Welcome to the WNIC sports section. Sports facilities can be difficult to find in China. However, there are some places you can head to for recreational sports and fun activities. Email us if you know of more place! firstname.lastname@example.org
The best place to kick off, would be at University football pitches which are always free for the public to use. Don't expect goalposts or changing rooms and the pitch is often overgrown. Alternatively, Helong Stadium has a well trimmed pitch but there is a fee for use. Changsha has hosted quite a few important international football matches, thanks largely due to it's capacity and impressive stadium.
There are numerous large-scale arenas which are open to mainly badminton and ping pong. You normally have to bring your own rackets and non-slip shoes are sometimes mandatory (to avoid marking the court). If you're looking to buy good quality badminton rackets, tennis rackets and so on, you could try the specialist row of shops on the West side of Helong Stadium (which runs down to Baisha Lu).
There is a fairly good indoor archery range close to the centre of town (a few blocks from Helong Stadium). See a map here.
There is also Bowman Archery close to Wuyi Square. Details to be found here.
Several expats have reported that there is a new, modern and fairly decent archery range here.
You can find basketball being played in every courtyard and school grounds. The best way to enjoy this is by befriending some locals and heading out for a nearby game. Occasional tournaments are played in Changsha attracting national media coverage, check our events page for more.
There are numerous swimming pools of reasonable quality scattered across the city, some old, some very modern. Most pools usually operate a split zone system of fun paddling and serious swimmers who use divided lanes. Please be aware that you need to wear a swimming cap at all times at Chinese pools. You can also check out the pools and gyms at the major hotel chains although usually a membership fee and registration is required. Additionally, you can head to the large outdoor pool on Orange Island (North End) for summertime fun and enjoyment.
Cycling is not so big in China and cycle lanes are rare. However, if you're after a new bicycle and want to know about some genuine (or not so genuine) outlets you can find the info right here. At DongTang South (next to a bowling alley) you'll find a Giant branded shop. The quality and authenticity of the shop is unknown to WNIC but it may well be worth checking out as their selection seems pretty good. There is also a Scott store at Helong Stadium. The store can be found opposite the main public football pitch and recreation area on the west side of the stadium. There is also a climbing wall inside the Scott store. This shop sells genuine products. The less authentic, or lower quality bikes, can be found being sold at most times of the week/day in the underpass at Furong Lu (Furong Square subway station). The quality of these bikes is unknown and, possibly, unreliable.
There are numerous places in the city that do, mainly, Tai Kwon Do, as well as Kung Fu (and it's variants). Some foreigners have expressed an interest in learning boxing, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. There are some boxing gyms located at venues across the city but Muay Thai is hard to find in any area in central China.
However, the sports compound at DongTang (South) has a gym, public swimming pool, billiards hall and an array of martial arts classes (mainly for yoga, Tai Kwon Do and Kung Fu based areas). More images of this area are shown below, click to enlarge.
There is no 'competitive' fishing in Changsha as far as we know, but you can find some information about recreational fishing in the A-Z section of this website.