Changde Overview

Situated in the northwest part of Hunan Province in central China, Changde is a prefecture-level city which lies in the north of Hunan Province, separated from Yiyang by West Dongting Lake in the east. It neighbors Zhangjiajie in the west and Hubei Province is just adjacent to its north. Changde has more than 300 places of tourism interest. The Peach Blossom Source is said to be the Chinese Shangri la or the ideal paradise of the ancient people in China. 
Facts of Changde
Chinese Name: 常德市 (cháng dé shì)
Population: 6,010,500
Area: 18,190 square kilometers (7,023 square miles)
Nationalities: Han,Tujia, Hui, Uyghur
Administrative: Changde has 2 districts (Wuling, Dingcheng); 6 counties (Anxiang, Hanshou, Lixian, Linli Taoyuan, Shimen); 1 county-level city (Jinshi) .
Seat of the City Government: No. 120, Langzhou Nan Lu, Wuling District

Geography of Changde
Changde City is located in the north of Hunan Province, separated from Yiyang by West Dongting Lake in the east. It neighbors Zhangjiajie in the west and Hubei Province is just adjacent to its north.
Northwestern Changde belongs to the Wuling Mountains and its eastern part is located in the lower reaches of the rivers adjacent to the Dongtinghu Plain. Therefore, the terrain of the city generally slopes downward from the west to the east. Medium mountains, lower mountains, mounds, alluvial and lake plains line up in order with the changes in the relief.

History of Changde
In the year of 227BC, a city was constructed in the east of present Wuling District. That was the beginning of Changde. In the following two thousand, two hundred or so years, administrative divisions here have changed greatly. The area had been known as Wuling, Langzhou and Dingcheng before becoming Changde.
According to scientific research, there were human beings inhabiting here some 8,000 years ago. It lay in the area of Jinzhou, one of the nine regions at the time of the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties. It was the central area of Chu and Qian in the Warring States Period, while in the Qin Dynasty it belonged to the central county of Qian. It was called Wuling County in the Han Dynasty and named Langzhou in the Sui Dynasty, and Dingcheng in the Song Dynasty. In the 7th year of the Song Dynasty under Emperor Huizong (1117 AD), Changde County was established, and in 1165 AD (the first year of Song Emperor Xiaozong), it was upgraded to be Changde Prefecture. The name of Changde has been used ever since. It was named Changde City by the State Council in June 1986.

Climate of Changde
Changde is located in the northwest of Hunan Province, 150 km northwest of the capital city Changsha and to the west is Zhangjiajie (195 km) and to the west is the broad Dongtighu Plain. 
Best Time to visit: The weather in both spring and autumn is favorable. In the spring, it is the flowering season of peach blossom which can be seen all over the mountains. Every year in late March, Taohuayuan Scenic Area holds a peach flower festival, and the festival usually lasts one month.

What to see in Changde
Changde has a long history spanning more than 2,200 years. The area’s many attractions include the cultural relics of Chengtoushan, China’s earliest and best-preserved ancient city, and Jiashan Temple. During the day, take a stroll along Yuanjiang River to view the beautiful inscriptions on Poem Wall, which stretches for three kilometers and has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is especially picturesque in the evening when illuminated by neon lighting. Explore the peaceful Baimahu Park, or paddle around the lake on a paddleboat at Binhu Park.

What to buy ?
Special Local Products: Furongwang Brand Tobacco, Wulingwang Liquor, Yechawang Tea and freshwater pearls are the most famous local products of the city. Additionally, Chinese gooseberry, honey pomelo and lotus seed yields here are also of good quality. As to the shopping street, the 'first walking street of Hunan' in downtown is a good place to go.
Changde City enjoys pleasant weather and multiple landforms. The Yuan River and the Li River, admitting different sources of water, run through the districts and counties in Changde. The city is home to some 2,472 types of animals and plants, including 24 types of rare animals. Among nearly 100 kinds of minerals, the reserve amount, quality and yield of realgar rank number one in China. The yield of salt, gold, gypsum, bone coal, quartz sand and bentonite are on the top in Hunan. In addition, reserves of silicon sand, gypsum, marble, granite, barite, diamond, talc, ground phosphate rock, soft coal and bone coal are abundant in Changde.

Changde Travel Tips
1. Taohuayuan Airport is about 12 kilometers (7 miles) southwest of downtown, which operates flights to/from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Beijing, Wuhan, Kunming and Shanhai.
2. Central bus station is in the north of downtown (Wuling District), near to the railway station. The South Station is in Wuling Town of Dingcheng District. The North Station is located at Renmin Road, which provides buses to Taohuayuan.
3. It is navigable by river between Changde and Yueyang. Boats usually leave Changde in the afternoon and get back from Yueyang in the early morning.