Walking street (BuXingJie)
Pretty much the city centre, with HuangXing Statue (a great meeting point, although this has been temporarily removed due to works) is a long pedestrianised shopping area, with ID Mall nearby, food street PoziJie, a Walmart and cinema complex (with lots of small snack stalls outside), bars, clubs and a central stage area to keep the shoppers entertained. You should make time to spend a whole day strolling this area, shopping, trying out snacks as well as the more hidden backstreets. Walking Street is just a few blocks in from the riverside which is also host to events, buskers, Chinese opera, dancing and, during the summer months, a grand firework display every Saturday night at 8:30pm.
The nearest subway station is Wuyi Square. Just head one block south of the station to JieFang Xilu (for the main bar and club street in Changsha) to enter this busy commercial area.
Tai ping jie
Linking JieFang Xilu and Wuyi Dadao, just one block in from the riverside (East side) is Peace Street, TaiPingJie. It roughly starts from opposite the very obvious M2 nightclub on JieFang Xilu and runs north to Wuyi Dadao, close to Crown Plaza and the Wuyi Square subway station.
TaiPingJie is a treasure trove of small, funky, arty shops (some over-priced) and quirky snack stores. There are a few bars along the strip and, adjoining the street, is a pet street. You should spend a few hours to take in this pleasant part of the city. It includes a few tattoo places, music stores, souvenirs from across the continent as well as a smallworld-cuisine food court.
La Nova Shopping Center
Possibly Changsha's most popular shopping centre with expats with a modern cinema complex, basement culinary floor, Starbucks, Thai restaurant and many Western brands such as H&M, C&A, Zara and so on. Opposite La Nova are a line of curious shops and snack shops, including Flower Time, French restaurant.
No.188 Huang Xing Road Middle, Furong District, Changsha 410005, Hunan P.R.China
Operation Hour: Monday to Sunday 10:00-22:00
Not to be confused with the 'Wanda' shopping centre close to Walking Street on JieFangXilu, this modern, twin-skyscraper development dominates the skyline and riverfront. It houses a new, plush hotel (good buffets take place) and has a variety of well known stores and imported food supermarket around it. At night, from the West side of the river and across the bridge, the towers project impressive images and graphics that beam across the gentle river's edge.
XiaHeJie indoor market
This is a large, multi-floor department store which houses hundreds of small, privately-owned stores selling all manner of cheap and affordable goods. The stores are usually open to haggling but you can come away with quite a few bargains. It has several small entrances on Wuyi Avenue (next to the northern entrance of TaiPingJie).
In early 2014 it suffered a fire and now has an uncertain future.
DinDin Mall is located at the Southern end of HeLong Stadium. It is, essentially, a small, cute mall made from shipping containers and features a combination of funky shops and lively bars. From pizza a shop to eco-friendly vegetarian outlets, this is a nice place to relax while passing through the area. In particular, Cuper Bar offers a good view of the Ferris Wheel in the evenings with a small terrace zone. The mall also make great use of neon lighting. Within sight of the mall is Sally's Cafe which has some of the best cakes in town. There is also a garden area for tea and relaxing.
Also know as 'Ping He Tang, Wuyi Dadao' this is a Japanese majority-owned department store with well known brands on various levels, a Brazillian buffet and plush restaurants on the top floor. It also has a food court area, Starbucks and a food shopping area with a range of imported goods. 'Ping He Tang' is considered a landmark name and useful to bear in mind for taxi rides, bus transfers and as a general meeting point. It also overlooks the Wuyi Sqaure subway station and Crown Plaza Hotel.
No. 88, Huangxin Road, Tianxin District, Changsha
Traffic: Take No.1, 202,117 or 118 bus to the Wuyi Square stop
AUX MALL (HEXI)
AUX Mall is in the far North West of the city and is a pretty standard, modern mall, with Starbucks, Pizza Hut and many of the usual chains associated with global brands. Although the mall doesn't stand out as much as other commercial areas it is a good reference or meeting point for those who live on the West Side of the river in Changsha.
GaoQiao warehouse area
Located several blocks behind (East) of the Main Train Station, GaoQiao is a large area of warehouse stores. Essentially, this is where the entire city gets it's goods at knock down prices (usually bought in bulk and transported to shops across the city/province). You can, however, easily go there yourself, wander the units and haggle for any goods that you need. At the heart of the area is a shopping centre which houses yet more budget/bulk products. There is a notable fancy dress shop (one of the veryfew in Changsha) inside this shopping area. You may be able to find a local, waiting driver t transport whatever goods you have bought.
This high-end, expensive department store sits mid way between the Main Train Station and Wuyi Square/city centre. It is on the junction of Wuyi Avenue and Shaoshan Middle Avenue.
WangFuJiang Department Store
WangFuJing is located in between PingHeTang on WuYi Avenue(HaiWaDo) department store and SiMeKou/JieFangXilu. It sits on a major pedestrian thoroughfare with a Starbucks and Pizza Hut on it's ground floor. The street running alongside this building, with Starbucks present, leads down to the city's 'pet street' and onto TaiPingJie. WangFuJing has the usual array of expensive brands and a cinema to boot, but the real gem is on the top floor in which basement bargain prices can be found on genuine goods. It always worth checking out the top floor when shopping for shoes and clothes (especially sports brands)! Please note that there are now considerable subway construction works around the building.
Taskin Mall is one of Changsha's newest and most elaborate and expensive malls with a whole line up of global brands to choose from. It also hosts the 24-hour library/bookstore and has a very impressive inner area which holds regular activities. It features a Subway, Clark's shoes and other overseas brands. It is located near to South Bus Station (opposite a Hypermart Store). It can be reached by most buses that travel down Shaoshan Lu to the station. It is also a short walk to the Hong Xing Exhibition Centre and Changsha Botanical Park.
This elaborate name simply refers to the main computer/ electronics shopping area in Changsha. It is, in fact, a collection of warehouse buildings directly opposite the bus station adjoining the Main Train Station. Two major buildings house several floors of electronics goods (all negotiable!) with small, repair shops situated in the basement floor. These repair shops can fix most items regardless of the issue at hand and they tend to be honest in their dealings. You should head there in the first instance if you need something fixing. There are more computer and electronics stores in the street behind these two major buildings.
This is a German owned supermarket, warehouse chain where you can buy many Western brands and products. Membership is required and you should take your passport on the first occasion to register at their info desk at the entrance. You will be given a membership card. If necessary, say you own a business in Changsha (as that is their preferred category of customer; it is a warehouse centre, although you can simply buy goods as normal). Bear in mind that Metro does not provide plastic bags so better come prepared (boxes can be found outside after payment). A Metro trip is an occasional but vital event for many foreigners! Bus 101 terminates opposite the car park entrance to Metro.
Hong Xing 'warehouse area'
Located close to South Bus Station and the Hong Xing Exhibition Centre, this is simply a residential area, a collection of backstreets, in which you can bulk buy, haggle and have delivered whatever goods you prefer. In a way, it's a small Gaoqiao although specialises more in household goods. You have to walk through this neighbourhood to get to the Botanical Park (if coming from Shaoshan South Avenue, which most might from the city centre).
Window of the world park
This is Changsha's main theme park (a nationwide park chain) which has a theme of different countries and cultures. As you enter, you are greeted with a lake, which hosts weekly firework displays in the summer, and can then traverse the zones around the lake, from Bali to little Switzerland's cobbled streets. A tower stands as the focal point inside the park, which is close to the West Lake restaurant (the biggest Chinese restaurant in the world) and Hunan TV studios.
Kubeiland Children's place
If you have kids, you may be interested to bring them to this all-under-one-roof, indoor theme park. Located beside Helong Stadium (so parking is relatively easy). It has everything a child would want to do. It is worth spending a day there for the sake of the kids, and can be combined with a HeLong stadium visit.
ningxiang spa resorts
Ningxiang is a spa town, with national acclaim, that has a collection of spas much enjoyed by Changsha folk. Although NingXiang is West of Changsha and the resorts not easy to reach, it may be worth doing this at least once if you are in Changsha for a prolonged period of time.
Located at the rear of an underground car park next to the Dolton Hotel on Shaoshan Avenue (look out for a theatre entrance, the stairway is on the right hand side) is a simple firing range with a selection of limited rifles. The cost is a little high but you are given tuition and get to keep the target paper.
Riverside Boat Hire
A number of small boat operators offer short day and evening river trips on the XiangJiang (river). It should be noted that many of the boats appear old and probably lack life buoys or jackets.