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Explore a mix of modern and ancient China at a Hunan vacation home
One of China's most exciting regions, Hunan beckons guests with incredible natural attractions, historic and cultural sites, and exotic cuisine. Choose a family-style Hunan cottage or traditional Hunan hut as your jumping-off point for exploring.
A taste Of Asia
Hunan cuisine, or Xiang cuisine, is well known for its fiery flavors. Typical meals begin with cold salads and meats and continue with blazing hot stir-frys, soups, and stews. After a long day of exploring the streets of Fenghuang, refuel with a large family-style dinner at WanMu Zhai. Menu favorites include crispy tofu, traditional hot pot, fried rice, and water spinach.
For a sampling of Hunan's world-famous street food, spend an evening at the Huangxing Road Walking Street. Whether you have your sights set on delicacies such as deep-fried scorpions and double-fermented tofu, or less adventurous eats such as barbecued chicken and grilled rice balls, you'll find what you're looking for here. Very few vendors offer English menus, so your best bet is to point and smile.
The real Hunan
The Zhunti Temple of Fenghuang Old City is one of the best-preserved Buddhist temples in the area. Hand-carved calligraphy-covered walls, murals by famous contemporary artist Huang Yongyu, and a large Buddha statue make excellent photography subjects. Early morning is the best time for a visit, with mist lingering on the water and cool weather for exploring the temple grounds. To view the building from a different angle, take a river tour. The temple is a popular stop.
No landmark symbolizes China like the Great Wall, and your trip to Hunan is not complete without a visit. The Miaojiang Gate is an excellent place to view south sections of the wall, which were built during the Ming Dynasty. The park grounds are lovely, and the view from the top is one of the region's best. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera!
Exciting day trips
The historic streets of Fenghuang, known as Phoenix Ancient Town, transport visitors back through the history of Hunan. By day, quaint shops feature a variety of handmade souvenirs. Quiet restaurants and cafés invite guests in off the street, serving traditional and modern dishes. After dark, the town transforms into a hotspot for nightlife, with nightclubs and karaoke bars on every corner. If you prefer a more peaceful evening, stroll along the riverside for a romantic light show.
Outdoor enthusiasts can spend a peaceful day amid nature at the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park. Hikes range in difficulty, covering either flat and paved trails or mountainous terrain. If you're less intrepid, the park is also explorable by Jeep. Guided tours are available for nature lovers looking to ascend the mountain and learn about the region along the way. Whereas you can also go independently, be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen.
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