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Hunan is a province in south central China with about 64 million inhabitants.
Hunan covers around 212,000 square kilometres and borders Hubei in the north, Jiangxi to the east, Guangdong to the south, Guangxi to the southwest, Guizhou to the west, and Chongqing to the northwest.
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China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.
Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.
Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.
The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.
Hunan mainly has a subtropical climate, with but relatively dry winters from December to February and hot and humid summers from June to September. January temperatures average 3 °C to 8 °C at lower elevations, while July temperatures average around 27 °C to 30 °C. Average annual precipitation is 1,200 to 1,700 mm. Note that mountainous regions can become much colder in winter, but are a great escape from the heat and humidity in summer. Snow is common at higher elevations in winter as well.
Changsha Huanghua International Airport (HHA) is an airport near Changsha, the capital of Hunan and is the main gateway to the province. It mainly has domestic flights, but some international destinations as well (mainly Taiwan, Japan and South Korea) and is one of the fastest growing airports in the world.
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