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Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture

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Title: Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Tujia people, Miao people, Enshi City, Hefeng County, Jianshi County
Collection: Autonomous Prefectures of the People's Republic of China, Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Prefecture-Level Divisions of Hubei
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture

Enshi Prefecture
Autonomous prefecture
Access to Enshi can be gained by train, bus and the local airport.  Enshi is not commonly reached by boat.
Access to Enshi can be gained by train, bus and the local airport. Enshi is not commonly reached by boat.
Location of Enshi Prefecture in Hubei
Location of Enshi Prefecture in Hubei
Country People's Republic of China
Province Hubei
Prefecture seat Enshi City
 • Total 24,000 km2 (9,000 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 • Total 3,800,000
 • Density 160/km2 (410/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 445000
Area code(s) 0718
Website .cn.govenshi
Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture
Chinese 恩施土家族苗族自治州
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese 恩施
Postal Enshih
Second alternative Chinese name
Chinese 施南 (former)
Postal Shihnan

Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture (Chinese: 恩施土家族苗族自治州; pinyin: Ēnshī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu) is located in the mountainous southwestern corner of Hubei province, People's Republic of China. It forms Hubei's southwestern "panhandle", bordering on Hunan in the south and Chongqing Municipality in the west and northwest. The Yangtze River crosses the prefecture's northeastern corner in Badong County.


  • Administration 1
  • Geography 2
  • Climate 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Transportation 5
  • Economy 6
  • History 7
    • Imperial 7.1
    • Republican 7.2
  • References 8
  • External links 9


There are two county-level cities:

There are six counties:



Enshi Prefecture is located in the mountainous belt separating Hubei's Jianghan Plain from the Sichuan Basin.

There are karst phenomena in the region. The most famous of them is perhaps the Tenglong Cave near Lichuan. A 290-meter deep karst sinkhole, located near the village of Luoquanyan (锣圈岩村) in Xuan'en County, is described as possessing its own unique ecosystem.[1][2]

The so-called Enshi Grand Canyon (恩施大峡谷) is also a well-known scenic area.


Enshi City has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with short, cool winters, hot, humid summers, and high humidity year-round. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 5.0 °C (41.0 °F) in January to 26.7 °C (80.1 °F) in August, while the annual mean is 16.18 °C (61.1 °F). More than two-thirds of the annual precipitation of 1,470 millimetres (58 in) occurs from May to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 12% in January to 50% in August, the prefecture seat receives only 1,212 hours of bright sunshine annually; winter is especially overcast while July thru September is the sunniest period of the year.

Climate data for Enshi City (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 29.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 11.5 11.4 15.1 15.9 16.3 16.6 16.3 12.8 12.6 14.4 11.9 11.2 166.0
Average relative humidity (%) 84 80 80 79 79 81 81 76 80 84 85 85 81.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 37.9 44.6 63.1 105.7 124.8 124.4 166.5 204.1 125.7 96.5 69.4 49.2 1,211.9
Percent possible sunshine 12 14 17 27 30 30 39 50 34 27 22 16 27.3
Source: China Meteorological Administration


The total area is 24,000 square kilometres (9,300 sq mi), and the population is 3,800,000. 52.6% of the population belong to the Tujia and Miao nationalities. Enshi is the only autonomous prefecture in Hubei province.

Enshi is also the only part of Hubei which has been included in the Chinese government's Western exploration programme and over the next 5–10 years they will put 50 billion RMB into its development.


The Sidu River Bridge in southern Badong County, the world's highest bridge

The prefecture has only a small amount of Yangtze River frontage, but Badong, in the prefecture's northeast, has a Yangtze River port.

The Qing River in the central part of the prefecture, with its cascade of reservoirs, is an important waterway as well.

Due to the mountainous terrain, until recently the prefecture had no railways, and even the highways were of doubtful quality.[3]

The Yichang−Wanzhou Railway, completed in December 2010, crosses the prefecture from east to west, providing a more direct connection between Hubei and Sichuan than was previously available.[4] In addition, the Chongqing−Lichuan Railway from the Lichuan Railway Station on the Yiwan line connects the cities. A single line now connects Enshi with Beijing and Wuhan as well as many additional cities. The train between Beijing and Enshi takes approximately 24 hours and includes many stops along the way.

The G42 Shanghai–Chengdu Expressway, routed along the same Yichang-Wanzhou corridor, is under construction. The Sidu River Bridge on that road has become the world's highest bridge.

The Yangtze passes through Enshi Prefecture's Badong County.
A China Eastern Airlines aircraft in a special livery for promotion of tourism in the prefecture,


The soil in Enshi is rich in selenium. Enshi is known as the "seleninum capital of China" and is the world's sole independent seleninum deposit. Seleninum Square in the city is named after this rare element.

The countryside has a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many Chinese herbs. Much of the mountain landscape is covered in virgin forest and is home to pangolins.

Enshi locals are especially proud of their potato crops and consider the potato and tea crops to be the region's agricultural specialties.

Enshi Prefecture possesses significant hydroelectric resources. Among major hydroelectric dams already completed, or under construction, within the prefecture are:



"Endless green mountains to walk on, endless clear water going away" (by a poet of the Tang dynasty)


Republic of China's Hubei provincial government was relocated to Enshi during the 1937-45 resistance war (against Japanese invasion and occupation).

The Roman Catholic Church had the Diocese of Shinan on the territory of today's Enshi Prefecture.


  1. ^ "湖北290米深天坑藏动植物王国. 燕子筑巢昆虫飞翔 (A plant and animal kingdom preserved inside a 290-meter deep Hubei sinkhole)", 淮海晚报 (in 中文), 2015-05-22 
  2. ^ "Photos: See the Chinese Sinkhole That Developed Its Own Ecosystem", The Wall Street Journal Blog, 2015-05-22 
  3. ^ See, e.g., the characterization of the China National Highway 318 and China National Highway 209 as "unstable and unsafe" in Yichang-Wanzhou Railway (SEIA) (Asian Development Bank, June 2003), p. 6
  4. ^ Yichang-Wanzhou Railway Project

External links

  • Official website of Enshi government
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