Shaoshan Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, and where to eat and stay in Shaoshan, China. Plan your trip with our in-depth travel guide.

Shaoshan, China, is a city that is full of history and culture, offering many attractions for tourists. Located in Hunan province in South-central China, Shaoshan is known as the hometown of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. In this comprehensive travel guide, we will take you through everything you need to know before visiting Shaoshan.

Introduction to Shaoshan

Shaoshan is a cultural and historical city, located in the foothills of the Luoxiao Mountains. It is a popular tourist destination in China that attracts millions of visitors each year. The city is known for its historical attractions, natural scenery, and rich cultural heritage.

List of Places to Visit in Shaoshan

There are many places to visit in Shaoshan that showcase its rich history and culture. Here are some of the must-visit attractions:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Mao Zedong’s Former Residence: This is the birthplace of Mao Zedong, now a museum that showcases his life and contributions to the Communist Party of China.
  • Shaoshan Revolutionary Museum: A museum that documents China’s revolutionary era and the role played by Shaoshan is a must-visit attraction for history buffs.
  • Tianxin Pavilion: This is a beautiful and historical building in Shaoshan, located in the center of the city. It is a fantastic spot for photographers looking for a panoramic view of the city.

Natural Attractions of Shaoshan: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Shaoshan National Forest Park: This is a vast and lush park located in the Luoxiao Mountains and is an excellent place to hike, picnic, and explore nature.
  • Mount Guanbao Scenic Area: Located in the north of Shaoshan, Mount Guanbao is a popular destination known for its stunning scenery, fresh air and tranquil environment.
  • Prelude to the War Memorial: This is an iconic attraction in Shaoshan that lies between the peaks of Mount Guanbao and Changsha-Zhangjiajie Expressway. It contains a statue of Mao Zedong and is a great spot for taking photographs.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Shaoshan

Shaoshan has lovely natural beauty, and there are many hiking and biking routes worth exploring. Here are some of the best:

  • Luoxiao Mountain Range Hike: This mountain range is the perfect place for serious hikers looking for challenging routes and magnificent views.
  • Tianxin Pavilion to Lige Bridge Bike Ride: This is a pleasant and easy bike ride that takes you through both the city center and picturesque countryside areas.

Best Things to Do in Shaoshan: Activities and Tours

From hiking and biking to cultural attractions, Shaoshan has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do when in Shaoshan:

  • Visit Mao Zedong’s Former Residence: This attraction is the birthplace of Mao Zedong and is an excellent place to learn about his life and the history of communism in China.
  • Shaoshan Revolutionary Museum: This museum is worth visiting to get an understanding of the role Shaoshan played in China’s revolution.
  • Attend the Mass Patriotic Education Activity: This is a popular event in Shaoshan that features parades, speeches, and cultural performances.

Week-Long Itinerary for Shaoshan

A week is a good amount of time to spend exploring everything Shaoshan has to offer. Here is a suggested itinerary:

Day Activity
1 Arrival and check-in to hotel
2 Visit Mao Zedong’s Former Residence and the Shaoshan Revolutionary Museum
3 Go on a hike in the Luoxiao Mountains
4 Explore Mount Guanbao and Prelude to the War Memorial
5 Bike from Tianxin Pavilion to Lige Bridge
6 Visit Tianxin Pavilion and other cultural attractions
7 Departure

Food and Drink Scene of Shaoshan

Shaoshan’s food scene is known for spicy Hunan Cuisine. Here are some must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Fish Head with Tofu Soup
  • Gaungdong Salted Fried Chicken
  • Lao Shu Jiao (Rat Meat)
  • Braised Pork with Brown Sauce

Local Beverages

  • Suanmeitang: A sweet and sour drink made with hawthorn berries or other fruit.
  • Huangtang: A local yellow rice wine that is sweet and refreshing.

Where to Stay in Shaoshan: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Shaoshan offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some recommended ones:

  • Zhongshan Hotel Shaoshan: A 4-star accommodation that offers beautiful views of Tianxin Pavilion and excellent service.
  • Luoxiao Mountain Villa: A beautiful mountain villa with stunning views of the Luoxiao Mountains that’s perfect for hikers and nature lovers.
  • Forever Inn Shaoshan: A clean and comfortable guesthouse that offers a good location in the city center.

What to Buy in Shaoshan: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

When visiting Shaoshan, there are many souvenirs and local products worth buying as keepsakes or gifts. Here are some recommendations:

  • Mao Zedong’s Bust: A unique souvenir that showcases the cult of Mao Zedong in China.
  • Hunan Embroidery: A traditional handicraft of Hunan that offers beautiful embroidery pieces.
  • Luoxiao Mountain Tea: A high-quality green tea that offers a fresh and smooth taste.

Local Culture and Customs of Shaoshan

Shaoshan has many traditional customs and cultural habits that are unique to Hunan. Here are some:

  • The Tea Culture of Shaoshan: Tea is an important part of the local culture in Shaoshan. They specialize in “Sun Tea,” which is brewed by using the heat of the sun.
  • Dragon Boat Racing: Shaoshan holds an annual dragon boat race during the Dragon Boat Festival, which is a traditional festival celebrating the life and legacy of the Chinese patriot Qu Yuan.

Best Time to Visit Shaoshan

The best time to visit Shaoshan is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) months when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor activities.

Do’s and Don’ts of Shaoshan


  • Respect the Local Customs: Shaoshan is a place with rich traditions and cultural customs, so it’s essential to respect them and follow protocol.
  • Try the Local Cuisine: Hunan is known for being the “spiciest” province in China, try some of the local delicacies, but be careful not to burn your taste buds.


  • Disrespect Mao Zedong: Mao Zedong is a significant figure in Chinese history and politics, so it is critical not to show disrespect to him.
  • Take Photos without Permission: Be mindful of the places you take photographs, especially at sensitive locations.

Safety and Health

Safety in Shaoshan

Shaoshan is a relatively safe place with low levels of crime. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of pickpockets in crowded areas and always take care of your belongings.

Health in Shaoshan

The tap water in Shaoshan is not drinkable, so it is necessary always to drink bottled water. Be mindful of the types of food you eat, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

Getting to Shaoshan: Transportation Options and Logistics

Shaoshan is well connected to nearby cities and provinces such as Changsha and Guangzhou. The city has several transportation options available:

Airports Near Shaoshan

  • Changsha Huanghua International Airport
  • Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport

Bus Stations Near Shaoshan

  • Shaoshan Central Bus Station
  • Changsha Central Bus Station

Other Options

  • Taxi: Taxis in Shaoshan are affordable and can be found throughout the city.
  • Train: Shaoshan Railway Station serves the city and offers connections to major cities in China.

How to Get Around in Shaoshan

In Shaoshan, you can get around using buses, taxis, and rental bikes. Buses are the cheapest and most convenient transportation option. Ensure that you have cash for bus fare because it is not possible to use electronic payments methods.

Where to Go Next from Shaoshan: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have extra time, here are some nearby destinations and excursions to visit:

  • Changsha: The capital city of Hunan, located only 100 km from Shaoshan, is known for Yuelu Mountain, Orange Isle, and different cultural and historical attractions.
  • Zhangjiajie National Forest Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its unique landscape of towering pillars and deep gorges.


Shaoshan, a cultural and historical city located in Hunan province in South-central China, is a fascinating city that offers many attractions for visitors. From its historical sites and natural beauty to its traditional customs and delicious local cuisine, Shaoshan is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling in China. With our comprehensive travel guide, you’re all set to have a fantastic time in Shaoshan.