace
Wulingyuan Scenic Area
Yueyang -- Lakeside City


With mountains in the east, south and west, the land generally slopes from the south towards the north in the shape of a horsehoof-like basin. Topographically, it may be divided into five parts. 1) The Dongting Lake Plain in the northeast, contiguous to the Jianghan Plain of Hubei and with numerous rivers and lakes, is known as a "land of fish and rice". 2) The Central Hunan Hilly and Basin Area has wide areas of low hills and mounds and basins and valleys, Hengyang is the largest of the basins. The scenic Hengshan Mountain, whose main peak is 1,290 meters above sea level, is one of China's five sacred mountains. 3) The Nanling Mountain Area, rising mostly more than 1,000 meters on the southern border, is the watershed of the Yangtze and Zhujiang river systems and the climatic divide between central and southern China. 4) The Eastern Hunan Mountain Area is the watershed of the Xiangjiang and Ganjiang basins. 5) The Western Hunan Mountain Area, mostly exceeding 1,000 meters in elevation, comprises mainly the Wuling and Xuefeng mountains: Extending for more than 300 kilometers, the Xuefeng range is the natural and economic divide between the western and eastern parts of the province.

There are more than 4,700 waterways in Hunan, the largest being the Xiangjiang, Zishui, Yuanjiang and Lishui rivers, all of which flow into Dongting Lake, forming an integrated water system. Dongting, the second largest freshwater lake in China, takes the floodwaters of the Yangtze River in addition to the waters of the four large rivers, and flows into the Yangtze River at Chenglingji.


Hunan in the sub-tropics has a warm climate, with cold, short winters and hot, long summers. It has four clearly contrasted seasons, abundant rainfall, a frost-free period of 260-300 days, and a mean annual precipitation of 1,300-1,700 mm. concentrated mainly in April, May and June. Its mean annual temperature is 16ºC-18ºC, and the absolute maximum temperature in Changsha and Hengyang exceeds 40?, ranking both among the hottest places in China.


Hunan has convenient land and water communications. It is served by the Beijing-Guangzhou, Zhejiang-Jiangxi, Hunan-Guizhou, Hunan-Guangxi, Zhicheng-Liuzhou and other railways totaling 2,519 kilometers, and by a highway network 54,678 kilometers in length. It has an inland shipping length of 100,000 kilometers including more than 240 navigable waterways of the Xiangjiang, Zishui, Yuanjiang and Lishui and their tributaries. In addition, it has the convenience of the Yangtze River shipping route through Dongting Lake's link with that river.

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