Shaoshan

Overview

Introduction

Chairman Mao's hometown of Shaoshan, 400 mi/645 km southwest of Beijing in Hunan Province, still draws nearly 800,000 visitors each year (though a far cry from the millions of "Revolutionary Tourists" who visited each year during the Cultural Revolution).

There is an audiovisual museum of Mao's life, and you can also visit his childhood home, which has been restored and furnished with period furniture. Pictures of his childhood and family life are included. Neither site is particularly fascinating, but collectors of Chairman Mao memorabilia will be in heaven. A multimillion-dollar museum was built next to the existing facility and exhibits restored belongings of Mao.

Wrap up your day of red tourism with a serving of Mao-style braised pork. It's said that before the founding of New China, Mao celebrated each of his army's victories with a serving of his favorite dish, which has since grown into something of a local delicacy.

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