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Home Travel in Hunan The Disappearing History Ⅵ -- Xiangxi
The Disappearing History Ⅵ -- Xiangxi
Travel in Hunan

Xiangxi(湘西) is the abbreviation for Xiangxi Tujia-Miao autonomous Prefecture(湘西土家族苗族自治州)which is located in northwestern Hunan(湖南). Well situated between Hunan and Sichuan(四川), Touching Hubei(湖北) and Guizhou(贵州). Xiangxi covers an area of 15,486 square kilometers. Xiangxi Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture has jurisdiction over seven counties—Longshan(龙山), Yongshun(永顺), Baojing(保靖), Huayuan(花垣), Guzhang, Fenghuang(凤凰) and Luxi(泸溪), and one city—Jishou(吉首), the capital of the prefecture. Twenty-five nationalities gather here, of the total 2,480,000 population, 66.6 per cent are ethnic, including 860,000 Tujia and 790.000 Miao.

Xiangxi is a wonderful place with a long history, picturesque scenery and plain customs. Streams cross the high and precipitous mountains; old trees reach into the sky, wild mysterious caves dot the landscape; waterfalls fly down the high cliffs Liusha(流沙) Waterfall is famous for its greatest drop in China. Besides the magical scenery, ancient temples and towers litter the countryside, for example, the most famous Hall of Ancestry in Laosichen(老司城), Yongshun County.

Dehang Miao minority Village(德夯苗寨)

Dehang is Miao nationality language, means beautiful valley, situated 24 kilometers in the west suburbs from Jishou, capital of Tujia and Miao Autonomous region in Xiangxi. It is about 180 km long the Wuyi mountain(武夷山) range and Yungui(云贵) plateau. The Wuji big valley has a height of several hundred meters, in the scenic spot, streams are crossing to each other, deep valleys, beautiful waterfalls, nice mountain ranges, ancient trees and special flowers, precious birds and animals are everywhere. The natural scenery is very beautiful. In this area, lives the Miao nationality. They speak Miao dialect, boys and girls are free for love, and they exchange feelings and love with songs. Women like to wear silver wares, and wear broidery blouse with flower designs but without collar. Boys like to wear leg wrappings, and blow wood leaves as musical instruments. The local people like to raise silk worms. They make their own textiles, and the local hand textiles are extremely well made. They use the traditional way for oil extraction, papermaking, rice grinding, and they use special wheel with buckets to lift water for irrigation. In this scenic spot, there are programs such as being guest in Miao family, exchange songs at the gate, offering wines, Miao song and dance party, Miao drum dance, saying good-bye to guests with lantern, and many other nationality travel projects. Tourists can also extract oil by themselves, make papers, wearing cloth, grind rice, and to become a Miao people for one day. Coming to Dehang for a tour is just like coming to a beautiful and ancient fairy-tale world.

Furongzhen(芙蓉镇) (Hibiscus Town) and Mengdong River(猛洞河) (Fierce Cave River)

This sleepy fishing town sited on the banks of Mengdong River was originally known as Wangcun(王村) (village of the Wangs). When the award winning film Hibiscus Town was shot here on location it was renamed Hibiscus Town. The film based on a novel by Gu Hua(古华) chronicles the lives of innocent, honest, hardworking folk who are destroyed by the political campaigns during the Cultural Revolution. The movie makes strong denouncement about the excesses of those tumultuous years.

Hibiscus Town is normally reached by taking a one-hour train ride from Jishou to the Town of Mengdong River and then changing to a ferry.

The mystique of Hibiscus Town is centered in the area around the harbor. The best way to spend an evening in this rustic village is to patronize the old-fashioned quayside cafes which offer piping hot dishes amidst panoramic sunsets.

In the mornings, when grey mists envelope the harbor in gossamer robes, the ambience is both sinister and romantic, conjuring visions of smugglers, bandits and chivalrous swordsmen dressed in white.

Tourists caught a ferry to explore the Mengdong River, which is more than 200km long and which offers many dramatic sights en route. The cruise winds through deep gorges, quiet valleys, and steep cliffs riddled with caves and we net many people living in finishing boats along the remote banks and islets of the Mengdong River.