Monday, January 10, 2011

Changsha: More To Do

I created special posts for Yuelu Academy and the Changsha nightclub scene (only mentioning a few out of nearly a hundred bars in the city), but of course there's more. At night, if you like to sing, go to a KTV, they're everywhere. I stayed at the Southern Pearl Hotel (silver domed building on the right side of the 2nd photo below), there's a KTV on the third floor. If you're a single man, walk in and they'll set you up with an escort or two ~ for a fee of course, but worth it, you'll have a blast. If you're with family, friends, or a travel partner, go for it... most karaoke computers have English songlists and the rooms are always plush. A few miles away is Holidae KTV, housed underneath a huge ferris wheel (lit up like Vegas at night). I went there with a date. We booked a room and were taken to their KTV store, where we purchased drinks and snacks for the evening. A bellboy carted it all up to our room. We sang for 2 hours, and had a few liquored up drop-ins too. Most KTVs provide in-room catering, but I've been to some that have centrally located buffet dining.

One of the best attractions in Changsha is at the Hunan Provincial Museum... the Mawangdui Han Tomb, which showcases a 2100 year old mummified corpse ~ Lady Dai. She was found amazingly well-preserved (flesh intact and joints still movable) within 4 coffins in 1972. Her new home is definitely more high tech. Other travel sites show photos, but why spoil the fun? Go see her for yourself, she's a wonder. The huge wooden tomb is also impressive, though not ornate, and contained many artifacts that are all part of the Museum collection. Admission is free with a valid passport, No. 50 Dongfeng Road (open 8:30AM to 5PM every day, but closed Noon to 2:30PM weekdays). For shopping, try the Huangxing Road walking street. It's always packed, and definitely more fun at night. For a day trip, history buffs can visit Mao Zedong's childhood home in Shaoshan, 130km south of Changsha (open 7AM to 6PM daily and can be accessed by bus or train). Martyr's Park is quite nice for a quiet stroll by the large man-made lake... No. 1 Dongfeng Road.

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