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12 Things to Do in Hunan | Hunan Tourist Attractions 2022

Hunan situated in central China has long been popular for both domestic and international visitors to discover! So what does Hunan have and what to do in Hunan? In this large province, there is not only the world well-known avatar mountains and thrilling glass bridge in Zhangjiajie, however, lyric Miao ethnic songs and ancient tilted houses, hot and spicy Hunan delicacies make you cannot stop eating, mysterious culture and skills over 2,000 years ago, rich academic charm, fairy-like wonders, and so forth are all here in Hunan, but only a part of it! Check the following 12 best things to do in Hunan most favored by lots of visitors and our guests from around the world to plan your own trip to Hunan in 2022/2023! Let’s discover!

No.1: Zhangjiajie Wulingyuan Scenic Area - See Avatar Mountains in Reality

Wulingyuan

Hallelujah Mountain in Yuanjiajien

Wulingyuan

Tianzi Mountain at Wulingyuan

Opening Hours: Apr ~ Oct: 08:00~18:00 / Nov ~ Mar: 08:30 ~ 17:30

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 3 days

Ticket Price: 224/ person during March to November and CNY 144 during December to next February, including Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Yuanjiaie, Tianzi Mountain, Yangjiajie and Suoxiyu Nature Reserve (part)

Address: Provincial Highway 306, Wulingyuan District, Zhangjiajie, Hunan (湖南省张家界市武陵源区306省道); 40-50 minutes from Zhangjiajie downtown by car

Fitness Needed: ***

As it goes, “see water sightseeing in Jiuzhai Valley, and see mountain scenery in Zhangjiajie.” The world famous Avatar Hallelujah Mountain filled in the first 3D Hollywood movie “Avatar” was framed right in Yuanjiajie in Wulingyuan Scenic Area in Zhangjiajie, China. Having long been listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1992, Wulingyuan including the more famous Zhangjiajie National Forest Park within is the No.1 place to visit in whole Hunan where to see more than 3,000 stone pillars towering over the land, and with mysterious mists, it looks quite like a wonderland. Besides have a personal look at the prototype of Avatar’s “Hallelujah Mountain”, enjoy a scenic hiking at the tranquil Golden Whip Stream, appreciate the panorama of the terrific Zhangjiajie National Forest Park at Huangshi Village, etc. What’s more important, go to the best Tianzi Mountain to embrace the incredible landscapes of rocky peaks in grotesque shapes and with green trees rising straight among the floating mists, which are often seen on poster of Zhangjiajie. If you are lucky, meet Zhangjiajie’s incredible four wonders, which are cloud sea, sunrise, winter snow and peak forest!

Popular Wulingyuan Scenic Area Tour:

✔ 3 Days Classic Zhangjiajie Natural Wonders Tour

✔ 5 Days Amazing Zhangjiajie & Fenghuang Ancient Town Tour

No.2: Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge - Walk 400 Meters High above Deep Valley

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Kids Get Fear on Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Opening Hours: 07:30 ~ 17:00

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 4 hours

Ticket Price: 125 RMB/person for  Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge (only available for visiting during 15:4

0-17:00); 216 RMB/person for Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon + Zhangjaijie Glass Bridge (only available for visiting during 08:00-15:20)

Address: Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Scenic Area, Cili County, Zhangjiajie, Hunan (张家界市慈利县张家界大峡谷景区内); 1.5 hours from Zhangjaijie downtown by car

Fitness Needed: **

You shall not miss walking on Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge if you are bold! The glass bridge has been once listed as one of the “12 Most Spectacular Bridges in the World” by CNN is a famous “bold to try” and intrigues many visitors’ screaming by walking cautiously on the 430 meters long grass paved bridge hung about 400 meters above the deep valley at verdant and scenic Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Be brave to experience walking in the sky and appreciate the lush natural landscape from different angle. After the thrilling minutes or hour, calm down and comfort your heart with the tranquil sightseeing of waterfall, lake, valley, stream, blossoms, etc. at the canyon!

Popular Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge Tour: ✔ 4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge

No.3: Tianmen Mountain - Marvel at Zhangjiajie’s Thrilling Challenges with Wonders

Tianmen Mountain

Tianmen Mountain Cableway Experience

Tianmen Mountain

Glass Skywalk

Opening Hours: Apr ~ Oct: 08:00~16:30 / Nov ~ Mar: 08:30 ~ 16:00

Visiting Time: about 5 hours

Ticket Price: 258 Yuan, including sightseeing ticket, double cableway ticket and sightseeing bus

Address: Dayong Road, Yongding District, Zhangjiajie, Hunan (张家界市永定区大庸路); 5 minutes from Zhangjiajie downtown to cableway station by car

Fitness Needed: **

Exploring Tianmen Mountain National Forest Park is one of the must-do for visitor to Zhangjiajie. Listed into “50 worthwhile visiting places for foreign travelers”, Tianmen Mountain is the soul of Zhangjiajie and hot among travelers to experience its abundant astonishing bridges, roads, steps, etc. And marvel at its miracle sightseeing. Enjoy your exciting memorable time here to take the world longest cable car to look down at the 99 turned road along the mountain, walk along the cliff-hanging plank and glass walk above the abyss with thick mists and fogs, and also walk through the giant natural Tianmen Cave. If you are interested, take the sightseeing bus along the 99 turned Avenue toward Heaven for bolder experience! Will you scream? Take you try!

Popular Tianmen Mountain Tour:

✔ 5 Days Zhangjiajie Ultimate Tour with Glass Bridge & Tianmen Mountain

✔ 4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge

No.4: Fenghuang Ancient Town - Lost in China Most Beautiful Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town at Night

Opening Hours: 24 hours, some attractions open: 8:00 ~ 18:00

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 days

Ticket Price: Free for entrance. 148 RMB / person for a ticket package including the specific tourist spots.

Address: No.60 Dongzheng Street, Fenghuang County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan (湖南省湘西土家族苗族自治州凤凰县东正街60号); 3 hours from Zhangjiajie downtown by car, 5 hours from Changsha downtown by car

Fitness Needed: *

Fenghuang Ancient Town in West Hunan is praised as “The Most Beautiful Town in China” and “Painting Hometown”. This old town built against Fenghuang Mountain and along Tuojiang River from 1703 boasts antique flavor for a nice savory. Take a leisure stroll along the dark slabstones streets and lanes and lost your way at a certain corner. You can take a boat along the river to admire the Tujia tilted houses standing along both banks, stand on the Rainbow Bridge to appreciate the old town from a great angle, watch local people’s daily life in early morning, let time go by at the quiet cafe. Also, do not miss the top former residences of local celebrities to feel the art and culture of Fenghuang Ancient Town.

Popular Fenghuang Ancient Town Tour:

✔ 5 Days Amazing Zhangjiajie & Fenghuang Ancient Town Tour

✔ 7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

No.5: Hunan Provincial Museum - Learn Hunan Culture with Amazing Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb Treasure

Hunan Provincial Museum

Wax Statue of the Female Corpse from Mawangdui Tomb

Hunan Provincial Museum

Silk Clothing at Hunan Provincial Museum

Opening Hours: 09:00 ~ 17:00 (February~Sunday)

Visiting Time: 2 ~ 4 hours

Ticket Price: Free

Address: No.50 Dongfeng Road, Kaifu District, Changsha, Hunan (湖南省长沙市开福区东风路50号); 10-15 minutes from Changsha city center by car

Fitness Needed: *

Hunan Museum as the first class national museum is mainly the best cultural place to visit in Hunan and is particularly favored to learn the history, culture and art in this destination for thousands of years. Besides, collecting more than 3000 pieces of top precious cultural relics and a complete undecayed female corpse discovered from Mawangdui Han Dynasty Tomb, Hunan Museum shocked the world and showed the prosperous economical life and miraculous aseptic technic more than 2,200 years ago! Besides the outstanding silk clothing, lacquerware, etc., take your time to closely appreciate the silk manuscripts, bronze, ceramics, bamboo slips, paintings, etc. Telling the historical stories of the origin and development of Hunan Province!

Popular Hunan Provincial Museum Tour: ✔ 7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

No.6: Yuelu Academy - Soak in Authentic Charm of Thousand-year Old Chinese Academy

Yuelu Academy

Yuelu Academy

Yuelu Academy

Aiwan Pavilion on Yuelu Mountain

Opening Hours: 07:30 ~ 18:00 (May ~ October); 08:00 ~ 17:30 (November ~ April)

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 hours

Ticket Price: CNY40/person

Address: Lushan South Road, Yuelu District, Changsha, Hunan (within Hunan University) (湖南省长沙市岳麓区麓山南路(湖南大学内)); 15 minutes from Changsha city center by car

Fitness Needed: *

Yuelu Academy located at the foot of Yuelu Mountain in Changsha is one of the “Four Great Academies in China” which was originated from 976 AD and never stop education during the past over 1,000 years, thus, people often call it “Thousand-year Old Academy”! Walk into the ancient traditional Chinese school to admire its well preserved ancient academy architectures with black tiles and white walls sheltered by towering old trees and accompanied by ponds and gardens. Enjoy your time to pass every courtyard, every stone tablet, every flower and every dropping leaf to feel the quiet and literal charm of the old school! Actually, Yuelu Academy is still used for cultivating undergraduates, postgraduates and doctors to lengthen its education history! If you are interested, take a hike on Yuelu Mountain and catch the full view of Xiang River in central Changsha!

Popular Yuelu Academy Tour: ✔ 7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

No.7: Hunan Food - Awaken Your Taste Bud

Hunan Food

Changsha Stinky Tofu

Hunan Food

Changsha Tasty Shrimp

Suggested Places to Go: Huangxing Road Pedestrian Street, Taiping Street, Pozi Street, etc.

Your Hunan trip is not complete if fail to try Hunan food! Hunan cuisine also called Xiang cuisine is one of the “Eight Cuisines in China”, which emphasizes on hot, spicy, fresh and delicious flavor as well as tender taste. The second you try the food, your taste bud will be awakened by the irresistible flavors and feel nice. Classic Hunan cuisine includes Griddle Cooked Tea Tree Mushrooms, Fried sliced Streaky Pork with Chilli, Sit Fry Fish Head with Chopped Hot Chilli, etc. Moreover, Changsha food is a must for anyone visiting this city, including the mouth-watering Tasty Shrimp, interesting flavored Stinky Tofu, Sugar Oil Ba Ba Cake, etc. Huangxing Road Pedestrian Street, Taiping Street, etc. In Changsha downtown are top popular to try abundant authentic Hunan dishes and Changsha snacks!

No.8: Chairman Mao Former Residence - Visit Hometown of Chairman Mao in Shaoshan

Chairman Mao Former Residence

Chairman Mao Former Residence

Chairman Mao Former Residence

Chairman Mao (1893~1976)

Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 17:00

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 hours

Ticket Price: Free

Address: No.16 Guyuan Road, Shaoshan, Xiangtan, Hunan (湖南省湘潭市韶山市故园路16号); 1.5 hours from Changsha downtown by car

Fitness Needed: *

Shaoshan as the hometown of Chairman Mao who was the founder of the People's Republic of China is particularly popular for people interested in Chinese historic culture during the last century! The best site is the Former Residence of Chairman Mao, where he was born and grew up. Walk in the simple farmhouse to see the layout and tools placed in the living room, kitchen, bedroom, etc. to imagine the life of the great person! Besides, walk to Relic Hall of Mao Zedong to see the more than 1,000 pieces of relics used by Mao, including sofa, car, glasses, word cards for leaning English, menus, letters, notes, etc. to know the delight of life during then. Also, you can go to Dripping Water Cave to see the villa lived by Mao!

Popular Chairman Mao Former Residence Tour: ✔ 7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

No.9: Yueyang Tower - Appreciate Traditional Chinese Literal Story

Yueyang Tower

Yueyang Tower

Yueyang Tower

Yueyang Tower & Dongting Lake

Opening Hours: 07:00 ~ 18:30 in May ~ September; 07:30 ~ 18:00 in October ~ April

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 hours

Ticket Price: 70/person

Address: Dongting North Road, Yueyanglou District, Yueyang, Hunan (湖南省岳阳市岳阳楼区洞庭北路); 2.5 hours from Changsha downtown by car; 20 minutes from Yueyang downtown by car

Fitness Needed: *

Visiting Yueyang Tower is quite popular for people interested in Chinese culture! Yueyang Tower being the only one preserving the original appearance among all the “Three Great Towers in Jiangnan Area” is the darling of people favoring Chinese poem and traditional literary! It was originally used for reviewing troops during the Three Kingdom Period. Look at the quadrangle wooden tower of 19.42 meter high and 17.54 meter wide, with 3 floors and 4 pillars, without any nail standing on the ground without foundation, which is a miracle in architectural field. Walk into and up to admire the poems, couplets, carvings and more calligraphic decorations, including the most famous poem “On Yueyang Tower”. From there, overlook the sightseeing of the also well-known Dongting Lake which has a beautiful name as “Yunmeng (Cloud Dream)” and was also often praised in ancient Chines poems. Besides, as the second largest freshwater lake and recorded into “The List of Wetlands of International Importance”, Dongting Lake has appealed so many people to enjoy birding, especially during September to the next April.

No.10: Furong Town - Admire Charming Old Town on Waterfall

Furong Town

Furong Town

Furong Town

Furong Town

Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 18:00

Visiting Time: 2 ~ 3 hours

Ticket Price: CNY 100/person

Address: Furong Town, Yongshun County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan (湖南省湘西土家族苗族自治州永顺县); 1.5 hours from Zhangjiajie downtown by car; 1.5 hours from Fenghuang Ancient Town by car

Fitness Needed: *

Furong Town or Hibiscus Town was originally named Wangcu Village. Boasting the special grand waterfall floating through the village and flying from 60 meters high place, this village of more than 2,000 years old is reputed as “Thousand-year Old Town Hung on Waterfall”! As located in Yongshun, the prosperous center of west Hunan area, Furong Town has preserved lots of cultural relic sites and architectures for your learning of the change and development during the past 20 centuries. Walk along the Five-li Street of flagstones to see local people continue their trading around this golden water and land gate. Of course, you shall not miss appreciating the giant waterfall with the tilted wooden houses built on the mountain to feel the idyllic charm of this old town! Also, you may hear some interesting stories of the past Tusi King there!

No.11: Dongjiang Lake - Take Pictures of Dreamy Foggy Lake

Dongjiang Lake

Little Dongjiang with Fog

Dongjiang Lake

Dongjiang Lake

Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 16:00

Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 days

Ticket Price: CNY 55/person for Route 1 (Little Dongjiang, Hougu Mountain Waterfall, Dongjiang Dam Appearance, Longjing Valley); CNY 90/person for Route 2 (Route 1 plus boat fare and Dongjiang Lake, Doushuai Karst Cave)

Address: No,88 Wangjiazhuang, Zixing, Chenzhou, Hunan (湖南省郴州市资兴市王家庄88号); 1 hour from Chenzhou downtown by car; 4 hours from Changsha downtown by car

Fitness Needed: **

Go to discover Dongjiang Lake in Chenzhou City if you are fond of nature or photography! Listed as National AAAAA Tourist Area, National Forest Park and other tourist spots, Dongjiang Lake has vast clean water, surrounding emerald forest, isles and peninsulas, karst caves, temples, waterfall, gardens, etc., which offers amazing sightseeing of various kinds for a visual satisfactory, such as the famed Little Dongjiang with Fog, Hougu Mountain Waterfall, Longjing Valley, Dongjiang Dam, Dongjiang Lake, etc. If you are shutterbugs, plan you time to shoot the dreamy sunrise or sunset of Little Dongjiang River with mists and fogs and the fisherman casting a net on the water.

No.12: Mount Hengshan - Look at Southern Mountain of “Five Sacred Mountains in China”

Mount Hengshan Hunan

Mount Hengshan Zhurong Peak

Mount Hengshan Hunan

Mount Hengshan Winter Scenery

Opening Hours: 08:00 ~ 17:00

Visiting Time: half ~ 2 days

Ticket Price: CNY 80/person

Address: Jinsha Road, Nanyue Town, Nanyue District, Hengyang, Hunan (衡阳市南岳区南岳镇金沙路); 1 hour from Hengyang downtown by car; 2.5 hours from Changsha downtown by car

Fitness Needed: **

Mount Hengshan or Hengshan Mountain in Hangyang City, Hunan is praised as the Southern Mountain among the “Five Sacred Mountain in China”. Also, as the “Elegant Mountain” among the five, Mount Hengshan has beautiful and elegant sightseeing for the nature admiration of visitors, such as flowers in spring, verdant pines and cypresses, mist and clouds in summer, sunrise and sunset in autumn, sea of clouds and rimes in winter, etc. Hike along the paths and steps to Zhurong Peak that is the highest peak (1,300 meters) of Hengshan to see the full view of groups of peaks of Hengshan Mountain range in clear day or sea of clouds! Also, you can visit the various temples to appreciate their antique architectures and make your wish to the Buddhist and Taoist immortals with other devout visitors!

How to Plan a Hunan Tour?

Top Places to Visit in Hunan: Wulingyuan Scenic Area (Zhangjiajie National Forest Park), Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon (Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge), Tianmen Mountain, Fenghuang Ancient Town, Hunan Provincial Museum, etc.

Best Time to Visit Hunan: March ~ October for most places; late September ~ next May for Changsha.

How to Get to Hunan: Take flight to Changsha Huanghua International Airport, Zhangjiajie Hehua International Airport, Tongren Fenghuang Airport, etc. Take bullet train to Changsha, Zhangjiajie, Tongren, etc.

Hunan is a beautiful destination to discover nature miracles, ethnic culture and history of China. You can enjoy 3-5 days in Zhangjiajie to discover Avatar mountains and about 1-2 days in most other places in Hunan. And it usually takes about 6-7 days to enjoy a classic Hunan trip including Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang Ancient Town and Changsha.

✔ 7 Days Hunan Discovery Tour from Changsha

✔ 6 Days Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang and Changsha Tour

Most visitors plan 4-5 days in Zhangjiajie to discover the top nature highlights without missing Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge and Tianmen Mountain. It is also quite popular to enjoy Zhangjiajie with Fenghuang Ancient Town (1 day) into about 5 days. Besides, Changsha as a traffic hub city is also popular to spend 1-2 days for its snacks and culture before / after discovering other places in Hunan.

✔ 4 Days Zhangjiajie Exciting Adventure with Glass Bridge

✔ 5 Days Amazing Zhangjiajie & Fenghuang Ancient Town Tour

If you are interested in Chinese history and culture, you are also recommended to extend to Shaoshan (hometown of Chairman Mao) for 1 day, Yueyang (home of Yueyang Tower) for 1 day, and so forth to explore more natural and cultural beauty of Hunan.

Besides, lots of travelers also favor to travel Zhangjiajie and Hunan with more destinations in China to discover more in one go and save more, such as Fanjingshan, Guilin, Yangtze River, Huangshan, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, etc. If you have any idea about planning your Hunan tour, please tell us directly for help!

✔ 7 Days Zhangjiajie to Fanjingshan Unbelievable Nature Tour

✔ 7 Days Nature Tour to Yangtze River & Zhangjiajie

✔ 12 Days Wonders of China Tour (Flights + 4-star Hotels)

✔ 13 Days China Landscape Tour including Zhangjiajie and Guilin

Our Customers at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Our Customers at Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Our Customers at Tianzi Mountain in Wulingyuan Scenic Area, Xhangjiajie Our Customers at Tianzi Mountain, Wulingyuan, Zhangjiajie Our Customers at Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge Our Customers at Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge

Travel Hunan with China Discovery

To help you enjoy a worry-free trip to Hunan, we highly recommend you travel with us China Discovery. Our local experienced drivers will escort you to the attractions with comfortable car directly with speed and safety. And our English-speaking tour guide will accompany you all the way, show you the best travelling route, share interesting stories, introduce all highlights, and give you warm insider tips of avoiding offending local custom taboos, so you can focus all your attention on the highlights. Our experienced travel expert will help arrange your accommodation and plan your trip sincerely. The tour can be tailor-made according to your interests, time, group size, budget and every special need. If you are interested, please feel free to contact us to customize your tour!

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

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