Changsha harnesses power of historical assets to drive economy
With the aim to construct itself into a metropolis that bridges traditional culture and modern tastes, the city is highlighting development of its cultural industry and tourism.
Changsha's fame dates back to Chu-Han Contention, an interregnum between the Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC-220) dynasties. Over the past 3,000 years, Changsha has not changed its name and is a place where ancient Chinese poets traveled and wrote classic works.
Yuelu Academy, located at the foot of the Yuelu Mountain, was one of the renowned academies in ancient China. Jia Yi's former residence, built in Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24), records the source of Hunan culture.
The city also unearthed precious cultural relics that have impressed the world, such as the Four Sheep Fangzun. It is the largest bronze wine vessel discovered that comes from the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th century-11th century BC).
The Tongguan Kiln site of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) embodies the prosperity of the Maritime Silk Road, an ancient trade route which started in China and connected countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
According to official statistics, the city now is home to 2,413 immovable cultural relics and 42 museums and memorial halls. There are more than 300,000 cultural relics reserved in local museums and 1,366 programs recognized as intangible cultural heritage projects.
Not only renowned for its fame as being among the first batch of national-level historical and cultural cities, Changsha is a tourism destination with a poetic landscape.
Every autumn, red maples trees contribute to the typical hue of the season. The winding Xiangjiang River flows through the city and together with the mountains, creates good scenery. There are 71 Grade-A scenic spots in Changsha, which made it the first batch of excellent cities for tourism in China.
Influenced by the media industry, the city has unlocked the market potential of creative culture and gradually formed a cross-industry system integrating tourism and leisure; performing arts and entertainment; film and television media; as well as publishing and digital video.
As a hub city under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and a central city in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Changsha has a high-speed railway network, which connects 23 provincial capitals and large cities. Changsha Huanghua International Airport has established flight routes to 145 cities at home and abroad.
In recent years, Changsha has promoted innovation in the tourism industry and provided diversified urban leisure tourism programs, such as ancient alley tours, nighttime sightseeing and fashion art shows.
Taiping Street, a famous market for food and snacks, time-honored brand shops and celebrities' former residences, receives visitors day and night.
Ctrip data shows that since summer, orders involving night-tour services at scenic spots soared 169 percent compared with the same period in 2019, and the number of such tourists increased by 162 percent.
In recent years, Changsha has repeatedly been listed as one of the most popular cities for sightseeing in China. A number of celebrity brands have emerged online, such as Wenheyou crayfish restaurant; Chayan Yuese viral tea brand; and Momo Dim Sum bakery.
Cultural and tourism landmarks such as Meixi Lake International Culture and Art Center and Li Zijian Art Museum, have sprung up and attracted younger people's attention.
On weekends or holidays, many young people like to immerse themselves in art.
With the efforts to further expand its opening-up and tap into the global market, Changsha established friendship ties with 52 cities at home and abroad and held promotion activities in countries and regions involved in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the BRI.
A fireworks show on the Juzizhou Islet in Changsha. XIE JIE/FOR CHINA DAILY
A view of the Tanheli National Archaeological Park in Ningxiang city, Hunan province. CHINA DAILY
Beautiful countryside in Beishan town, Changsha. PENG GUOMING/FOR CHINA DAILY
Yuelu Academy at the foot of the Yuelu Mountain was founded in 976 AD. CHINA DAILY
The Aiwan Pavilion was built in 1792 on the Yuelu Mountain. CHINA DAILY