Junshan Island

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Junshan Scenic Area-the largest island in the Dongting Lake, is also called the "Love Island". It is made up of 72 peaks, covering a total area of 960 square meters. Junshan is the 11th blessing land under heaven and has been listed as a national 5A-level scenic area. The main tourist attractions on the island include Liu Yi's Well, Tombs of the Two Empresses, Mottled Bamboo, Dragon's Saliva Well, and Xiangfei Temple.

Dongting Temple
Located by the lake of eastern Junshan Island, Dongting Temple was built in honor of the God of Dongting Lake. It is said that he is fishermen's patron saint. It is uniquely designed to have a dragon arch on four stone columns in the front, commanding a good view of the vast Dongting Lake.

However, the temple was destructed in the Anti-Japanese War and was renovated until 1997 under the co-finance of 3 million yuan by Yueyang Construction Committee and Hou Xigui. The entire meteorologically ambitious temple occupies 5,000 square meters.

According to folklores in this area, this God was an intellectual in Tang Dynasty named Liu Yi. He once saved the life of the dragon King's daughter. The dragon King decided to let his daughter marry Liu Yi as a reward for his kind deed. However, in Liu Yi's mind, to rescue people's life in danger is not for reward. So he refused to accept the dragon King's goodness. After Liu Yi's leaving, the dragon King's daughter, who had already admired Liu Yi, disguised to be a common woman, and married him. After marriage, she told the truth, so Liu Yi returned to Dongting Water House, and was called Dongting King by people. Nevertheless, the Dragon King worried that Liu Yi was too bookish as an intellectual to control the evil monsters in water, so he made a mask for Liu Yi and asked him to wear it at daytime when he was on duty, and to take it off at night before going home. Once Liu Yi patrolled the lake until mid-night and forgot to remove the mask. After entering his home, the mask could no longer be removed as usual. Consequently, Liu Yi became a black-faced man. The black-faced king has done a lot of good things. In order to honor him, people in Junshan Island constructed the Dongting Temple. Until now, people often burn incense in the temple and pray that Dongting King can bring them peace and safety.

Mottled Bamboo
Mottled bamboo is also known as Xiangfei bamboo, because it was legendarily formed by the tears from Ehuang and Nuying who cried day and night in deep grief for their dear husband-the deceased Emperor Shun-in the bamboo forest. The mottles on the green bamboos, light or deep, are just like tear drops from the two empresses.

Liu Yi's Well
The well is only a mount ridge away from the Tomb of the Two Empresses. The legend of Liu Yi, written by Tang Dynasty writer Li Chaowei took place here. The story goes that Liu Yi, a Tang Dynasty intellectual, passed Jingyang County on his way home after failing in an imperial examination. He happened to see the Dragon King's daughter mistreated in her marriage. He gallantly rescued her from the misery and later they two became a couple. To honor Liu Yi's noble quality of helping people in need without expecting any reward, people later named the well after Liu Yi. The water from the well is clean and sweet, used specially for brewing wine. The Silver Needle Tea becomes especially tasty which is made from the water in this well.

Xiangfei Temple
Dedicated to the two wives of Emperor Shun-Ehuang and Nuying, the temple is 70 meters north of the tombs of the two Empresses. Comprising three courtyards, this building covers an area of 960 square meters. The 400-character-long couplets on the gate of the first courtyard are about this temple. The four-character plaque on the gate of the second courtyard reads "Whatever requested will be granted". The third gate leads to the main hall which houses the statues of the two empresses.

Tombs of the Two Empresses
Located in eastern Junshan Island, there are the tombs of Ehuang and Nuying, the two wives of Emperor Shun. Legend has it that over 4,000 years ago, the emperor died in Cangwu in his southern inspection tour. His two wives were on the Dongting Mount in their attempt to find their husband when they heard the sad news of his death. They were so grieved that, holding the bamboo tree, they cried their eyes out and blood. The blood dropped on the bamboo trees and made them mottled. Extremely heart-stricken, they died of grief and were buried at the eastern foot of the Mount Dongting in memory of the two ladies, the mount was named Junshan, meaning "Mount of the Monarch". The present tomb was renovated by the city government in 1979.

Ticket price: 78 yuan/adult
Opening hours: 7:30-17:30
Transport: No.15 sightseeing bus goes from Yueyang Railway Station to the Junshan Scenic Area
Tel: 0730-8258816/0730-8203313

Chinese source: yueyang.gov.cn; enghunan.gov.cn