Kempinski Blog Article
With an ancient history spanning 3,500 years, Changsha is one of the best cities in China to experience the culture of this far eastern nation. Located on the banks of the Xiang River, visitors will see the traditional architecture sitting alongside new modern skyscrapers.
Home to incredible cuisine, cultural experiences and Mount Yuelu, overlooking the city with its vast green forests, there is much to enjoy during your stay.
A traditional city dating back to the Zhou dynasty (1046 to 256 BC), Changsha was rebuilt in 1949 following World War Two and has since seen an influx of different cultures – the city is now home to over 50 different ethnic groups. Despite this, Changsha is still underdeveloped compared to similar cities in China, and offers large green areas and a preserved heritage.
While the city's expansion has meant the installation of expressways and improved railway infrastructure, it is compact enough to leave the car and explore the fascinating metropolitan area and all it has to offer on foot.
Changsha has many exclusive experiences not available anywhere else in China, particularly the Mawangdui Han Tombs, an archaeological site first discovered in 1972. It was in these series of chambers that the body of a Marquis buried for more than 2,000 years was discovered alongside thousands of silk-based products, weapons and beautiful musical instruments.
Reaching central Changsha is very easy. After landing at Changsha Huanghua International Airport, it only takes a half-an-hour car journey to reach the city centre via the purpose-built S40 Changsha Airport Expressway.
Numerous airlines fly to the airport including Air China, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and XiamenAir, all operating connections to Beijing. There are also many regular services to Shanghai, with Korean Air flying direct to Seoul's Incheon International Airport.
Changsha is currently one of 18 Chinese cities offering 72-hour visa-free transit, meaning that for short city breaks, you can explore the entire province without needing a visa. Changsha city centre can also be reached by maglev train from the airport in 20 minutes, the service running between 9:00 and 18:00 each day. You can also catch shuttle buses to downtown, these journeys usually last 50 minutes.
When staying in Changsha, consider the five-star luxury Kempinski Hotel Changsha. This is the first European luxury hotel in all of Hunan Province, there are 408 well-appointed rooms and suites, an International Conference Centre, three restaurants and three bars to enjoy, all underpinned by a first class concierge team.
If you enjoy trying exotic dishes when travelling abroad, you will fall in love with what Changsha has to offer. Home to Hunan cuisine, one of the eight cuisines of China, these dishes are distinguished by their artistic appearance and spicy flavour.
The city's best dishes include crisp sesame duck, spicy chicken cubes and egg white with mushrooms.
Due to its metropolitan status, Changsha is filled with a variety of restaurants. If you are looking for something authentic and local consider visiting the Huogongdian Restaurant. This is one of the most popular spots in the city, and is renowned for its speciality dishes especially the classic and flavoursome fermented tofu.
You can also choose to dine at Kempinski Hotel Changsha's choice of three restaurants, which includes Elements, offering all-day dining incorporating an international seafood buffet with local cuisine.
A truly remarkable city to discover at a comfortable pace, there are a range of popular attractions and landmarks to visit while staying in Changsha.
One of four ancient academies in China, Yuelu Academy is an educational institution dating back as far as the Northern Song dynasty (960 to 1127 AD) – the reason it is also known as the 'thousand year academy'! The campus is extremely peaceful with an abundance of trees, bamboo groves and inscribed tablets helping set a tranquil scene where you will feel completely relaxed.
This popular 300m peak is accessible by cable car or by foot - either way, you will be able to appreciate the large areas of green forest, with 977 different plant species being found here. There are also many interesting landmarks located here including the Yuelu Academy, the Aiwan Pavilion, the Lushan Temple and the King Yu Tablet, an inscribed rock paying tribute to King Yu and his skill of controlling water and thus, preventing flooding.
An eye-catching strip of land sat right in the middle of the Xiang River, Orange Island is a 16km-long sandbar, renowned for being home to the world's largest statue of Mao Zedong. Standing at 32m tall, both 'the Head of Orange Island' and Mao's 'Qinyuanchun Changsha' poems are inscribed on the back of the monument. The isle earns its name from the fact that there is a rich supply of oranges found here.
An unrivalled attraction for those wanting to find out more about the fascinating West Han Dynasty, a visit to the Mawangdui archaeological site is a must. Home to three ancient tombs that were discovered in the early 1970s, Mawangdui is an eye-opening experience with over 3,000 relics having been discovered here. Enjoy at the vast collection of silk products, pottery, weaponry and more, all visitors will find something to capture their interest when visiting here.
If you require any more information about Kempinski Hotel Changsha or the city and what else it has to offer, click here to contact the hotel team.