Tangerine Isle

Park in Changsha

The most famous of the city’s parks is a 5km-long sliver of an island smack bang in the middle of the Xiang River. A reflective 32-year-old Mao immortalised it in 'Changsha', probably his best-regarded poem, after standing at its southern tip and looking west towards Yuelu Mountain one autumn day. A towering granite bust of a youthful Chairman with flowing locks now stands at the spot – but faces in a new direction.

You can walk a circuit of the island on the pleasant riverside promenade, or catch a hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus (¥20) for the 9km round trip by the metro entrance.