Changde (常德市) is a prefecture-level city located in the northwest of Hunan province. It is about 3 to 4 hours’ drive from Hunan’s capital – Changsha, enroute to Fenghuang Ancient Town (凤凰古城). Changde is the 4th largest city in Hunan province and tobacco is the most important industry in the city.
The two attractions that we visited in this city were: the famous Changde Poem Wall (常德诗墙) and Liuye Lake (柳叶湖).
Changde Poem Wall (常德诗墙) is the longest poem-engraved wall in the world listed in the Guinness Book of World Records on September 2000. The Chinese government invested RMB 108 million in recent years to build this 3km long anti-flood wall with engraved poems to promote Chinese traditional culture and strengthen patriotism education.
From Lu Xun (鲁迅)’s engraved writing, it seems to me that he was a very neat and organised person hehe. We also spotted Mao Zedong’s engraved writing and it was very cursive (草书) and almost illegible, something like the poems beside Lu Xun’s in the photo above.
A short distance away from the famed Poem Wall is Liuye Lake (柳叶湖), bounded by the Taiyang Mountain (太阳山) in the north and facing the Yuan River (沅江) in the south. According to our tour guide, Liuye Lake becomes livelier as it gets dark, so when we were there at 1+pm in the day, it was like a dead town with a quiet pier and hardly any tourists in sight.
Frankly, this 4th largest city in Hunan province doesn’t excite me too much. Yes the Poem Wall is quite meaningful and beautiful with so many contemporary works of local writers. But other than that the writings are a bit too profound for me to comprehend. :P Guess Liuye Lake would be much better at night but we were there at the wrong time. In fact the Yuan River scenery looked more stunning along the way from Changde to Fenghuang Ancient Town, so maybe that’s why Changde was chosen only as a stopover for us in the tour and not an overnight trip lol.