- Chairman Mao's Hometown
- Changsha is
the capital of Hunan province. Changsha partly gained its fame by
being close to the birthplace of Chairman Mao, who was born
in Shao Shan and spent five years studying in the First Hunan
Normal School in Changsha.
Changsha's important 2,100-year old Han excavation has gained attention.
In addition, Changsha also serves as the gateway to Zhangjiajie,
a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Changsha City
- ** The following
ratings are based on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best.
- 1.5 million
- Tourist Season
- May to October ;
Coldest Months - January, with temperature as low as -8C;
Hottest Months - July, with temperature as high as 30C;
Annual Precipitation - 1,250 to 1,750 millimeters (April to
In and Out
- By Air - Changsha
is 95 minutes by air from Shanghai, one hour from Guilin and
100 minutes from Beijing. Changsha has direct flights with Hongkong
and 38 other cities;
By Train - Changsha is on the main Beinjing-Guangzhou railway.
It is nine hours from Guangzhou and 18 hours from Beijing.
Changsha's history traces
back to the State of Chu, before China was unified by Qin Shi Huangdi
in 221 BC.
Changsha remained a major city throughout the centuries, and finally
was opened up as a treaty port around 1900. During the WWII, Changsha
was leveled by Japanese bombing.
- Hunan Provincial
Museum & Mawangdui * * * *
- This museum
is famous for the excavation from Mawangdui, three 2,100-year-old
Han tombs. The tombs belonged to Li Chang, the Marquis of Dai
and prime minister of Changsha state, who died in around 186
BC, and to his wife, and their son. Each body was contained
in a set of coffins, one inside another. The incredibly well-preserved
corpse on display belonged to the wife. Her tomb was sealed
with a thick layer of white clay, which provided a constant
temperature and humidity. Archaeologists found melon seeds in
her stomach and, an autopsy revealed that she had arteriosclerosis,
gallstones, tuberculosis, and parasites. Tough Life!
The tomb also yielded a vast amount of material which gives
an insight into the culture and development in the Han Dynasty.
Look for the ear cups for wine and soup, and a make-up box with
comb, mirror, powder, and lipstick. The most interesting findings
are the cooking recipes written on bamboo stripes and some musical
* * *
- Chairman Mao
was born in a simple mud-brick farmhouse in Shaoshan on December
26, 1893. Check out the museum under his name and the Water-Dropping
Cave, where he hid for 11 days while planning the devastating
* * * * *
is a 369-sq km national forest, 400 km from Changsha. This well-maintained
park is full of beautiful hills, stone pillars, and wild plants
and animals. There are also thirteen different ethnic groups
living here, including Miao, Zhuang, and Tujia.
For those that are more adventure minded, there are karst cave
exploration and white-water rafting available.