Geography and Climate
Changsha is the capital of Hunan province and is a regional political, economic and cultural center in southern China. Located in the river valley along the lower reaches of Xia River, the city borders Xiangtan to its east, Yueyang and Yiyang to its north. The city is rich in culture and history, and is known as a cradle of the renowned Chu and HuXiang civilization. Because of its location in the northern sub-tropical area, the city has a moderate and humid climate with distinct seasons and abundance of rainfall. The annual average temperature is 18 centi-degrees with the mean precipitation of 1200 millimeters.
History and Culture
The recorded history of Changsha can be traced back 3,000 years. Relics unearthed from ancient tombs proved the early human activities in the region. During the Spring and Autumn period, the area is under the administration of the state of Chu, one of the seven states in the warring period. After Qin Shi Hunag (the first emperor in China’s history) unified the country, the town was set as a county and later become the capital in early Han dynasty. As a birthplace of Chu and Xiang culture, Changsha was also the hometown of numerous ancient celebrities, including Qu Yuan and Jia Yi; both are renowned scholar and poet in ancient China. Thus Changsha had also earned the name of ‘the county of Qu and Jia’. The tomb of Mawangdui located in the eastern suburb of Changsha remains high reputation for its profound value of archeology research. The tomb site is proved to be a family graveyard from Han dynasty. There unearthed the well-preserved mummified women in splendid dresses from western Han dynasty has been remaining as one of the most fantastic historical relics in China’s history. Some of other relics unearthed in those tombs include silk product, paintings, potteries, weapons and herbs, all of which are exhibited in the provincial museum.
In modern China’s history, Changsha is a birthplace of numerous revolutionists. The renowned leader Chairman Mao Zedong was born in the city and had carried on the revolution while basing in this region. The village of Shaoshan, about 130 kilometers south-west of Changsha is the hometown of Chairman Mao. Today’s Shaoshan become a tourist attraction as well as a memorial place for people to remember this great leader. The local people had built a statue of Chairman Mao and stand it in front of the old well-preserved house where he lived in. Another museum was established in the scenic area and together with some other memorial spots which had created a kind of solemn atmosphere.
Beside the village of Shaoshan where Chairman Mao used to live in, the other site which earned the city its reputation among tourists is the renowned Yuelu Academy, a time-honored ancient academy school located on the scenic Yuelu Mountain. Firstly built in Song dynasty, the academy school kept running till Qing dynasty and is recognized as a cradle of Huxiang culture. Vast numbers of tourists visit this old school site to experience the development history of the renowned Xiang culture.
Xiang cuisine is one of the eight famed branches of Chinese Cuisine and has a fancy and delicate appearance and a hot taste which is almost equivalent to the spicy food of Sichuan. Having the reputation of the ‘Best Gourmand of China’, people in Changsha spend a lot of time eating. There are numerous restaurants and snack stalls in streets like the Nanmenkou and Huogongdian; the most welcomed snacks among tourists are ‘Stinky Tofu’ and ‘Spicy Crayfish ’. The delicious local food will not disappoint any visitors to Shangsha. In addition, many entertainment houses in the nowadays Changsha present various entertaining performances which include local operas, storytelling and other dramatic acrobatics. While enjoying the dynamic performance, there is a great chance for you to feel local people’s hospitalities and enthusiasm.
There are numerous reputed universities in Changsha raging from comprehensive universities to various professional technology colleges. Hunan University is the most renowned one in the region.