Changsha in China
The diverse and fascinating city of Changsha, which is the capital of the province of Hunan in South Central China, covers an area of approximately 11,819 square kilometers with a population exceeding six million. Changsha has administrative jurisdiction over five districts (Furong, Yuelu, Tianxin, Yuhua, Kaifu), as well as three counties (Wangcheng, Changsha, Ningxiang) and the city of Liuyang. BChangsha has an extensive history, with the earliest settlement being established in the first millennium BC. By 202 BC it was a fortified city. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220AD), a period of great prosperity when agriculture, commerce and handicrafts flourished, Changsha was the capital of the Changsha Kingdom. Changsha continues to be the centre of activity for the Hunan province.
In more recent years, Changsha has developed a new type of trade, by becoming a key center of creativity for entertainment arts with many TV stations. The most popular program ever to air on Chinese TV, “Super Girl”, was produced in Changsha. “Super Girl” is a Chinese female version of “American Idol” or “Pop Idol” in the UK. This new trade has resulted in the opening of singing bars, theatre shows, dance clubs and also associated businesses, such as fashion stores and hair salons. All this activity is like a magnet, attracting visitors from all over China and the rest of the world, providing impetus to the economy.
Changsha’s GDP has shown a steady rate of growth over the years and it is considered to be one of China’s top 20 economically advanced cities. Foreign investment from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Europe and America has significantly and consistently contributed to the growth and stability of Changsha.
With Changsha being a regional nucleus for the tourist, industrial and service sectors, the transport system is excellent, making arrival in the city easy no matter where you are coming from. Within Changsha the public transportation system includes an extensive bus network, taxis and most roads have wide bike lanes for cyclists. Ships transport people and goods along the waterways of the major rivers which surround Changsha.
A number of tourist attractions can be found in Changsha, notably the tomb of Lei Feng, a soldier of the People’s Liberation Army who was devoted to Chairman Mao. Lei Feng was considered to be a modest, loyal and selfless person and after his death on August 15 1962, Chairman Mao started a campaign for the youth (“Learn from Comrade Lei Feng”) to follow Lei Feng’s example.