Area: 24,398 square kilometers (9,420 square miles)
Nationalities: Tujia, Miao, Han
Administrative Division: 6 counties (Jianshi, Badong, Xuan'en, Xianfeng, Laifeng, Hefeng); 2 county-level cities (Enshi, Lichuan)
Location: Situated in the southwest region of Hubei Province, Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture is bordered by Chongqing in the north and west, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Hunan Province in the south and in neighborhood of Shennongjia Forest Zone in the northeast and Yichang City in the east.
History: The history of Enshi can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC) as the domain of Bazi Kingdom. Through thousand years of changes, the territory of present Enshi was basically fixed up in 1925. It was called Exi (Western Hubei) Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture and changed to be Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture ten years later.
Physical Features: Enshi stands in the extension of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Southwest-to-northeast mountain ranges of Wushan, Qiyue, Wuling and Dalou zigzag through the prefecture. The north, southeast and northwest areas are higher in altitude and the terrain slopes downward to the south and central regions of Enshi.
Climatic Features:The prefecture bears a subtropical mountain climate distinctly influenced by monsoon. Weather there is humid and moderate all year round. Enshi is seldom bothered by extreme heat in midsummer and chilliness in midwinter. It is usually foggy and rainy. With complex landform and an average altitude around 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), temperature varies greatly as the height and terrain change. The annual average temperature of regions between 300-1800 meters (984-5,906 feet) above the sea level maintains around 17.4 C-7.8 C (63.3 F-46 F).
Qingjiang Chuangtan: Chuangtan refers to the section between the downtown Enshi to Fenshuihe Bridge of the Qingjiang River. Drifting along the river, there are forty-eight rapids in total, meanwhile, visitors can admire the beautiful scenery on the river banks and experience the folk customs of Tujia ethnic minority. After six hours drifting, they will be taken back to Enshi City by bus. Every April to October is the best time to visit Chuangtan.
Yumu Village:Situated to the west of Lichuan City, the village is still inhabited by five hundred Tujia people. The gate building of the stockaded villages is constructed on a cliff. There are ten tombs of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and several other ancient buildings.
Building Group in Dashuijing Village: Dashuijing is located 47 kilometers (29 miles) northwest of downtown Lichuan. Covering a total floor area of 12,000 square meters (about 3 acres), and the building group consists of the Ancestral Temple and the Manor of the Li Family. In the manor, there are Diaojiaolou that well reflect the characteristics of Tujia architecture.
Tenglong Cave is a cave group 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from downtown Lichuan. It consisted of a dry cave and a water cave. The Qingjiang River becomes an undercurrent while running though the cave. The dry and water caves are only separated by a wall. According to the on-site investigation by experts from home and abroad, Tenglong Cave is praised to be the largest karst cave in China.
When to Go: It is best to avoid traveling to Hubei Province in July and August for the sultry weather, and for Enshi, April and May are the best periods to visit.
How to get there: Enshi Xujiaping Airport is not far (4.5 kilometers/2.8 miles) from the city proper of Enshi City, mainly operating flights to Wuhan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Yichang. Bus is the most important vehicle for the prefecture's transportation. There are three main bus stations operating in Enshi City: Wuyang Bus Station in Wuyangba, and the other two in Qingjiang Hotel and Foreign Trade Bureau in Dongfeng Lu.