As more and more foreigners are getting interested in China, some of them may be puzzled by this question: Which cities should they visit when they are traveling in China? Here we would like to introduce a must-see city – Changsha. The special culture and customs, delicious food and hospitable people has attracted more and more tourist these years. Also the affectionate Changsha girls who are the dreamed lovers of many gentlemen become special bright scenery of this city. To know more about Changsha, please follow our instructions here.
1. Historical and Culture Sites in Changsha
Although not a capital city as ancient as Beijing, Nanjing or Xian, Changsha also has rich historical heritages including old wall remains, tomb sites, religious temples and buildings. The most fantastic historical relic should be the well-preserved mummified remains of a Western Han Dynasty woman excavated from Mawangdui Han Tombs. The remains have lasted over more than 2000 years and the skins are still stretchy. Together with thousands of other relics unearthed are exhibited in Hunan Provincial Museum.
The famous Yuelu Academy, located at the foot of the Yuelu Mountain, originally built in 976. The academy school survived through the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties and is considered to be the cradle of Huxiang Culture. (Simply means the culture school in Hunan Province). Today Yuelu Academy is a place in the city that all the tourists would like to visit while appreciate the charming natural vista of the surrounding mountains.
In addition, the city was home to some revolutionary leaders, like the great man in China’s recent history, Chairman Mao Zedong. About 130 kilometers south-west of Changsha there is village named Shaoshan, which is the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong. Today, the village has become a memorial place for Chinese people to remember this extraordinary man. People erected a statue of the Chairman and have preserved the houses he lived as a tourist site. Many Chinese come to pay respect and visit here during the memorial days.
2. Delicious Food in Changsha
Xiang Cuisine is one of the Eight Cuisines in China and has a fine and delicate appearance and a hot & sour taste and the heavy and hot taste is an equal competitor to the spicy food of Sichuan. Street dining and restaurants in the city make every visitor’s mouth hot. No matter the featured snacks – ‘Stinky Tofu’ and ‘Sisters’Rice Balls’ in Huogongdian (Fire Palace) or the famous spicy shrimps at Nanmenkou, the many types of delicious local food will not disappoint any guests. Among them, Fried Stinky Tofu (Smelly Tofu) is the one I like most. Don’t be scared away by the word ‘stinky’ in its name, although it does not smell very good and has an awkward appearance, it tastes quite pleasant. The outside is crisp with a little salty savor and the interior is tender. Although Stinky Tofu can be seen in other cities nowadays, but only the Stinky Tofu in Changsha is authentic and tastes different.
3. Entertainment in Changsha
Changsha is awarded to be China’s Top ten happiest cities for several years. It means Changsha people understand how to live happier. The entertainment industry in Changsha is very flourishing which can be seen from the vivid night life of Changsha people. To enjoy the nightlife of Changsha, you may have four steps: the first is footbath; the second is passing time in pubs; the third is singing in the KTV; and the last one is trying midnight snack.
In the downtown of Changsha, there are many footbath centers. After supper at around 19:00, you may go to a footbath center to have a foot massage. Put your feet in the wooden basin with warm milk or in the warm water with Chinese herbal medicines or flowers. The massage man cleans your feet and gives a massage to your legs, feet, arms and head.
It will take you about one hour to finish the footbath. After that, you can go to pubs or bars. Dotted with all sorts of bars and pubs, Jiefang Xilu, although not as prosperous as Sanlitun Pub Street in Beijing, has its own styles. Romantic and quiet bars, dynamic show bars, teahouses, western style restaurants…People of all ages can find their ideal place to spend their leisure time.
Then, if you’d love to, you may sing several songs in KTV. Now, most Chinese KTVs provide not only Chinese songs but also English, Japanese, Korean and French songs. When you leave the KTV for your accommodation, you can have some midnight snack if you feel a little hungry. Think about this four-step nightlife and how do you like it?
4. Shopping in Changsha
When we visit a city, we’d like to buy something which only belongs to this city. It might help us recall this nice trip in future. Xiang Embroidery in Changsha is well renowned in China. Hand embroidery craft items such as clothes, bags, wall hangings, handkerchiefs and other decorative items are popular souvenir for travelers. They are very light to take and always regarded as the top grade gift to our friends or relatives.
Traveling in Changsha-Part II is coming soon.