Changsha (literally Long Sand), surrounded by fertile lands and bisected by the slow flowing waters the the Xiang River, is Hunan province's capital. Populated by some six million souls, Changsha is a lively town well known for its food culture, military tradition and being one of Mao Zedong's haunts prior to launching his political career.
The city is likely to attract two kinds of people, those interested in tracing the origins and journeys of Chairman Mao, and those interested in joining in the "renao" (literally hot and noise—two things the Chinese associate with having a good time) that sweeps over the city during the night time hours.
Hunan cuisine is infamous for being some of the spiciest in the land and is perhaps second only to Sichuan on China's spice-o-meter. Something to bear in mind if you're sampling street-side barbecue or noodles.