Yiyang, as a famous "home of rice and fish" in the Dongting Lake area, is a major producer of food grains, cotton, oil-bearing crops, pigs and industrial crops. Its ramie accounts for one fourth of the world's production. It is also one of the ten major bamboo-growing areas in China. Its industrial products include ramie clothes, foodstuffs, cooking oil, bamboo sleeping mats, which have a good domestic and international market.
The Bamboo Sea scenic area is located in the Taohuajiang National Forest Park, covering a total area of 761 hectares. It is the largest ecological scenic area with bamboos in south China, and has been considered as a must-see spot. The whole scenic area provides an opportunity for people to be close to the nature, and to forget noisy urban life.
The whole bamboo sea area consists of numerous hills, generally with a height from 100 to 250 meters. The highest peak and the lowest altitude are respectively 335 meters and 37 meters.
Green bamboos are seen along the road. Climbing to the red building at the top of the bamboo sea, you can overlook the whole area, appreciating the flowing wave of bamboos, and singing birds.
The bamboo sea attracts numerous tourists from home and abroad every year. The former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao wrote his inscription "Town of Phyllostachys Pubescens" here.
According to the development plan, Taohuajiang Bamboo Sea will build a demonstration base for ecological culture and tourism.
It's worth mentioning that bamboo has formed a typical culture in China since ancient times. The oldest archaeological findings of bamboo articles in China can be traced back to 7,000 years. Early in the Shang Dynasty in 11th century BC, Chinese people used bamboo for household articles and weapons, such as bows and arrows. Before paper was invented, bamboo slips were mainly used for writing.
Today, bamboo is widely used for household articles like sleeping mats, beds, pillows, chopsticks, spoons, baskets, handheld fans even kinds of furniture. It is also used to make traditional Chinese musical instruments, such as flute Di, and Xiao. Besides, bamboo is also adopted in Chinese traditional medicine.
Bamboo is viewed as a symbol of traditional Chinese values. Ancient Chinese people designated bamboo as one of the "Four Gentlemen" of plants, together with plum, orchid, and chrysanthemum. Bamboo's considerable resistance to stretching and its ability to support weight makes it a symbol of integrity, elegance and simplicity.