(From China Daily)
Dongjiang Lake in Chenzhou, located in southeastern Hunan province, was granted a national 5A-level tourist attraction in July by the National Tourism Administration, the eighth destination in Hunan province to be designated with such a status.
A national scenic spot and wetland park, the Dongjiang Lake area includes the Hougu mountain rainfall, Dongjiang reservoir dam, Yongcui gorge and Swan Mountain National Forest Park. Known for its resplendent natural beauty, and covers 160 sq km. The 8.12 billion cubic meters of water of Dongjiang Lake meets national drinking standards.
The lake area is rich in dense forest cover and all of the natural vegetation within it are classified as class-one reserve. Tourists can enjoy a variety of recreational options in the area’s rivers, lakes, waterfalls and springs such as rafting, water slides and fishing.
One of the most remarkable natural spectacles here is the seemingly magical water mist that forms just before sunrise and right after sunset over Dongjiang Lake from April to November every year. Across the 12-kilometer flat lake, between the gatehouse of the lake area and the Dongjiang reservoir dam,rosy clouds slowly rise, giving off walls of color and radiance.
The number of tourists to lake area has more than doubled since it was named a national 5A-level tourist attraction in July. Zixing – a county-level city in which the Dongjiang Lake scenic area is located – has made great efforts to promote the idea of civilized tourism and improve industry services to enhance tourists’ experiences.
In recent years, Zixing has invested billions of yuan to upgrade the area’s facilities.
Another highlight of the place is the abundance of wild fish. The lake is rich in bream,whitebait, grass carp and carp.
In August, Zixing hosts a fish festival that presents a variety of local fish delicacies and snacks cooked in traditional methods.
In addition to the culinary feast, the city holds a traditional folk art activity in which lifelike dragons conduct a series of dance performances.
Currently, there are four tourist routes around the scenic area, with entrance fees ranging from 80 yuan to 318 yuan per person.
Hunan province has 264 A-level tourist destinations, 555 star-rated tourist hotels and 848 travel agencies, said Gao Yang, deputy director of the Hunan Tourism Bureau.
In 2014, the number of domestic and overseas tourists visiting Hunan exceeded 400 million, with total tourism revenue surpassing 300 billion yuan.