|Popular in||January||High demand for flights, 22% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||April||Best time to find cheap flights, 14% potential price drop|
|Average price||฿7,370||Average for return flights in October 2021|
Changsha enjoys an enviable location on the Xiang River, a branch of the mighty Yangtze, and is one of China’s main inland ports as well as a great choice for breaks and holidays. Capital of the Hunan province in the country’s south-central region, the city has been a major centre of culture and commerce since as early as the Qin dynasty from 221-207 BC. It became the provincial capital during the Qing dynasty from around 1664 onwards, and is notable for being the place where Mao Zedong converted to communism in the 20th century.
The Hunan Provincial Museum is the perfect place to learn more about the history of this incredible region, and there are exhibitions of pottery lacquer ware and silk from the Han Dynasty. A highlight is the tomb of the Marquess of Dai; Xin Zui lived during the Han era and you can see her body which has been preserved almost intact for over 2,100 years.
Orange Isle is one of the most scenic spots in the city and the oval shaped island in the centre of the Xiang River is also one of its best known parks. Chairman Mao immortalised it in ‘Changsha’ a poem he wrote at the age of 32, and today you can see a memorial statue of him as a young man at the southern end of the island.
The city lies at the foot of Yuelu Mountain, and you can take the cable car to the peak to enjoy impressive views over the city and the river. Walk down; stopping off at pavilions, teahouses and temples en route for a refreshing change from the bustle of the city.
Be sure to see Kaifu Temple which was listed as one of China’s most important Han era temples in 1983. The temple has an impressive decorated gate and imposing towers, and other highlights include the Hall of Heroes.
Changsha is one of the most important centres of commerce in the country, and it’s also a busy university city. You’ll find excellent shopping at Wuyi Shopping Circle, or try the 1D mall in the city centre which has a cinema and ice rink, plus dozens of shops and restaurants.
Changsha has a small subway system which is still being added to and it is a fast way to get around the centre of the city. There are plenty of local bus services, including one that operates on a ring route and stops at all the main attractions, but they can be very crowded and many are not air-conditioned. However, you’ll find that inexpensive taxis are readily available and though they charge more at night, they work on set metered rates. Taxis will take you on journeys that are as long or as short as you wish, but it is worth having someone write the name of your destination in Chinese so that you can show it to your driver and avoid confusion.
Huanghua International Airport (CSX) is the arrival point for most international travellers, and it is approximately 10 miles (16 km) from the city centre. It’s a 45-minute drive on the expressway, and if you wish to hire a car you’ll find all the major outlets at the airport. There is an airport bus service daily from early morning to late evening and there are taxis available which charge a set fare.
Changsha Huanghua Intl (CSX), located 24.4 km from the city centre, is the airport you fly into when you book flights to Changsha.