Yueyang is located beside Dongting Lake on the southern bank of the Yangtze River in the northeast section of Hunan Province. The two-thousand-year-old city has now become a developing industrial city and an important port for both water and land transportation.
Built over the west city gate of Yueyang, this tower overlooks the Yangtze River and Dongting Lake. It is one of China's "three great towers south of the Yangtze River." During the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), it was used as a reviewing stand by General Lu Su of the State of Wu when he trained his navy. But it was Fan Zhongyan (989-1052), a noted scholar of the Song dynasty, who made the building famous when he wrote his masterpiece, Notes on Yueyang Tower. The three-level wooden structure is almost twenty meters high, with upturned eaves. At each side of the tower, there is an elegantly structured pavilion one is called Drunk Three Times Pavilion (Sanzuiting) and the other Celestial plums Pavilion (Xianmeiting).
Occupying an area of 3,900 square kilometers southwest of Yueyang, Dongting is the second largest freshwater lake in China. Boating excursions are available.
This picturesque hill with its seventy-two peaks rises in the middle of Dongting Lake. Places for sightseeing include the Two Imperial Concubines' Tombs (Erfeimu), Incense Burner Hill (Xianglushan), the camping site of the peasant uprising led by Yang Moli of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) and the water well of Liu Yi, a character in a love story written during the Tang Dynasty. The hill is covered by luxuriant bamboo groves and produces a high-quality tea called Silver Needles of Junshan (Junshanyinzhen).