Monday, December 18

Travel Destinations: Henan Province, China

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Travel Destinations: Henan Province, China

Hunan is home to two famous things – a hot style of cuisine and Chairman Mao – two things it has promoted throughout history. Tourists who visit this part of the Middle Kingdom are usually seen wiping the sweat off their brows and gasping for water through the spiciness of the food whilst gazing up at the many effigies of Mao.

Not only this, Henan is blessed with some of the most stunning landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. Home to many different ethnic minorities, Henan is a region with isolated mountainous ranges, lush green rolling hills and ancient hamlets and villages as well as bustling modern cities just waiting to be explored.

CHANGSHA:

The British philosopher Bertrund Russell described Changsha as “a medieval town”, but this is a city that has been inhabited by people for at least for 3000 years. Situated on the eastern banks of the Xiang River, Changsha has many different places to visit.

Start with a trip to the Hunan Provincial Museum – this museum is one of the best provincial museums in China. Not only that, the museum can boast that it is home to the mummies and artefacts found at the famous Mawangdui Tombs.

The city promotes its Chairman Mao tourist hotspots – visit the Changsha Museum and the Henan CPC Committee to learn more about the communist legacy here before you go off to explore the Old City Walls and Yuelu Park.

SHAOSHAN:

This is the birthplace of Chairman Mao – this is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the life of the Great Helmsman and his legacy to China and the world. Stop by at Mao’s Childhood Home, Nanan School and the Museum of Comrade Mao before you set off to see Dripping Water Cave and Shao Peak.

YUEYANG:

This is the home of a tea so rich and delicious that emperors demanded it as a gift of respect, but you can simply request to sample it. Also, you can explore the beauty of this area whilst taking in the cultural sights – Yueyang Tower is the highlight here but the Confucian Temple, Cishi Pagoda, Dongting lake and Junshan Island are all places not to be missed out upon.

HENG SHAN:

This is the southernmost of the five sacred mountains in Daoism and a place where emperors, kings, monks and ordinary people would come to in order to worship to the gods. Come here to explore the beautiful Nanyue Temple, hike up to Wishing Harmony Peak and explre Wishing Harmong Palace, the resting place of Zhu Rong.

HONGJIANG OLD TOWN:

A historic town, the sights here can be seen within half a way or so. Take your time and wander around the old streets, taking in the beauty of the Taiping Temple, the Money God Temple, the Bifg Buddha Temple and the Old Newspaper Office.

DEHANG:

Dehang is nestled away on the river, home to a large community of Miao, one of the 56 officially recognised ethnic groups in China. The village looks as though it has been transported into this age from ancient times, especially when you can watch the old Miao women spin and weave, creating the iconic and beautiful blue coloured Miao clothing.

FENGHUANG:

A beautiful town in Henan, come here to visit one or more of the wonderful cultural attractions. Just some of these are the salmon-coloured old city walls, the North Gate Tower, the Yang Family Ancestral Hall, the East Gate Tower, the Heavenly King Temple and the Wanming Pagoda before sending floats of candles on paper flowers down river at sunset. Truly beautiful.

Henan Province is home to so many places and cultural attractions that it is impossible to remark on all of them here. Pay a visit to this beautiful part of China and you will not be disappointed.

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