Filled with colourful temples, historic monuments and ancient traditions, Changsha is also one of the most modernised cities in China. Located on the lower reaches of the Xiang River, its 3,000 years of history are showcased in prestigious academies, natural relics and mountainous landscapes.
Things to do in Changsha
Situated at the foot of Mount Yuelu, the Yuelu Academy is a 1,000-year-old landmark considered one of the top academies in ancient China. Enter its elaborate gates, roam around the picturesque courtyard and see an ancient Lecture Hall where Confucian scholars once taught.
History enthusiasts can see the intricate traditional Chinese murals and motifs that adorn the walls of the Lushan Temple. Built by a monk 1,700 years ago, it’s regarded as the first temple in Hunan. Afterwards, ride the chairlifts to the summit of Mount Yuelu to enjoy panoramic views of Changsha from above.
Explore the ancient burial grounds in the Han Tombs at Mawangdui, which house the remains of a noble family from the Han dynasty. Here you’ll discover a 2,000-year-old mummified body that’s one of the best preserved in the world. Learn more about the local history at the Hunan Provincial Museum, which houses objects found in the tombs.
Looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle? Walk along the riverside on nearby Juzi Island, the biggest inland island in China. Admire its collection of orange trees, picnic under the foliage and capture views of Changsha’s glittering skyline.
Getting around Changsha
The easiest way to get around Changsha is by taxi or metro, while a well-connected train and bus system accesses Shanghai and Shenzhen. Huanghua International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.