Kaifu temple is situated in the northern part of the city, Kaifu district, and is considered as Changsha's spiritual focal point. At key dates throughout the year, national holidays, the temple and street becomes a festive and enjoyable areas with food stalls and games.
It is also close to the riverside and so can easily be combined in a walk from the city centre and along the river side.
It is a fully functioning Buddhist temple.
Tianxin Temple, sitting on the last remaining part of the old city wall (demolished in 1928) is the city's most central temple. It is, in fact, a simple building of note rather than a functioning temple and it's history is more military than religious or spiritual.
Huo Gong Dian (restaurant)
Located centrally on PoZiJie, this is not just a restaurant but a preserved part of ancient China! Chairman Mao was visited the restaurant and complimented it's 'smelly tofu' thereby ensuring huge success for the establishment. The consequence was that it grew, bought the surrounding buildings and is now a vast courtyard with frequent open air opera shows and food carted around the see of tables of Hunan-style food trolleys.
Teacher Training College
Hunan Teacher Training College is a relatively peaceful and delightful building complex is where Chairman Mao used to teach prior to his later political life. You can enter and take a look around the dormitories and rooms where Mao would work and contemplate issues of the day. It is close to the riverside and a ten minute walk south of the 'Waking Street' shopping area.
West Lake restaurant
The scale and beauty of this restaurant is immense. It is akin to dining in a Forbidden City style with it's ancient buildings, corridors and small courtyards. You can also enjoy a live opera and dance show most nights of the week in this, the biggest Chinese restaurant in world, as well as enjoy typical Hunan dishes. It is close to Moon Lake and Hunan TV studios.
Baisha well, south of Tianxin temple on Baisha Lu, is a free fresh water (origins unknown) which is used by the locals and it is fresh... it will not make you ill and is worth a visit if you are in the area. The restaurants on Baisha Lu claim to use this water in their cooking. Have a bottle of water at the ready and fill it up.
Changsha is famous for it's seat of learning and this institution is one of the country's original four set up over 1000 years ago but it is also home to a pleasant collection of ancient buildings around the base of Yuelu Mountain including the biggest statue of Mao in the city. You can pay to enter the tranquil old buildings of the academy and absorbed it's long history of learning and knowledge.
areas of interest
stadium & baisha wellarea
Changsha has an impressive stadium and it is sometimes host to song major music concerts and international football matches. The stadium, resembling a colossal UFO in appearance is near Hunan Theatre and Baisha Well (on Baisha Lu). In the square, which connects the stadium with Furong Lu at the Eastern end, some mass gatherings can be seen throughout the year, from huge parades to dragon dancing spectacles.
Baisha well is an ancient fresh water well, suitable for drinking, and is to the west of the stadium.
Next to the stadium, on the opposite side (East, on Furong Lu) is a large ferris wheel that is well lit at night.
In all, this is a beautiful area to explore or arrange a sporting fixture or take the family.