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With its various rivers and lakes interspersed throughout the province, Hunan is reputed as the land of lakes. Several big boating races and traditional Chinese dragon boat festival celebrations are often held across Hunan every year.

Boat race traditions, displaying local customs and harmony between human and the nature have gone through generations. China (Yuanling) Traditional Dragon Boat International Tournament, China International Dragon Boat Festival in Miluo, Dragon Boat Festival in Fenghuang Ancient Town, and Dragon Boat Festival in Dongkou County are among the most popular.

Apart from the major boat races events worth seeing and even participating in, rowing a boat with families and friends would be a wonderful way for relaxation. To name just a few, the following places are good choices for you to go boating or visiting:

1. Yueyang

As the birthplace of Chinese dragon boat culture, Yueyang organizes a dragon boat tour, dragon boat race, powered parachute show, motorboat show and Yueyang local opera every year in celebration of the traditional dragon boat festival. After enjoying these spectacular events, don't miss the magnificent scenery of Yueyang Tower, DongtingLake, Junshan Island, Miluo River and Zhangguying Village. Yueyang, the cradle of Chinese dragon boat culture, is waiting for you!

2. Fenghuang AncientTown

Fenghuang, an ancient town in Hunan province, celebrates the Dragon Boat Festival every year by organizing several dragon-boat races.

The racing venue is usually situated along Huilong Pavilion on the south bank of Tuojiang River. For the race, more than 100,000 spectators gather to cheer for their favorite teams, which consist of local residents. The dragon-boat racing in Fenghuang is different and provides an exhilarating, competitive atmosphere not found in most other places. The same standards as international canoe races are followed, with the participants allowed stand in the boat to row, , letting them move forward with strong explosive power, finishing a 400 or 500 meters long track within 2 minutes. These dozens of fast moving boats present a thrilling sight for spectators on the bank. After the race, the duck chasing tradition keeps the excitement going, which can be best seen from the stilted houses built on the bank of the Tuojiang River.


Going boating on the Tuojiang River, visiting the ancient town, walking along old streets, taking a trip to Miao village, experiencing the dynamic songs and dances of the Miao people and tasting the delicious food of Xiangxi, are just a few things that make Fenghuang well worth the trip.

3. Yuanling

With its races right along the river, scores of boats and rowers, and huge audiences, the races at Yuanling are similar to most other dragon boat races, but Yuanling adds its own local flavor to the events. It perfectly combines the local customs with an eclectic range of sports and games, creating greatly varied and a unique Yuanling culture-oriented Hunan dragon boat race.