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15 July 2015

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Hengyang is a well-known city with a history of more than 2,000 years. It is located to the south of the lofty and beautiful Mount Hengshan (also called Nanyue), in the middle reaches of the Xiangjiang River. With mild climate, spectacular mountains, tranquil rivers, and beautiful landscape, the city has always been called a "Bright Pearl in Southern China". Hengyang is also known as "Wild Goose City", because, according to the old legend, every winter flocks of wild geese would fly to the city and stay a short period of time , before they go further south.

The historic and cultural city of Hengyang demonstrates its beauty of accumulated wisdom, long religious tradition and splendid culture. Both Buddhist and Taoist religious traditions were observed in the mountain, giving the mountain the name of "Peak of Longevity". Talented people appeared in the long history of the city. Legendary stories say that Zhu Rong, the God of Fire, hunted here; Emperor Shun stayed here in his official visit in the southern part of his kingdom; Emperor Dayu reconstructed rivers and watercourse in this region. In Han Dynasty, Cai Lun (?-121AD) invented paper-making techniques, one of the Four Great Inventions of ancient China, which had significantly promoted the development of Chinese Civilization. The Stone-drum Academy, one of the four famous academies in Tang and Song Dynasties, is of historic significance in the development of Chinese education, schooling and philosophy. Similarly important is the Xiangxi Strawhouse, where Wang Fuzhi (1619-1692), the great thinker at the late Ming and early Qing Dynasty, authored varied books and started the New Teaching. Hence, Hengyang becomes one of the origins of "Huxiang School".

Hengyang is richly endowed with natural beauty. The Mount Hengshan, one of the Five Sacred Mountains in China, has appealing scenery. Temples hide in the mountain like fairylands attracting tourists all over the world. In addition, the Birds Island, an isolated island covered with ancient trees and bamboos becomes a paradise for birds, housing thousands of birds. This island is a good place to visit as well.