Mt. Shaoshan Scenic Area
Shaoshan, a county-level city of Xiangtan City in central Hunan Province, is well-known as the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong where he was born and undertook the revolutionary activities in his youth. Due to the advantaged natural environment and the history, it has become a well-known scenic area, also regarded as a sacred place to commemorate the Chinese revolution. There are four main scenic areas here: Mao Zedong’s Former Residence, Water Dripping Cave, Shaoshan Peak and Limpid Stream.
Chairman Mao's Former Residence
Scenic spots in this area depict Mao Zedong’s former residence and provide historical information about him. These attractions include the Former Residence, the Memorial Museum, Memorial Park, Mao’s Bronze Statue Square, the Relics Museum, the Library, and the Mao Ancestral Hall.
The former residence of Chairman Mao, covering an area of nearly 473 sq m (about 566 sq yd), is made of earth and wood. It is in a concave shape with 13 rooms. Photographs of Mao’s family, their daily supplies, and all kinds of farm implements such as a bucket, shoulder pole, and hoe are laid out in the house. The exhibition center of the residence where Mao’s photos and materials about the revolution are displayed was built in 1964.
First built in 1963, the Memorial Museum of Mao Zedong was restored in 2003 in celebration of Mao’s 110th birthday. There are 12 exhibition halls, eight of which display Mao’s achievement throughout his life and the remaining four are for special topics. Memorial Park is characterized by the duplication of various sites reflecting Mao's life; such as the Well Pavilion at Hunan No.1 Normal University where Mao studied for four years, South Lake with a boat on it where the first conference of the Chinese Communist Party was held, and caves and a pagoda in Yan’an (a city in Shaanxi Province considered as a sacred revolutionary land). The Memorial Hall is the most magnificent building in the park. It displays the introduction of this great leader in different periods and the white marble statues of Mao and his other six family members.
Mao Zedong’s Bronze Statue Square, built in 2008, covers an area of 102,800 sq m (about 122,948 sq yd). It is divided into a homage paying area, a commemorating area, an assembly area, and a leisure area. The statue is 3.7 tons (3,700 kg) in weight, and 6 m (about 19.7 ft) in height. The statue's entire height including the bronze base is 10.1 m (about 33 ft), which symbolizes October 1st, the date the PRC was founded. The statue vividly presents Mao's gentle demeanor with shining view and light smiles.
The Mao Zedong Relics Museum is divided into three areas; a basic exhibition hall, a special topic exhibition hall, and a temporary hall. The main exhibits are the porcelains, discs and tapes he used and some art masterpieces. The Mao Zedong Library was built to celebrate his 100th anniversary in 1993. It is the only library in China that is named after Chairman Mao. The number of items in the present collection has reached 120,000 and includes newspapers and journals Mao read in his life, his manuscripts and various books published at home and abroad, and his written articles and monographs concerning his thoughts.
Water Dripping Cave
Water Dripping Cave is Chairman Mao’s villa which is 3 km (around 2 mi) away from his former residence. It consists of Water Dripping Valley, Tiger Resting Lawn (Huxie Lawn), Dragon Head Hill, No.1 Building, and other scenic spots.
The cave is 2.8 km (about 1.5 mi) long with a stream flowing through it. Many trees and flowers grow here. Visitors can find over 30 species of trees including gingko, privet, and the rare cycas a genus of the Cycadaceae family, as well as over 100 species of flowers such as azalea, rose, and chrysanthemum.
The No.1 Building is held famous because Chairman Mao lived there for 11 days in 1966 and is the main building of Water Dripping Cave. It has been established as an exhibition hall where the office, bedroom, dining room, and conference room, as well as Mao’s daily supplies, are completely preserved.
The peak is also called Fairy Peak or Fairy and Elegant Peak. The main attractions include the Steles Forest of Mao Zedong’s Poems, the Temple of Shaoshan Peak, and the rope way.
The Steles Forest of Mao Zedong’s Poems is 3 km (about 1.9 mi) away from his former residence. It covers 20,000 sq m (about 23,920 sq yd), and consists of 100 pieces of white marble and granite on which 50 poems by Chairman Mao have been carved. The different shaped steles present a beautiful landscape together with the scenery of Shaoshan Peak. The whole scenic area is divided into five parts according to Mao’s revolutionary career and four parts by chronological order. At the exit from the forest stands a giant poem stele which is 12.26 m (about 40 ft) in width, 8.3 m (about 27 ft) in height and 0.99 m (about 3.2 ft) in thickness. The width of 12.26 represents Mao’s birthday on December 26, and the thickness of 0.99 represents the date of Mao’s death on September 9.
Limpid Stream Scenic Area
At Qingxi Town of Shaoshan City, there is a boulevard named Hero Road, at the north end of which is the Square of Young Mao Zedong’s Statue and at the south end is Swan Hill, on which the Martyrs Cemetery lies.
Located on the hill which is around 200 m (219 yd) from the local railway station, the 12.26 m (about 40 ft) Statue of Young Mao Zedong was made to symbolize his birthday of December 26th. The statue vividly embodies Mao’s ambitious verve in his youth. The Martyrs Cemetery is built to commemorate the martyrs of Shaoshan, but there are no actual martyrs buried there. Homage is paid to them by the building of pavilions, museums or statuaries.
How to get to Shaoshan from Changsha:
By Train: From 7:04 to 18:07, there are 25 high speed trains running from Changsha to Shaoshan. G2125 departing from Changsha South Railway Station at 7:46 and arriving at Shaoshan South Railway Station at 8:09 is recommended. The train takes 23 minutes and costs CNY 30.5 for a second class seat. When you arrive, there are buses running to the Shaoshan Tourist Transfer Center in 20 minutes at a cost of CNY 3. There are 15 trains going back from Shaoshan to Changsha, operating from 9:21 to 17:25.
By Bus: Buses run from Changsha West Bus Station to Shaoshan at 8:00, 8:20, 9:50, 11:20, 12:00, 15:00, and 17:30. It takes 1.5 hours and costs CNY 31.
|Admission Fee||Free for Chairman Mao's Former Residence, Bronze Statue Square, and Memorial Museum; |
CNY 40 for Water Dripping Cave;
CNY 48 for Shaoshan Memorial Park;
CNY 20 for sightseeing car;
CNY 50 for Shaoshan Peak (including the cable car).
|Opening Hours||8:00 - 17:00|
For you convenience, just take a taxi to the South Shaoshan Railway Station. As I know, it costs CNY 20-30 in usual time.