The home of Mao - Shaoshan

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July 14th 2010
Published: August 1st 2010
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Our planned route in China

Hong Kong > Changsha > Shaoshan > Huang Shan > Shanghai > Suzhou> Chendgu > Leshan > Emei > Lhasa > Hong Kong.

A year on, and my brother and I are once again entering the chaotic country that is China!
We set off from my home in Hong Kong & were across the Shenzhen Louhu border in no time. First adventure was an overnight sleeper train to Changsha which departed at 9pm and arrived at around 7am.

We were lucky in finding a hotel quickly and wasted no time in getting out and about. Train tickets for the next journey were purchased, and we got the city bus to the long-distance bus termimal. From there, we took a bus to Shaoshan...the birthplace of Mao. Upon arrival we had to take a taxi up to the old town, which is quieter and set back in the hills. We spent a good few hours walking around and saw the house where Mao was born (outside which a woman and her friends were singing in honour it seemed...bizarre). We were definitely the only foreigners there, and probably one of few who were not in a tour group being led round by a flag-wielding, microphone-yelling tour guide!

Walking round the area was quite pleasant with lots of rice paddies and greenery. One sign even said that these were the rice paddies Mao himself lovingly cared for! The area where Mao comes from was a nice change from the hustle and bustle of Changsha. We also visited the statue of Mao there, in front of which yet more tour groups were paying respects, laying flowers and taking group photos. The relics hall had many artifacts from Mao's life, including an enormous pair of swimming shorts! After a decent afternoon of wandering around, we took a taxi back to the new town and then our custom was fought over for the bus back to Changsha.

It turns out Shaoshan is quite a random place to visit - I had to ask to add it to their destination list!

In the evening we visited a recommended restaurant - a top 5 eat in China apparently. Had a good Chinese meal including Mao's favourite pork dish & some very odd blackened tofu dish...we decided not to order stag's testicles off the menu, or rabbit for that matter. It turned out to be a Mao-filled day of patriotism!! A good start to our China adventure.

The next morning before we departed Changsha, we went for a dumpling brunch & had a bit of pot luck dumplings...I know some of the chinese food symbols, but I'm not up to detailed dumpling stuffings! So, we went for pork & it turned out to be nice coriander pork dumplings. There was also a picture of sweet looking dumpling so we gave that a whirl, and bonus...banana fritters! Our luck was in. My Chinese linguistic skills are returning and are proving helpful once again!

Next adventure....a train to Huang Shan mountain...sounds quite simple....oh no, it's getting it's own blog!

J x

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


The worker-peasant-soldier ballet companyThe worker-peasant-soldier ballet company
The worker-peasant-soldier ballet company

I saw this in the Mao memorabilia museum
Black tofuBlack tofu
Black tofu

Everyone else had it, so we thought we should try this local speciality....not convinced myself!

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