Hunan, the birthplace of Mao Zedong, is located in south of the middle reaches of Yangtze River. Spreading east, west and south from the province’s Yangtze River basin plain is an astonishing landscape of rough, isolated mountain ranges, forests, lush rice terraces, waterfalls and karst peaks, among which the highlight should be Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area of Zhangjiajie. Scattered amidst the natural bounty are welcoming minority villages, wind-and-rain bridges, Taoist temples and the ancient riverside towns of Phoenix and Hongjiang.
Hunan is adjacent to Jiangxi Province in the east, Chongqing Municipality and Guizhou Province in the west, Guangdong Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region in the south, and Hubei Province in the north. With Changsha as its provincial capital, Hunan enjoys a well developed transportation network.
Hunan has two international airports (Changsha Huanghua and Zhangjiajie Hehua airports) and three domestic airports (Changde Taohuayuan, Yongzhou Lingling and Huaihua Zhijiang). Centered on Changsha Huanghua International Airport, most of Chinese cities are covered in the 2-hour flying range. At present, the airline network in Hunan has extended to 78 cities at home and abroad with 118 airlines, including international airlines to Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam, and regional airlines to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, as well as code-sharing international airlines from Changsha via Shanghai to 7 countries in America, Europe and Australia.
Hunan railway system is well-developed, characterized by 6 major railway branches passing through the entire Hunan province: Beijing-Guangzhou, Hunan-Guiyang, Zhejiang-Jiangxi, Hunan-Guangxi, Shimen-Changsha and Zhicheng-Liuzhou. Wuhan-Guangzhou (Wu-Guang) High-speed Rail (HSR) covers full length of 1,069 km, passing through Hubei, Hunan and Guangdong. The travel time between Changsha to Guangzhou has been shortened from 8 hours to 2 hours, making it become true and a fashion to “drink Cantonese Tea in morning, ascend Yueyang Tower at noon and enjoy songs in Changsha in the evening”. The Hunan section of Hukun PDL (Shanghai-Kunming Passenger Designated Line) was put into operation in 2012, travelers from Changsha can reach Shanghai in 3 hours. And the section linking Changsha and Kunming will be completed in 2014, when it will take only 5 hours to travel from Changsha to Kunming. At that time, Changsha will become the first city where two high-speed PDLs converge (the other being Wuhan-Guangzhou High-speed Rail).
The road network in Hunan extends in all directions inside the province and links it with neighboring provinces, with total mileage ranking the third in China. Highways, connected Changsha with 13 cities and one autonomous prefecture, are accessible to major tourist attractions.
Centered on the Dongting Lake and including the Xiangjiang, Zijiang, Yuanjiang and Lishui trunk rivers, a complex water network connecting the Yangtze River in the north links up the whole province. It provides the province a great convenience on traffic, with Yueyang, Changsha, Xiangtan and Zhuzhou, etc. as the important transfer stations of Hunan waterway network.