The Magic of Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province in Central China. This remarkable city, with a population of nearly 10 million people, is often considered the cultural and commercial capital of central China. Arising from a combination of three separate cities – Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, today Wuhan is a modern and vibrant city with plenty to do and see. Under its rapidly modernising façade are strong historical roots. Like accommodation in neighbouring countries such as Vietnam or Malaysia, hotels in Wuhan can vary enormously in quality but excellent hotels are available for the discerning traveller.
Getting There and Around
Wuhan is easily accessible by air, train, and bus. Quhan Tianhe International Airport is under an hour from the city centre, offering flights to all major domestic and some regional airports. Direct overnight trains are available to most major Chinese cities. Wuhan can also be reached by boat on the Yangtze River. Like Doha hotels or hotels in any part of the region, accommodation in Wuhan can offer very high standards of luxury and comfort as well as facilities for business travellers.
The Yellow Crane Tower
The Yellow Crane Tower is one of the not-to-be-missed attractions in Wuhan. First built in 223 C.E., the Tower has been destroyed by fire and war and rebuilt more than 12 times. The current structure was built in 1981 and is considered one of the four greatest towers in China. Paid entry into the Snake Hill Park gives access to the Tower and a striking view of the Yangtze River, the entire city, and the Mao Pavilion. The Tower itself has an enormous entrance hall, decorative lamps, frescos, souvenir shops, and traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy. A walk through the park yields some interesting sights for visitors. There’s a large bronze bell and a tea house featuring traditional performances.
Guiyan Temple, constructed in 1658, was the first Zen Buddhist temple to be built in the province. The Arhats Hall is home to around 500 arhat statues and the temple makes an interesting morning or afternoon visit.
Memorial Hall of Wuchang
For those interested in history, the Memorial Hall is a must see place. The Wuchang Uprising in October 1911 overthrew the Qing Dynasty and is considered one of the key events to have shaped China.
Other Notable Attractions
- Wuhan Zoo – The Wuhan Zoo isn’t just a zoo. It has a beautiful bonsai garden and features Giant Pandas and red pandas native to China.
- Moshan Hill – A park area with temples, shops, and beautiful scenery.
- East Lake – situated on Donghu Rd and a popular swimming lake and recreational area.
- Hubei Provincial Museum – the Hubei Museum houses various artifacts excavated throughout the province, including pottery, clothing, jewellery, and musical instruments.
Food and Shopping
For shopping, try Jianghan Road during the day. At night, the mall is transformed into an atmospheric night market filled with thousands of stalls selling food, clothing, souvenirs, and much more.
Jiqing Street may appear quiet and assuming during the day, but at night the street becomes a busy hub of restaurants and street performers. Jiqing Street is a good place to grab a meal and sample the delicious local cuisine.
Wuhan is famous for its wide variety of hawker style breakfast foods. These include ‘re-gan-mian’, noodles in peanut and sesame paste. Equally famous are mianwo, the local savoury donuts; mijiu tangyuan, filled rice flour dumplings in soup; mibaba, sweet pancakes, and tangbao (savoury dumplings with a gravy, meat, and vegetable filling).