Our bus took us about 80 miles southwest of Changsha to Shaoshan, the birthplace and childhood home of Mao Zedong. We passed through several tiny villages that I would have liked to photograph, but with the movement of the bus, the dark sky, and the tinted windows, photos were not possible. We were told that Mao’s family was relatively wealthy. They shared a large house with another family–the families had separate rooms except for a central area.
Several magnolia trees grew around the house.
There is an extensive museum of Mao’s life at the site. Here is a photo of the tunic that Mao wore when he met Nixon.
When the Chairman reached the age of 60, he began studying English. Some of his homework was posted at the museum.
Mao’s birthplace and childhood home is in a hilly and semi-wooded area adjacent to some rice paddies. It is a very popular tourist destination for the Chinese as well as foreigners.
Inside the house, we saw Mao’s bedroom with its original furniture, and his parents’ bed in which he was born. It was pretty dark for photography. Here is the kitchen and dining room:
Also at the site, they have a very good dining area that serves some of Mao’s favorite dishes. It was all quite good.
After lunch, I finally saw the famous Chinese toilets. Sometimes referred to as “flush toilets” because they are flush with the floor. It seems that the country is converting to western style toilets.
After our long ride back to Changsha, we visited a planned community, which included residential areas, shopping, schools, recreational areas, etc. We even visited inside two homes. Here again we saw a scale model of the community.
Afterwards, walked around in the common area where several children wanted their photos taken. Here is Mark Maddox of Tennessee with some kids.
To end the day, we went to the Hunan Provincial Museum, wherein the highlight was the 2100-year old mummy of Xin Zhui that had been excavated in 1972. Xin was the wife of the ruler, and her mummy was extremely well preserved.