As the birthplace of Mao Zedong and a pilgrimage site for Chinese revolution, Xiangtan is a must-go where you can find everything related to Chairman Mao from his former residence to “dishes of the Mao family” to his brilliant life.
Xiangtan is a city in central Hunan and located at the lower reaches of Xiangjiang River, a branch of the Yangtze River. Relics from Daxi culture indicates that local tribes lived in Xiangtan area 5,000 years ago. It became a city 2,500 years ago during the late Shang Dynasty.
Shaoshan Village, about 130 kilometers south-westward to Changsha, is the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong. Today, the village has become a memorial place for Chinese people to remember this great man. People erected a statue of Chairman Mao and have preserved his former residence as a tourist site. A museum and other memorial spots in the scenic area create a solemn atmosphere. More than three million people from home and abroad come to visit Mao Zedong’s hometown every year.
In addition, the city was also cradle of other revolutionary leaders including Liu Shaoqi, Hu Yaobang and former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji. Therefore, it acts as a good place to learn more about China’s modern history.
“Binglang,” the dried areca nut, sometimes referred to as betel nut is so popular among local people that men, women and even children love it.
Xiangtan has a humid subtropical climate with distinctive four seasons featured long and hot summer, cold, cloudy and damp winter with occasional flurries. The annual average temperature is 16.7°C to 17.4°C, and 4.1°C in January and 29.7°C in July.