Top Choice Area in Zhāngjiājiè

Bīngláng Valley

A free alternative to Zhāngjiājiè national park, this staggeringly beautiful mountain valley and its caves, natural arches and vertiginous cliffs, 90 minutes by bus from town, makes for a sublime day trip or overnig…
Museum in Chángshā

Chángshā Municipal Museum

A colossal aluminium/magnesium alloy statue of Mao Zedong, cast in Hēilóngjiāng, affably greets you at the entrance. This is the first clue that, despite the paintings, ceramics and jade on display, this museum is r…
Historic Site in Chángshā

Húnán County No 1 Teachers’ Training School

Between 1913 and 1918, Mao studied here and returned to teach classics from 1920 to 1922. It’s still a working college, and sometimes students keen to practise English will show you around Mao’s dormitory and classr…
Historic Site in Chángshā

Old City Walls & Tiānxīn Pavilion

The old city walls, which once stretched for 9km around ancient Chángshā, were built of rammed earth in 202 BC, reinforced with stone in AD 1372 (during the Ming dynasty), damaged by the Taiping in 1852 and finally …
Historic Site in Sháoshān

Former Residence of Mao Zedong

Surrounded by lotus ponds and rice paddies, this modest mud-brick house is like millions of other country homes except that Mao was born here in 1893. By most accounts, his childhood was relatively normal, though he…
Historic Site in Sháoshān

Nán’àn School

Mao began his education in this simple country school, next door to his childhood home.
Museum in Sháoshān

Mao Zedong Memorial Museum

Exiting Mao's home, turn left and walk straight on to Mao Zedong Sq where, on your left, you'll see the entrance to this museum, which celebrates Mao's life through paintings and old photos, assisted with decent Eng…
Park in Sháoshān

Dripping Water Cave

Mao secluded himself here for 11 days in June 1966, 3km outside of Sháoshān village, to contemplate the start of the Cultural Revolution. His retreat was actually a low-slung, cement and steel bunker (not the cave, …
Mountain in Sháoshān

Sháo Peak

This cone-shaped mountain is visible from the village. On the lower slopes is the forest of stelae, stone tablets engraved with Mao’s poems. You can hike to the summit, where there's a lookout pavilion; this takes a…
Taoist in Héng Shān

Nányuè Temple

This huge Taoist and Buddhist temple originally dates to the Tang dynasty and was moved from Héng Shān summit to its foot in the Sui dynasty and then rebuilt many times, most recently in the Qing dynasty. Each carve…