The beautiful and peaceful province of Yiyang in Hunan is blessed with a lot of natural resources, including non-ferrous metals and bamboo.
Beyond that, it is a home to several man-made and natural attractions that draw in thousands of local and foreign tourist all year round. One of the most well-known landmarks is the Lingyun Tower.
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Despite the harsh China winters before the end of the 1700s, the Yiyang locals busied themselves with melting coins in order to extract granite. They hauled more than 150,000 blocks, poured in coal, and designed what is now a monument that is proof of their culture and reverence: the Lingyun Tower.
The stone tower is designed like a hollow pavilion. Standing at more than 33 meters in height, it is composed of 7 floors all connected via a spiral staircase. Carefully preserved by the government, it has undergone a couple of renovations to ensure the base and the stairs remain sturdy. It has been whitewashed to bring back its old physical glory.
The tallness of the tower allows tourists to admire it from afar, but the best experience is obtained by climbing up the stairs. Every floor except the first is composed of two pairs of doors found in different directions as well as windows adorned with various designs. The first floor bears the name of the tower, featuring three characters. A long time ago, too, an ox on every side of the door used to “guard” the structure.
On top, the Lingyun Tower provides a breathtaking vista of the nearby Dongting Lake, also considered another natural relic of Yiyang, as it hosted the very first dragon boat race in the country and is now home to an endangered species known as finless porpoise. The lake, on most days, boasts of its placid sparkling waters and boats loaded with curious tourists or fisherfolk. You are also free to catch some fish, though there are small seafood cafes and restaurants that serve true-blue Chinese cuisines.
From the Dongting Lake, you can also see another man-made marvel called Zhenjiang Tower. Standing at around 23 meters, it closely resembles Lingyun with its seven floors and octagonal shape.
Aside from Dongting Lake, Yiyang is also home to the Yuanjiang River, which serves as a passageway for ships of commerce. Plenty of Chinese tours within the area can also give you access through a nice river cruise. Another impressive river is Taohua, also called Peach Blossom. It spans more than 4 kilometers and passes through magnificent landscapes that define the region. The Rogue Lake, meanwhile, is populated by over 100 marine species including ice fish, black carps, white eels, and Mandarin fish. As the lake is divided into two zones, less-experienced swimmers can take a dip in the shallow lake bed near the shore.