Chairman Mao Revolutionary Tour & Nanjiecun People’s Commune
Join YPT for a week of Maoist adventure, visiting Chairman Mao’s birthplace, mausoleum and spending two full days in Nanjiecun People’s Commune where we experience the Maoist legacy and nostalgia for the original Chairman, joining a local Communist Party cadre for a discussion group about Maoism and politics in China today.
This tour is led by YPT’s China Tours Manager, fluent in Chinese and an expert on Maoist history!
This exciting tour is based around the Nanjiecun People’s Commune, a village in Henan province which ignored the tide of decollectivisation and has remained an agricultural collective since the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Our time in the commune is sandwiched between a trip to Mao’s birthplace Shaoshan, where we can see ‘red tourism’ in action and get a feel for how modern Chinese people still revere their Chairman – and a day in Beijing, where we visit Mao’s mausoleum in Tiananmen Square, the Museum of the Revolution which tells the story of Mao’s journey from Shaoshan to Beijing, and the Military Museum which concentrates on the ‘War to Resist the US and Aid Korea’, the Korean War.
This tour can be done as a single tour, or you can join us heading into North Korea on the Sino-Korean Political Interest Tour where we move from Maoism to Juche. This combo also includes one night’s free accommodation in Beijing. Click here for more information.
Meet your guide at 10:00 outside the main entrance to Beijing West Station to collect your tickets. We’ll then head into the station and grab a coffee in Starbucks and go over the orientation for the trip.
Take the High Speed Rail from Beijing West Station to Chairman Mao’s hometown of Shaoshan in Hunan province (11:43-19:10).
Check in to a rural hotel and dinner, before some night-time exploration of Shaoshan.
Tuesday 12th June
In the morning, we begin to explore the main parts of Shaoshan, visiting Chairman Mao’s ancestral home which is usually busy with Chinese ‘red tourists’ dressing up in Red Army uniforms paying their respects to the Chairman.
Lunch of Hunan noodles.
Walking tour of Shaoshan including the central Mao Zedong Square with his statue, Nan’an School where Mao started his education, the Mao Zedong Memorial Museum and the Relic Hall of Mao Zedong, filled with personal artefacts and pictures from his early years.
Local Hunanese dinner, including Mao’s favourite dish of braised pork.
Overnight in Shaoshan.
Wednesday 13th June
Head out of town to explore the Hunan countryside, we also visit the Dripping Water Cave where Mao held meetings during the Cultural Revolution.
Lunch of Changsha Rice Noodles.
Take the High Speed Rail to Luohe (14:10-17:49).
Transfer to Nanjiecun People’s Commune, where collective farming, rural industry and a veneration of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought maintain the last realm of Maoism in China.
Welcome meal and first look around the commune.
Overnight in Nanjiecun Commune Visitors Guesthouse.
Thursday 14th June
We check out the commune school, where locals pay no tuition fees, here we can watch or take part in an English lesson, and also the commune health centre where we can find out more about the free health insurance provision for all locals.
Visit the Instant Noodle Factory, famed throughout China and a good example of an industrial project which was given the capital and support to become a national brand, take some noodles away with you for lunch or save them for the train!
Continue to check out the industrial sites of the town, visiting the brickworks and talking to the workers and the building projects for commune-owned housing for the residents.
In the late afternoon, we will wander around the Cultural Square, where the statue of Chairman Mao stands in the middle of huge portraits of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, one of the few places where we can see the veneration of Mao’s Marxist-Leninist roots.
TRIP HIGHLIGHT – we meet up with a local Communist Party cadre for a discussion about Maoism in history and in China today, involving some locals to hear about their thoughts on the Maoist legacy and with the opportunity to ask as many questions as we can!
Post-discussion Dinner and drinks, overnight in Nanjiecun.
Friday 15th June
Look around the Nanjiecun fields and agricultural works. The local guide will show us the irrigation, mechanisation and collective agricultural projects that have been promoted in the commune. Learn about how the farmer’s life in a collective is different to the family plots in other parts of China.
In the afternoon, we get the chance to get our hands dirty and work with the farmers in the field to get an even closer look at their daily lives.
Dinner and overnight in Nanjiecun.
Saturday 16th June
Transfer to Luohe and High Speed Rail to Beijing (09:54-13:39).
Visit the Beijing Military Museum. Here we get a closer look at the Chinese point of view of the Korean War – the War to Resist America and Defend Korea. From the captured UN military equipment to Mao’s own personal sacrifices in the war, in which his son Mao Anying was killed.
Dinner of Beijing local specialities and overnight.
Sunday 17th June
Our journey nears its end with a visit Mao’s final resting place, his mausoleum in the centre of Tiananmen Square.
Visit the Museum of the Revolution where we can see the overview of Mao’s life and the Chinese Revolution, his path from Hunan peasant through the Long March to Yan’an in the northwest, taking over the leadership of the Communist Party and its eventual nationwide victory.
Final lunch and end of tour.
Note: This tour can be done as a single tour, or it can be bought as a combo with our Sino-Korean Political Interest Tour which also includes one night’s free accommodation in Beijing.