Pengshui Hmong and Tujia Autonomous County is situated at the downstream of Wu River in Chongqing. Strategically located at the southeast part of Chongqing, Pengshui is the gateway to Hubei Province in the north and Guizhou Province in the south. Its vast span of 3,903 square kilometre supports a population of 700,000, more than 60% of which belong to ethnic minority. It is the only autonomous county in Chongqing that features the Hmong ethic minority. Pengshui also has rich forest and water resources. With a long history, a diversity of ethnic groups, a multitude of eco-tourism programmes, as well as breath-taking scenery, Pengshui has long been recognised as the Pearl of Wu River.
In recent years, the Pengshui government has taken a scientific approach to the economic development of Pengshui, spearheaded by its tourism industry. The government has leveraged on Pengshui's competitive advantage of having rich tourism resources to consolidate existing tourist attractions, build new ones, as well as engage in vigorous advertising campaign to promote these attractions. Pengshui has been credited as one of the Best Cultural Tourist Destinations in China, one of the Featured Tourist Destinations in China, Most Charming Tourist Destination in Chongqing, and Top Ten Must-visit places in Chongqing. Pengshui has now become an important part of Chongqing's tourism industry.
In response to market demand, the Pengshui government aims to focus on three key characteristics of Pengshui: natural habitat, Hmong culture, and history. There are four important tourist destinations in Pengshui, each with its own unique set of attractions. Wu River is known for its water, Mowei Mountain for its peak, Ayi area for its Hmong culture, and Miaoyu Mountain for its history. The government is working towards enhancing auxiliary facilities, which will improve the capacity to host more tourists. In 2012, tourist arrivals numbered 3.4 million, with an aggregate tourism income totalling one billion yuan. The tourist attractions saw 600,000 tourist arrivals in the year. Key performance indicators of the tourism industry have been improving steadily. Pengshui has already established itself as a desirable tourist destination. The Ayi River has been credited as an AAA-rating national tourist destination, in addition to winning the claims as one of the Top Twelve Scenic Spots in Chongqing, and one of the Top Ten National Cultural Tourism Brands. By 2015, the number of tourist arrivals is projected to be five million, with an aggregate tourism income exceeding ten billion yuan—Pengshui is well on its way to becoming one of the best eco-tourism destinations in the country.
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In addition to being number one in the list of Top Twelve Scenic Spots in Chongqing and one of the Top Ten National Cultural Tourism Brands, Ayi River also enjoys the fame as is one of China's Top Ten Picturesque Road Trip Routes. It has been commended by tourists as one of the Top Ten Favourite Tourist Destinations in Chongqing, as well as Top Ten Tourist Routes. It has taken the centre stage as Chongqing's up and coming eco-tourism destination. It is a place that anyone can easily fall in love with. As tourists engage in the activities, they enjoy the natural landscape as well as the serenity of the surrounding, with water gently splashing against the boat, with sceneries constantly changing, and with the sweet scent of wild flowers.
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Yushan Old Town is 38 km away from Pengshui County. As the birthplace of Yandan culture and of Chongqing people, Yushan is doubtless the historical and cultural town in southeast Chongqing. Governments of town, of county, and of city used to set up office at Yushan, turning it into a place with historical significance. This is the place where the first woman entrepreneur in China, Ba Guaqing, was born and raised. It hosted the princelings of Tang dynasty, Huang Tingjian the poet, and He Long the general. A random walk along the streets will reveal historical relics everywhere. Tourists will be fully immersed in the Yandan culture.
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Mowei Mountain is located at the centre of Maoyun Mountain National Forest Park. It is 34 km away from Pengshui county. With a vast area of 100,000 acres, more than 91% of it is covered by forest. Not only is Mowei a natural oxygen bar, it is also a paradise for flora and fauna. With seasons changes come different sceneries, each of them beautiful in their own way. Tourists can enjoy the sight of forest of trees and of stones at Mowei. Tourists can catch an occasional glimpse of wooden cottages scattered around the forest as they walk, with footpaths stretching in all directions. This is the best place to relax and rejuvenate.
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Every mile along the Wu River resembles an exquisite oil painting, especially with its gorges and the hydropower station. Wu River is a combination of the magnificence of Jian Men, the splendour of the gorges, and the beauty of Emei Mountain. The length of Wu River in Pengshui connects to Yu river, Zhufo River, Chang River and other rivers. Along its riverbanks stand mountain ridges such as Xiniu, Mafeng, and Panggong. With the construction of the Wu River Hydropower Station, a lake is created upon a plateau, surrounded by lush greenery and bamboos. You can explore the valleys and cruise along the river. As you cruise down the stream, you become part of the oil painting called Wu River.
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