Love stories blossom in the Land of Pink Petal

Although not as famous as neighboring Zhangjiajie(张家界) National Forest Park and Phoenix Old Town, Changde(常德) is believed to be the prototype of Taohuayuan(桃花源), a utopia described by poet Tao Yuanming (陶渊明around AD 365-427).

The poem describes how a fisherman accidentally sailed into a river in a forest of blossoming peach trees, where there was a village with animals and people of all ages. 

The villagers were surprised to see him. They told him their ancestors escaped to this place during the civil unrest and the villagers had no contact with the outside world for centuries.

Upon leaving, the fisherman was told not to reveal this experience to others because it was not worthwhile. Still he decided to mark his route on his way out with signs and later divulged the existence of this idyllic haven to others. Many have tried to locate it repeatedly but in vain.

Situated in the north of Hunan province, Changde possesses traces of the literary haven, especially in terms of scenery.

The remains from Neolithic period provide convincing evidence that there were fishermen in the area as early as 5,000 years ago.

In the mornings, the area's undulating mountains are capped with a thick layer of clouds.

In spring, the natural landscape is covered with peach blossom, just as the name "Taohuayuan" - meaning peach blossom land - indicates.

Among the sea of flowers, Changde is filled with a unique species - pink and white peach blossoms on a same branch.

Besides the pink petals, there is also a green wonder. A bamboo forest stands proud behind a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) pavilion. From afar, the bamboo looks no different from any other, but at a closer look, one will notice that the bamboo is shaped in tetragonal prism with four clear corners.

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