Monday, 1 September 2014


This blog aims to bring research, reportage and photography from Hunan province and its capital Changsha, where your author is to be posted on academic assignment.

We start with some basic information, transcribed from usual sources.

Its name means sand bar, located as it is across one on the Xiang, a tributary of the Yangtze giving its name to the local dialect and Hunan generally.

With an urban population of 3.6 million, it has a 3000-year history, becoming a major commercial hub from 750AD and capital of Hunan province in 1664.

Tianxin Tower, part of the old city

The old city was destroyed by fire during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938 then rebuilt to become a major commercial and industrial centre, described now as one of China's 20 most economically advanced cities.

Five locations of initial interest:

Sky City

This proposed skyscraper, if it gets the go-ahead will be the tallest in the world at 838m and if we believe the builders will take 90 days to construct using cutting edge prefabrication methods. Safety and environmental concerns have delayed progress so far.

Planned features include a 10km 'street' linking 1st to 170th floors, 56 'sky parks', city squares, a cinema, theatre and swimming pool, space for 30,000 residents, 'open sky' gardens and 'vertical farms'.

This planned complex is described as embodying "a unique variety of civic nodes and spaces: a grand theatre, a contemporary art museum, a multi-purpose hall and supporting facilities.

Not sure if this is construction of the above but found this when searching for "Changsha Grand Theater":

Now part of Hunan University, this is one of China's four most prestigious academies over the last 1000 years.

West Lake Restaurant - the world's biggest Chinese. Hunan is noted for its very hot food.

Finally, with a mystery - Hunan TV based in Changsha has grown to become the second most watched channel in China and it appears to be blocked from the UK.

It's accessible via a proxy server - the opposite of Facebook et al in China - the UK's or China's doing, and why?

Stay tuned to follow some real exploratories!

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