Changsha’s most famous commercial pedestrianised shopping street, Huang Xing Lu (黄兴路步行商业街), is also one of the oldest commercial streets in the area, although you wouldn’t know it to look at, with its endless parades of brand-name shops, restaurant chains, KTV bars, and the usual commercial dross you can find anywhere in China. It’s popular amongst locals who like to chill and presumably watch the ‘outsiders’ coming here to splurge all their newly acquired wealth on meaningless tat. The street is approximately 830m long, and about 24m wide, which is good to know if you ever need to stage a 12-legged 830 metre sprint along the street: though you couldn’t even if you wanted to due to the hideously rendered bronze ‘cultural’ statues and plants that would block the way.
If you like wasting your hard-earned cash on Made In China clothes, here’s the place to do it! There’s over 400 different brand stores, mostly Chinese, and include Tonlion, Semir, Yishion, Metersbonwe, Eminu, Giordano, Lining, Adidas, Cardanro and Jeanswest. So basically everything you need to dress up just like a middle class Chinese citizen on their day off (or in the office: the fashion distinction between the two is rather subtle… something about the inclusion of sandals perhaps). If you already have enough bad clothes in your wardrobe (or ‘closet’ depending on where you come from), there’s also electronics shops, though don’t get excited and expect to find an Apple store; that privilege is reserved for Beijingers and Shanghaites only.
Nope, here you will find well-respected domestic brands like Gome, Suning, and the multitudinous mobile phone shops that seem to serve the express purpose of sucking any original character out of a place. If you’re feeling rather magpie, there’s an entire jewellery mall selling nice things like silver necklaces, and not so nice things like gold earrings. Add to that a couple of big supermarkets at the end of the street (Vanguard, Trust-mart), and Huang Xing Lu can provide literally anything you can think of, but probably nothing you actually want.
Look! A ‘Culture’ Statue! Source: blog.sina.com
Not just content with providing more opportunities for mass-consumerism than you’d get on Ronald McDonald’s own personal tour of Disneyland, the Changsha authorities have decked out Huang Xing Lu pedestrian street with a bunch of ‘Cultural Statues’, cast in ugly bronze and aiming to depict the cultural uniqueness of Changsha. With themes including “Man Tilting Head and Digging Ears Out”, “Fixing the Pot”, “Fixing Shoes”, and the priceless duo of “Selling Stinky Tofu” and “Eating Stinky Tofu”, it’s no wonder Huang Xing Lu has yet to make a mark on the tourist map. On a good day, you’ll see throngs of Chinese tourists scrabbling to have their photo taken with the bronze shoe-repair man, or the inanimate man gobbling chunks of bronze tofu. On a bad day, you too will feel the urge to participate in such fatuous pursuit.
Food & Drink OptionsView In Map
As one would imagine, there’s a plethora of places to stuff your faces, all jostling for top positions along Huang Xing Lu. In fact, a side street to Huang Xing Lu, Pozi Jie, contains a higher density of eateries, but no less tourists sadly. If you fancy blowing your lips off (and arse the next day) with some bona fide Hunan cuisine, you should head over to Huogongdian (火宫殿), who specialize in local ‘Xiangcai’ specialties. An alternative serving spicy Hunanese fodder is Shuangyan Lou (双燕楼), and if it starts to get too much, head over to Hongmei and put out the fire with some cold drinks. If you can’t stand spicy food full stop, then what the hell are you doing in Hunan? But if you really can’t stand the heat, there’s the ubiquitous Maccy D’s and KFC on hand to rescue you.
Add: (Simen north entrance) Huangxing Lu, Furong District, Changsha
Getting there: Take bus no. 2, 112, 138, 202, 301 or 368 which will drop you right outside the pedestrian street.
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Keywords: shopping in Changsha where to buy clothes in Changsha Changsha walking street
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What I like best is one very small side street that has stinky tofu. They proudly display their trophies and the tofu is very good! Yes walking street is a tourist trap and it's funny seeing Papa John's pizza and criss cross seeing Walmart. The pizza in Changsha barely has any ingredients that are served on pizza in America. I think the locals would be very interested in trying these ingredients like pepperoni!
Aug 20, 2011 21:23 Report Abuse
I am in Changsha from Houston for a few weeks visiting family. Spent a Sunday afternoon walking Huang Xing Lu. Though much like other commercial shopping districts, it was full of local teens and young adults enjoying the day -- great place for an outsider to people watch. I was looking for some unique gift shopping opportunities, and didn't find that. But interesting enough to be worth a walk on a hot summer weekend.
Jul 26, 2011 13:33 Report Abuse
Geez man, give the statues a break! I quite like them, and you'll find them in other cities too. At least they do something! Many cities in the world have nothing at all to commend them.
And for those who want to eat bland McDonald's - go live in America!
Go eat from a Zhou Hei Ya store!
Jun 27, 2011 20:10 Report Abuse
LOL...I agree about McDonalds(plus McDonalds sucks anyways!). I'm American and when I'm staying in Changsha I only eat the local cuisine. I love the peppers and Harbin beer is served almost everywhere. Also the pop up barbeque,s at night along the streets, are very enjoyable!
Aug 20, 2011 21:31 Report Abuse