Natural wonders not to be missed
Shaoyang’s beautiful scenery and rich culture, and its recent listing as a World Natural Heritage site, have made it an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Two rivers — the Zijiang and Yuanjiang — cross Shaoyang and it is an attractive water city in Hunan province that also boasts more than 1.2 million hectares of forests and some 470,000 hectares of grassland, outstanding figures in the province.
And the Liangshan Mountains, which are praised by geologists as the best of the Danxia landforms, were included on UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage list on Aug 2, 2010.
A World Natural Heritage site, two State- level wetland parks, three State-level nature reserves, four national scenic areas and five national forest parks, and the gentle slopes of the Nanshan Mountains — which cover about 150 square kilometers and are said to the best pastureland in the south of China — Shaoyang’s natural wonders are varied and not to be missed
Other natural attractions also include the Yellow Forest in Suining county and the Zijiang River gorges in Wugang county and Wushui River Gorges in Chengbu county.
Shaoyang is also renowned for its special Huayao culture. Huayao is a sect of the Yao ethnic group in the southern regions of China.
The Huayao people are known for their delicate, colorful embroidery and their folk songs known as Wuwa, both of which are listed as the country’s intangible cultural heritage.
Shaoyang is the hometown of Wei Yuan and Cai E, two important figures who helped shape China’s modern history — encouraging people in the late 19th century and early 20th century to open to the world and pursue democracy. Their former residences offer a fascinating insight into a country in the midst of change.
With tourism booming, the city’s hospitality industry is also developing rapidly.
So far, Shaoyang has 48 star-rated hotels and the first five-star luxury hotel opened in 2012.
The local tourism bureau forecasts that this year Shaoyang will have welcomed 19 million visits by tourists from home and abroad, who are expected to have generated revenues of around 14 billion yuan, according to the local tourism bureau. Contact the writers through firstname.lastname@example.org
The gentle slopes of the Nanshan Mountains — covering about 150 sq km — are said to be the best pastureland in the south of China.