After our visit to Yueyang Tower, our good friend Luo Qiu Ping, drives us across Dongting lake to see Junshan Island. To get there, we drive over the Dongting Lake Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that spans over 570 meters. The bridge was completed in 2002 at a cost of 920 million dollars.
We finally make it to Junshan Island, which is one of most famous scenic spots on Dongting Lake. The name Junshan means Princesses’ Island, and the name derives from the legend of the Xiang River goddesses. It is only 1 kilometer in width. It was formerly a Daoist retreat. Junshan is a wonderful place to see some unique flora and fauna. Here you can find varieties of bamboos, rare trees of red and green leaves and the valuable Junshan Silver Tea trees.
Facing the lake, Dongting Temple was built in honor of the God of Dongting Lake. It is said that he was the fishermen’s patron saint. The unique dragon arch on four stone columns in the front, creates a stunning entrance to the temple.
To conserve energy on this hot summer day, we take a cart ride to the southern edge of the island. We stop at the base of a rather curious pavilion with flowers painted on the walls. From the top of the pavilion, we can see a commanding view of the island and the lake. The large mural we are posing in front of is about loving your partner and having a happy life together. Many couples come here to take their pictures in front of this mural in hopes it will bring them happiness.
The southern point of the island affords great views of Dongting Lake and some distant fishing ships that glide along the misty lake.
The island also has its share of carnival attractions and lots of activities for the kids.
Since ancient times, the Junshan Island has been home to many legends and was a popular place for poets and their imaginations. There are many places of interest to explore on the island, including 5 wells, 4 platforms, 34 pavilions, and 48 temples.