Hunan

Photo gallery: Hongshilin Stone forest

The Hibiscus Town is very close to the millions-of-years-old Red Stone Forest natural reservation. It is not as vast as the stone forest in the Yunnan province, but it is beautiful and without any tourists. Admission is required, and it is also quite high. Inside the park there are still no shops, no vendors, no McDonald's. They are already being built, so come quickly. If you desire ancient villages without bars and beautiful geological parks without tourists, you must visit the Furong Zhen and Red Stone Forest as soon as possible. Despite a little disappointment in the beginning, without any hesitation I would go back. This place became one of my most favorite places in China. The image of an ancient village with a waterfall underneath is just breathtaking.

Photo gallery: Zhangjiajie national reservation, Hunan

Zhangjiajie, a city in the northwest of China's Hunan province, is home to the famed Wulingyuan Scenic Area. This expansive protected zone encompasses thousands of jagged quartzite sandstone columns, many of which rise over 200m, as well as caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Wulingyuan also encompasses forests, rivers, waterfalls and 2 large natural land bridges, and shelters endangered plant and animal species.

Photo gallery: Tianmen shan, Hunan

Tianmen Mountain is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in northwestern Hunan Province, China. A cablecar was constructed by the French company Poma from nearby Zhangjiajie railway station to the top of the mountain. Tianmen Mountain Cableway is claimed in tourist publications as the "longest passenger cableway of high mountains in the world", with 98 cars and a total length of 7,455 metres (24,459 ft) and ascent of 1,279 metres (4,196 ft) The highest gradient is an unusual 37 degrees.

Photo gallery: Furong Hibiscus town

Everybody knows the feeling when after seeing a picture you definitely know that you have to visit that place. It happened to me with a picture of Furong Hibiscus town, a small ancient village proudly boasting on the top of a cliff with a huge waterfall flowing underneath – an amazing view. After seeing that picture, I immediately started to search for where it was.

Photo gallery: Fenghuang Phoenix town

Fenghuang County is under the administration of Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan province, China, bordering the prefecture-level cities of Huaihua to the southeast and Tongren (Guizhou) to the west. It has an exceptionally well-preserved ancient town that harbors unique ethnic languages, customs, arts as well as many distinctive architectural remains of Ming and Qing styles. The town is placed in a mountain setting, incorporating the natural flow of water into city layout. Over half of the city's population belong to the Miao or Tujia minorities.

Photo gallery: Dehang

Dehang, a small village of western Hunan (湘西), 30 minutes from Jishou (吉首) by bus, made it to the list of China’s traditional villages worthy of visiting. In addition, descriptions I read of Dehang contributed to put it on my list. I realised that what I read about this village was too good to be true.

The Ancient Business Town of Hongjiang | A Maze on the Yuan River Banks

Hongjiang (洪江古商城)  is a maze of narrow alleys interconnected via a series of cobble-stone stairs. This ancient town on the banks of the Yuan River (沅江) is one of the three major ancient town of Western Hunan. The now popular Fenghuang in the north acted as a military stronghold, the nearby town of Qiancheng was a regional political center and Hongjiang was a business town.

Ultimate guide to Zhangjiajie

How about spending a few days in a fairytale? Or in a real-life movie? There are some places in the world where it is possible. One such place is called Zhangjiajie, located in the Hunan province in south-central China. Around the city of Zhangjiajie, there are a few fairytale places: the national forest park Wulingyuan, where the movie Avatar was shot; Tianmen mountain with its famous glass planks; and Baofeng Lake with incredible waterfalls;some amazing ancient villages (which I wrote about last time). The most famous among these is definitely Wulingyuan, the birthplace of the movie Avatar.