China
Hunan

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Hunan

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60 travelers at this place

  • Oct9

    Viking Emerald

    October 9, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    We have arrived on board the Viking Emerald, our home for the next six days. Perhaps I should mention first that the surgery on Mary Larsen’s hand was successful, and that she will return to Arizona in a few days. Last night we became accustomed to the ship, though many of us were falling asleep during the lecture. A good night’s sleep restored us, and now we are cruising down the mighty Yangtze River. This ship is a bit older than others on which we have sailed. It is not one of the iconic Viking longships, but rather one owned by a Chinese company. Government regulations prevent vessels owned by a foreign company from sailing in its interior waters, so Viking contracts with a company here to lease the Viking Emerald. Despite its age, though, this is still a lovely vessel. Filled with antique wood and glass, she is well kept and very clean. In many ways she reminds me of the hotel we left I in Shanghai, older, elegant, matronly and classic. Not a bad way to enjoy China’s most ancient waterway.Read more

  • Day10

    Yajing School

    April 17, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    Today we went to visit a sister school of Nanya about an hour away. Our new buddies gave us some welcoming gifts and we watched some performances from their school. Then we went to an art museum to see lots of ceramics which were all very beautiful. They then took us to a pottery making place which was a lot harder than it looks. We then travelled back to Nanya for a closing ceremony where we all exchanged gifts and I did my speech. Then it was back to the hotel so we have enough time to finish packing.Read more

  • Day17

    Wulingyuan

    September 13, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    Today was our main reason for visiting the area: the World Heritage site at Wulingyuan. This is a large scenic area of karst mountains and rock pinnacles, largely made famous by Avatar. Up pretty early and grabbed some pastries for breakfast before heading down to the bus station. Got on one of the first couple of buses and headed out to the park. The weather was looking good which was a nice change from the mostly overcast conditions we've had since arriving in Chengdu at least a week prior.

    Quite a few tour buses around already despite the early hour, but we hurried through the gates and towards our first cable car, which surprisingly had basically no queue! Fantastic views on the way up the mountain. Felt a bit embarassed when I said ni hao to our podmates, who awkwardly shuffled and then one of them said "we are Korean". They do look similar, but on closer inspection were more stylishly dressed than the typical mainlander and they weren't shouting at each other in general conversation either - a dead giveaway.

    There was a 2.5 hour loop walk at the top which we decided to do, and it was a great decision - hardly anyone around which was nice. We had the views all to ourselves. Interestingly, the unusual landscapes were formed by quartzite sandstone pillars remaining standing after the limestone mountains had eroded away. It reminded us a bit of the Three Sisters in Katoomba, though there was a forest of them and they were a fair bit taller as well!

    Finished our walk, had a quick snack and then descended, as the area near the top of the cable car was quite busy. Not many people going back down just yet so we had a car to ourselves, which had a glass bottom - quite a good view! A little scary thinking about the Chinese engineering behind it, but this was actually a Swiss/Italian built system.

    Back down the bottom, we took an hour-long walk around one of the streams that had carved out much of the landscape over the eons, with the rock pinnacles towering above us. Quite a nice environment, where dense forest occasionally gives way to soaring vistas, and the stream constantly chattering away beside you. Only problem was the everpresent monkeys!

    Towards the end of the walk we decided to veer off - rather than take the elevator back up to the scenic spots at the top, we elected to walk instead. Bad decision, it took us the best part of an hour to climb the 400 metres and I was absolutely wrecked by the top. And even worse: a monkey jumped on top of Shandos at point! She was carrying the backpack so we assume it was trying to steal our water or maybe some snacks. She screamed and fell over and the monkey ran off, but after that we armed ourselves with sticks and were pretty cautious.

    Was interested to note that basically the only people we encountered on this side-path were other westerners. The locals weren't interested in doing mountain climbing, just seeing the views. The prices for the lifts and cable cars are pretty extortionate though - another 75 yuan per person per trip ($15 AUD) on top of the 250 yuan ($50 AUD) you've already paid to get in to the park!

    Back up the top, we caught a free sightseeing shuttle bus to a different section of the park and did another hour-long hike. The weather had clouded over by now so the views weren't as good, and this section had far more people which was annoying. I'll never understand why they feel the need to yell constantly.

    Eventually we arrived at the end point for our walk: the world's highest natural bridge! It's a sandstone arch about 300 metres above the valley floor. Quite thick as well and covered in trees, it looked fairly stable so we had no issues walking across it. In fact, without the viewing platforms you could conceivably cross it and have no idea it was actually a bridge! This section was packed though, it's obviously on the postcards so every guide brings their group here (and their microphone of course).

    Back on the shuttle bus to one of the exit gates, where we managed to grab a local bus heading back to Zhangjiajie. This was exiting out of the northern gate which most people don't do, so we were once again the only westerners. Another unique experience as the bus shuddered through tiny roads and provincial hamlets - at one point a guy with a duck in a sack sat next to me!

    Finally back in town after about 2 hours driving we grabbed some cheap noodles at a restaurant near the bus station and tottered home. New records today for both steps and climbing: 34,000 steps and 192 flights of stairs!
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  • Day8

    Nanya School & Host Family Dinner

    April 15, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Early start this morning so we could eat breakfast at Nanya Middle School. We were then paired with our buddies at the welcoming ceremony. My buddy’s name is Desweet, she’s 14 and likes Chinese rap music (not a subject I know much about). We sat and watched a basketball match and their school won! We spent much of the day giving presentations about Darrick Wood, performing We Will Rock You and Lewis Carroll’s ‘Jabberwocky’, as well as watching performances from the Chinese students. We also had a calligraphy session with our buddies. Then for dinner I went with my buddy to her grandparents’ house to eat dinner, which was the nicest I’ve had all trip. Her mother is an English teacher so communication was pretty easy. We spent a lot of time sharing differences between our school lives as they seem much more motivated to study than us. They then took me to a shopping centre to get milk tea before heading back to the hotel.Read more

  • Day9

    Nanya School

    April 16, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    After another early breakfast at the school we went to sit in lessons with our buddy. I had English and Maths. The English teacher made me stand at the front and talk to the (50) students about my school life so they could hear my pronunciation. He taught the class some grammar rules which I didn’t even know existed and have probably been doing wrong my whole life. The maths lesson was interesting too, although it was all in Chinese. I managed to work out their questions though and knew exactly what they were doing. After these lessons we went to a talk about different Chinese minorities and how they dress and we even tried on some of their outfits. We then had an early lunch at 11:30, before then going to decorate Chinese Opera masks and trying some Kung Fu. Nobody told me we’d be doing exercise. We then went to watch performances from different basketball teams from middle schools across China. We even did our own performance of Hey Jude, which everyone enjoyed.Read more

  • Day18

    Tusi Sites

    September 14, 2019 in China ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Second of our two World Heritage sites today near Zhangjiejie. This site was a bit more unusual, and definitely well off the tourist trail! It's known as the Tusi sites, named after what was essentially a system of government used by the emperors for about a thousand years. The tusi were local tribal administrators appointed by the emperor, so they could be responsible for following imperial edicts etc, but still in touch with local tribal culture.

    So off we went, heading west in a local bus that clearly never saw any western tourists. After about 90 minutes we arrived in Yong Shun, where we knew there was another bus we needed to catch, but instructions to find that bus station were fairly vague. As we looked around, asking various people, it felt like half the town was surrounding us trying to help (though most of them were offering to take us for ridiculous sums of money).

    Eventually we admitted defeat and flagged down a passing taxi driver to take us. We bargained him down to 80 yuan or about $16, certainly more than a bus fare but we'd already wasted an hour and weren't interested in wasting more time.

    Out at the site, the staff looked horrified that white people had turned up! I guess they don't get many western visitors, and though we coped fine with buying tickets and understanding things, they summoned someone from a back room who spoke passing English to help us.

    Wandered through the museum which was expensively done but not super engaging, then walked down the hill to the main site itself. Although the WH entry is about the system of government, the most interesting thing to see is actually the ruins of a tusi city, located on a riverback. It's quite a large city with the remains of big walls, houses, neighbourhoods, drainage ditches, and burial chambers. Interesting stuff, though for a spot that was only abandoned in the 19th century it wasn't doing so well. We'd been to archaeological sites in Greece that were better preserved.

    Spent a few hours wandering around including a long tortuous walk down to a temple at the far end of the site (I was still feeling the effects of yesterday!) before returning. Got the shuttle bus back to the main town so we finally discovered the bus station that nobody knew about! Then got a local bus through the town to the main bus station where we headed back to Zhangjiajie. Another noodle shop dinner before heading home.
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  • Day7

    High Speed Train

    April 14, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Mostly traveling today, so had to get up at 6am again for the 6 hour train journey from Xi’an to Changsha. We stopped for a McDonald’s breakfast before the train and I had a double chicken McMuffin, which was different to usual. Bit spicy for breakfast food but tasty. Spent most of the train journey writing my speech, so the journey itself felt rather short. For lunch I had authentic Chinese version of pot noodles, but they were too spicy to enjoy and tasted slightly like soap. Our new hotel is nice and the room even came equipped with a Windows XP computer complete with minesweeper which I spent a while playing. School tomorrow.Read more

  • Day133

    The first home :D

    January 12, 2019 in China ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    Today has been great! (Was a little anxious about the number of guests but it's been as expected!). Met a MUNer in the train (what a coincidence!🙂). It was really hard to sleep on the train again😂. Didn't expect an Audi 🤤 to pick us up. Well talking still needs a lot of practice and vocabulary (but it's definitely better than in the other countries). The food is amazing ☺️ (great to taste and not too spicy), the family has been great too! Missing a few fishes in the aquarium though :D. Museum was so so :D but look at the angry bird 🤨!
    Lake was nice and Maja was crazy good! Gotta write about it later. How can I forget this movie (Old guy who wants to be a Cop who and previously killed his wife when he was drunk through an accident, also crippled his sis, his daughter who loves a big ass dude, 2 villagers who wanna make a statement about themselves and so many coincidences), 20 questions game was fun as well! (Cool fish is the movie by the way)☺️!
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  • Day135

    Cooking up The Dish

    January 14, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌫 6 °C

    Getting up was hard, isn't it always? After breakfast at a small restaurant (which surprising had 2ACs), shopping was done. Cooking was just normal. Chinese kitchens are great! 🙂 We dropped Jonas and went for a hotpot after which the movie Shadow was amazing! I mean the story was great, so many schemes and plots within it. The commander, his duplicate, the king, the princess, the wife of the commander, so many characters so perfectly created and the end leaves you where it starts (the dilemma of the wife of the commander). Brilliant! Later we discussed about mango fantasies of kids.Read more

  • Day135

    Back to the kids

    January 14, 2019 in China ⋅ 🌫 7 °C

    Well it's very easy to know who's from Tibet in China (of course looks is one way to guess) but the easiest way is to check if they can roll the 'r' if they can they're from Tibet else not! Oh the kids in the school were so energetic and went bonkers!🤓 The free eyebrow editing, the busy train station, some beautiful paintings on the school wall and a glimpse into a not so modern part of the city. Stay has been amazing! Gotta go back again some day (time will tell when :PP)!Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Hunan Sheng, Hunan, Province de Hunan, 湖南省

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