Hunan Province

Hunan Travel Guide

Hunan MapLocated in the south central part of the Chinese mainland, Hunan has long been known for its natural beauty. It is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and by the Yangtze River on the north. Its mixture of mountains and water makes it among the most beautiful provinces in China. For thousands of years, the region has been a major center of agriculture, growing rice, tea, and oranges.


When to Go

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, visiting it 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. Annual rainfall is around 1,250 - 1,750 millimeters (49.2 to 68.9 inches). Northern part of the province has more climate extremes than its southern part. It can get colder in the winter and hotter in the summer.

Cities in Hunan


What to See

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 the country's three famous towers. Yueyang Pavilion was originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The present pavilion is of recent reconstruction, built in the style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
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. It is one of the five most famous mountains in the country. 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 its 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 the province. It is also a tourism center, offering its visitors many historical sites and other places of interest.

Fenghuang Ancient City
Phoenix Town
Tuojiang River flows through Phoenix Town
Tuojiang River flows through Phoenix Town


Hunan's cuisine has its unique flavor. Here, nearly every dish tastes hot, and delicious. The local people like eating peppery foods.

The products here 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 the country.

Many great people have come from this 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 Mt. Shaoshan. Zhu Rongji, one of the important leaders in the country, also comes from this province. Such famous people show that Hunan is a place that has cultivated talent as well as being a destination for visitors.

With abundant natural resources, the province covers 210,000 square kilometers (81,000 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. The province has a total population of 64,400,700. It is multiethnic, with Miao, Dong, and Yao being the most numerous minorities. Their unique cultures and ethnic customs attract numerous visitors.

China Tour Packages

- Last modified on Nov. 11, 2018 -
Questions & Answers on Hunan Travel
Asked by Carrey van Eck from SOUTH AFRICA | Nov. 10, 2018 04:06Reply
How do I get from Zhuhai to Hunan?
Hi There,

Currently in Zhuhai, what are my options for going from here to Hunan to see the National Parks?

TIA :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Elsie from USA | Nov. 11, 2018 22:09

Dear, you mean you want visit Zhangjiajie National Forest Park? If yes, you can first take the train from Zhuhai railway station to Guangzhou South railway station. Then transfer to Guangzhou railway station to take the train to Zhangjiajie railway station. Then take the special bus to the scenic area.
Asked by kwan from SINGAPORE | Aug. 08, 2018 22:39Reply
How to go from hunan changsha to guizhou tongren?
Is there any train service between these two city?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mike from HUNGARY | Aug. 09, 2018 20:45

Yes, there are two trains departing from 14:00 and 22:15, it takes about 9 to 11 hours to get there.
Asked by Ramona from ROMANIA | Mar. 11, 2018 12:25Reply
Hy..please can anybody tell me to get tianmen mountain from shanghai
The fast way...and the steps to go there. Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Lynn from MEXICO | Mar. 12, 2018 01:47

Fly to Zhangjiajie first. Take the free shuttle bus to Zhangjiajie Civil Aviation Hotel within 20min. Then take a taxi to Tianmenshan Lower Cable Car Station to take the cable car onto the mountain.
Asked by Richard from SINGAPORE | Jan. 08, 2018 23:29Reply
What is the distance from Changsha to Zhangjiajie? Is there direct bus?
Answers (1)
Answered by Ellen from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 09, 2018 00:19

They are about 320km apart. Many direct long-distance buses are available and you can take one at East Bus Station, West Bus Station, Changzhutan Bus Station near Changsha Railway Station, and Lituo Bus Station near South Railway Station. The duration is about 4h.
Asked by JERRY from VIETNAM | Nov. 22, 2017 12:06Reply
So how often does Feng Huang Gu Cheng snow? What time of the year it's most likely to snow?
Answers (1)
Answered by Helen from CANADA | Nov. 22, 2017 21:10

The snow doesn’t come frequently. According to data, snow only comes in late Jan.
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