Wuhan (武汉; Wǔhàn) is the capital of Hubei Province in China and a major port on the Yangtse River.
Memorial Hall of 1911 Wuchang Uprising, Where Sun Yat-Sen Issued his Edict to Overthrow the Qing.
Wuhan once consisted of three separate cities; Hanyang, Hankou, and Wuchang. Hanyang was a busy port as long as 3,000 years ago in the Han Dynasty. Yellow Crane Tower was first built in 223BCE and gained fame throughout China through the poetry of Cui Hao during the Tang Dynasty. Wuchang has been a center of learning for centuries, especially in the field of the arts. It became a provincial capital in the Yuan Dynasty.
Hankou was considered to be one of China's top four cities during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was the busiest inland port, first opened as a treaty port in 1661. During the 19th century, as a result of concessions granted in the aftermath of the Opium Wars, large areas of Hankou's riverfront were carved up into foreign mercantile divisions with port and rail facilities and the area's economy expanded rapidly. There remain many grand buildings along Hankou's riverfront clearly European in design as a result.
The city is perhaps most famous for its pivotal role in the formation of modern China. On October 10, 1911 the Wuchang Uprising, led by Sun Yat-Sen, took place sparking the Xinhai Revolution throughout the nation which resulted in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty (China's last) and the formation of the Republic of China. The event is commemorated in many place names beginning with "Shouyi", literally "First Revolution", including a public square with an attached museum. In the ensuing chaos of the Republic of China, Wuchang was the capital of a leftist Guomindang government ruled over by Wang Jingwei in direct opposition to Chiang Kai-shek.
In 1927, Hanyang, Hankou, and Wuchang were united to form the city of Wuhan. The city fell under siege by the Japanese during WWII and was liberated in 1949. With the opening of China, Wuhan was reopened in 1992 for the first time since the revolution. Today, Wuhan is one of China's largest cities and remains an important center of commerce. While many visitors overlook Wuhan as just another city, beneath its industrial exterior a rewarding tapestry of history and cultural arts awaits.
Wuhan is an amalgamation of three smaller cities, Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang, each separated from the other by a river. Hankou is the business center and it sits to the northwest with the Yangtze River separating it from Wuchang and the Han River separating it from Hanyang. Wuchang is the education center hosting a bewildering variety of universities, institutes and colleges. It is separated from both Hankou and Hanyang by the Yangtze River. Hanyang is the industrial center, separated from Hankou by the Han River and from Wuchang by the Yangtze River.
The Number One Yangtze River Bridge, an old, Soviet-era colossus of engineering incorporating both rail and automobile traffic in a dual-layer setup, connects Wuchang with Hanyang. The more graceful Number Two Yangtze River Bridge, currently only open to automobile traffic, connects Wuchang with Hankou to the north. There are two major bridges across the Han River shuttling automobile traffic between Hanyang and Hankou. These two bridges are within sight of each other on the few smog-free days that exist. The Number Three Yangtze River Bridge, connects the outskirts of Wuchang with the outskirts of Hanyang to the distant south.
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Wuhan is humid year-round and has chilly winters and oppressive summers
Travellers not accustomed to high heat and humidity should avoid visiting Wuhan in the summer months. As the hottest of the "Three Furnaces" of China (along with Chongqing and Nanjing), temperatures in the height of summer (namely July and August) can easily reach 35 °C. Combine the heat with humidity, a lack of wind, and heavy urban pollution typical to most of the rapidly industrialized cities in China, and one encounters a recipe for a cloudy yet simmering day.
Wuhan is a major city in a central position. It has all the bus, rail, road and air connections you
Wuhan can be accessed easily from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH)  about an hour outside of the city center. Flights from all major domestic airports are available, including Xian, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Taipei. International flights operate from Seoul and Tokyo.
Wuhan is a major railway hub, connected by direct trains with most of China's major cities. Overnight express trains (Z series trains) take one from Beijing for ¥263 or Shanghai in 9-12 hours. There are also frequent train connections from Guangzhou taking about 12 hours and a bit less frequent trains from Shenzhen.
Besides over night trains, there are also day-time high-speed trains which connect Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It takes 4.25–6.15 hours to Shanghai (¥280), 8.5 hours to Beijing and 3-4 hours to Guangzhou (¥490). The journey to Guangzhou has been reduced to around 3 hours since the opening of the 300km/h train, it runs every 15 minutes and makes it faster than flying.
There are three major passenger train stations: Wuhan, Wuchang and Hankou. Wuhan–Guangzhou high-speed trains arrive at Wuhan station. Hankou station is current being renovated.
There are two major long distance bus stations, again in Hankou and Wuchang respectively, which tend to have buses visiting both.
You can also reach Wuhan via boats on the Yangtze River, either from downstream centers such as Shanghai and Nanjing or from Chongqing further upstream, via the famous Three Gorges route.
Wuhan has a cheap, efficient, but horribly bewildering bus system in place. The service has vastly improved compared to the past. It is the cheapest way to get around the city. If you have a local to guide you, it can be used to get from place to place with impressive speed (if not comfort or safety). Without a local to guide you, you should better have a very good map and a good grasp of Chinese.
Taxis abound in Wuhan, easily outnumbering other private and public vehicles. Rates are relatively cheap at ¥6 on the flag and with around ¥70 getting you between almost any two spots you are likely to want to travel between. It is possible to get higher taxi fares, but usually only because the taxi driver has deliberately taken you on a longer trip (which is, thankfully, not a common occurrence).
Airport taxis are the exception. Foreigners in particular are likely to get ripped off by taxi drivers at the airport. They will demand prices starting at ¥150 to go anywhere in the city. For reference, going from the airport to the middle of Hanyang costs about ¥50 typically. It is advisable to insist on the metre before the taxi starts moving and if the driver refuses, step out, collect your luggage and go back to the taxi stand. Note that this is not a serious problem in the daytime when there is a supervisor at the taxi stand who is an airport employee, rather than a taxi driver himself.
One oddity of the taxi system is crossing the bridges. Because of the traffic problems and snarls at the bridges, the city has instituted a system in which half the taxis are not permitted to cross the bridge on half the days. Basically, if the day of the month is odd, odd-numbered taxis are allowed to use the Number One Bridge. If the day of the month is even, even-numbered taxis are allowed to use the Number One Bridge. This system may extend to the Number Two Bridge (this is not yet confirmed) but it does not extend to the Number Three Bridge. In most circumstances, however, it is not advisable to use the Number Three Bridge as it tends to increase the taxi fares dramatically (although it is an interesting ride).
The Yangtze River can be crossed by ferry for a very reasonable fee of ¥1.5. The ferry runs frequently starting at 7AM and ending at 9PM. It offers by virtue of its unique location some nice views of the city, the Number One Yangtze River Bridge, Yellow Crane Tower, etc. during the day and an interesting nightscape view after dark.
Snake Hill Park from the Yellow Crane Tower.
- Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼 Huanghelou), . The single largest tourist attraction in Wuhan, the tower is a modern construction built on the site of twelve previous incarnations. It is considered one of the four great towers in China. The tower sits atop Snake Hill near the Number One Yangtze River Bridge and affords a commanding view of the Yangtze River as well as the mouth of the Han River where it connects. The view of the city is very impressive, although at times made slightly hazy by smog. On the clearest days, one can see practically the entire city of Wuhan and far up and down the Yangtze River.
Entering the park costs ¥80 (as of 12/2010) which gives access to Snake Hill Park, Yellow Crane Tower and the Mao Pavilion (in which many of the poems of Chairman Mao are etched into stone for viewing pleasure). The park as a whole is nicely landscaped with many charming buildings. Of particular interest is the enormous bronze bell located behind Yellow Crane Tower itself as well as a teahouse on the premises which features regular performances of traditional Chu-era music. The performance itself is free, but it is expected that patrons enjoying it order at least a beverage or a small snack.
The current tower was completed in the 1980s using modern materials, most notably, concrete is used instead of wood for all supporting members so as to prevent yet another disaster, since the twelve previous towers were all destroyed by fires and war. The ground floor of the tower contains a large entrance hall, two stories tall, with enormous decorative lamps and a giant ceramic fresco displaying the quasi-mythical story of the tower's initial construction. The second story, essentially a balcony around the entrance hall, contains a souvenir shop as well as displays of traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy. The third story has a residence done up in the very ancient, Chu style modelled after the kinds of sitting rooms used by nobility greeting guests in the ancient period. The fourth story contains another souvenir shop and a set of models displaying the tower in five of its previous incarnations. This latter display shows the fascinating development of an essentially military watchtower into an increasingly residence/tourist-oriented showpiece. The top accessible story has pay telescopes and some nice art displays.
Yellow Crane Tower (and, in fact, Snake Hill Park in general) is wheelchair-accessible in most areas of interest. The tower even has two elevators suited to the elderly and the handicapped who would otherwise not be able to climb the stairs to the top. Ramps abound in most of the areas of interest.
- Guiyuan Temple (归元寺), ☎ 84-842-298, . Open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Built in 1658, Guiyuan Temple is known as the first zen temple to be built in Hubei Province. The most famous and impressive building in the complex is the Arhats Hall, which contains 500 arhat (Buddhist saints) statues. When you enter, from whichever part you choose to begin exploring, you are supposed to count the arhats. When you have counted to your current age, you are then supposed to write down the number above the statue that you stopped on and you can then present it to the small shop outside to purchase a golden card with your fortune, as well as a depiction of that statue. The statues inside are all quite different and intricately designed, so it's well worth the time to thoroughly explore the temple. Entrance is ¥10.
- Memorial Hall of Wuchang Uprising in 1911 Revolution, (Just below Snake Hill on the south side), . On October 10, 1911 the infamous Wuchang Uprising that started the Xinhai Revolution that led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the election of Sun Yat-Sen as the provisional president. This was one of the biggest events that shaped modern China, making it a must-see for anyone interested in historical travel. The Revolunary Army was officially here, and inside the Red Chamber (the main building) they issued the edict to bring down the Qing Dynasty. In the outside Uprising Plaza, stands a statue of Sun Yat-Sen.
- Hubei Provincial Museum (湖北省博物馆), ☎ +86 27 86794127, . Exhibit of ancient Chinese artifacts excavated from throughout Hubei Province. Displays range from pottery, jewelry, clothing, and even ancient human skulls. One of the highlights are the well-preserved musical instruments, and a brief concert is played daily on reproduction instruments.
- Wuhan Zoo, . Although it is technically a zoo, there is more to this zoo than just animals. The zoo contains a small area of amusement park rides, and a beautiful bonsai garden. Of course, those who are interested in seeing the animals will not be disappointed, as the zoo features a Giant Panda (be aware that they occasionally take the panda out to travel to other parts of the country), red pandas, hippos, wolves, zebras, and many other popular zoo animals. No visit to this zoo would be complete without seeing one of the daily shows! Well-trained animals performing unbelievable stunts, from puppies doing tricks to bicycling bears.
- Changchun Taoist Temple. ¥5.
- Wuhan Botanical Garden, ☎ +86 27 87510290, . Wuhan Botanical Garden was established in 1956 and is known today as one of China's top research botanical gardens. There is an impressive variety of gardens and greenhouses within the grounds of the botanical garden.
- Moshan Hill. A large park area filled with monuments, temples, and various shops. While most of the monuments in the area were built in the 1990s, Moshan Hill is still a great place to go hiking and enjoy the natural scenery. ¥40.
- Mao Zedong's Summer Villa, 56 Donghu Lu. Wuhan is home to one of the villas of the infamous Chairman Mao. He returned here annually and typically stayed a few months. The decor was designed in the 1950s fashion, which strikes many visitors as odd, yet there are plenty of indicators that it is no ordinary person's home. One of the most interesting sites is Mao's large indoor swimming pool.
- East Lake (Donghu), Donghu Rd, Wuchang District (take bus no 401 or 402). Largest lake in Wuhan. With numerous parks around it, all summer long it is a popular swimming area for the youths and families alike. The most popular legal swimming area is in Liyuan Park, on the northwestern side of the lake. Entry through ting-tao gate is free. Elsewhere on the lake, there are fancier beaches where admission is charged.
- Jiqing Street (吉庆街). An ordinary-seeming street by day, becomes transformed by night into a bewildering maze of streetside restaurants and buskers performing music, dance, opera and stand-up comedy. It is a strongly-recommended experience. Food is plentiful and cheap, and it features a lot of unique local cuisine. The performances can be enjoyed by proxy as performers work other tables or they can be purchased. One can expect to pay about ¥10 per song performed. Other performances are more based on contributions—the more you contribute, the longer the performers will do their routines and the more daring/interesting/funny the routines will be.
- Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Festival). May 5 at the East Lake. The famous Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated throughout China however, it's origins lie with the ancient Chu Kingdom that resided in Hubei Province and surrounding provinces during the Warring States Period. The festival was brought about from the story of Qu Yuan, advisor of King Huai, who had made many predictions about the dangers of the surrounding kingdoms to their own. Qu Yuan had advised the king on ways to protect the Chu Kingdom, but the king refused to listen and instead banished his advisor from the court. Years later, when word reached Qu Yuan that all of his predictions had come true, he committed suicide in the river out of despair over the fall of his kingdom. It is said that the people of the town loved him so much that they paddled down the river in dragon boats making music and throwing rice into the river so that the fish would not eat his body. This event is believed to have occurred on May 5, and the festival is celebrated in much the same way today as the event had occurred with the dragon boats and music in the river. People eat zongi, special rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, on this holiday. Although Qu Yuan is said to have drown himself in the Miluo River, just outside of Hubei Province, the festival is believed to have originated in Wuhan.
- Jianghan Road (江汉路), (In Hankou). Of potential interest to a visitor, a pedestrian mall almost as long as Shanghai's famed East Nanjing Road. During the day it is an interesting look at rampant consumerism in China's rapidly-growing middle class. At night, starting at 7PM, it is the same but is expanded on each side a few blocks deep by a night market with literally thousands of little stalls hawking every variety of goods imaginable: makeup, souvenirs, clothing, housewares, food, music, movies, etc.
Books and maps
- Chongwen Book City (Chongwen Shu Cheng), Xiongchu Avenu (Xiongchu Dajie) (Near Loushi South Road (Loushinanlu), about 3km east of Wuchang Train Station). Wuhan's best (or at least biggest) book and map store. It occupies the 3rd floor of a huge building. The place is huge. Most books are categorized by topics, but there are also sections dedicated to specific publishers. Most books are of course in Chinese, but a foreign traveller may be interested in their well stocked map department. Among other products, they carry a series of road atlases for most of China's provinces and autonomous regions, suitable for both drivers and bicyclists. There is also an Internet cafe on the 4th floor.
- Hubei Province Foreign Languages Book Shop (Waiwen shudian), Zhongnan Road (Just north of Wulou Road, no English sign). Another big book shop. The "foreign languages" in its name seems to refer mostly to the textbooks and dictionaries of foreign languages for the Chinese audience and the books translated into Chinese from foreign languages, but they carry some literature in English as well.
- Xinhua Bookstores. There are also a few large Xinhua Bookstores throughout the city.
Wuhan is famous for its morning xiaochi - a variety of breakfast foods. Hubuhang in Wuchang is Wuhan's famous breakfast alley where you will find all of Wuhan's famous breakfast dishes. Reganmian (literally, "hot dry noodle") is the epitome of Wuhan's breakfast food. It is noodles with peanut sauce, tossed in sesame paste and other seasonings. You will find these noodles for ¥2 from street vendors. Other Wuhan breakfast specialties include mianwo, a type of savory donut; tangbao, small dumpling-buns filled with pork and soup; mibaba, a lightly sweetened pancake made with rice flour; and mijiu tangyuan, a sweet soup of rice wine (fermented from glutinous rice) with rice flour dumplings stuffed with sesame paste.
Real men find their fuel on the streets betwixt the hours of 12:00-5:00 in the AM. On these streets there are generous and well-meaning folk selling dumplings, noodles, wok food, and foies gras. On the odd occasion that the lounge is closed, one is able to sit outside and enjoy the night air, the delightful local dialect, and any foods you order. If you are in the mood for a more romantic night on the town, there are countless 3-wall restaurants with candle lights upon the tables, live music flowing from the muses' mouths, and 4-star restaurants' finest fair at a reasonable and sanitary locale.
- Kebab Kingdom （烤巴巴王国）, 武汉市武昌区桂园路72号华师文化街52号, ☎ 027-87880981, . 11.00 to 21.30. Kebab Kingdom ，（烤巴巴王国） is the first restaurant in Wuhan to offer kebabs and it’s in the style of Turkish food. They opened up in January 2010 near Wuhan University 武汉大学 but now moved to huashi cultural street and make deliveries from 11:30-21:00. Each kebab is large and packed full of meat and vegetables at an affordable price of 20 RMB. They deliver free for orders within a 2 km radius and charge 4 yuan for orders more than 30 yuan for a 3km radius! They are currently serving doner kebabs, fries, chicken nuggets, and a variety of indian and Pakistani dishes. RMB 20.
It would be considered a sin to visit this city and not taste some of its finest nectars. Included in this list is Jingjiu (a healthy alternative to regular wines), Baijiu. If you would like to taste something slightly more low key, there is a local micro-brew called Singo (Xingyinge), that will be the beginning of every good night, at just ¥1.5 per bottle.
- VOX live house, Luxiang, Lumo lu（鲁磨路）, ☎ +86 13437251621 (chinese), 13163308577 (english). The most popular bar in Wuhan for non-Chinese, VOX is a small bar which regularly has shows on the weekend playing host to underground Chinese acts ranging from rock/punk/indie/experimental. Has a DJ after shows playing electro, indie-dance-rock among other things. Beers start at ¥5.
- Wuhan Prison, Next to the BBQs and Vox on Lumo Lu（鲁磨路）. A dirty frenzy free for all anything goes dive bar. They have absinthe. Good luck getting out of there sober.
- Grammy International, Just south of Luxiang on Minzu Dadao (民族大道）, . One of Wuhan's International Clubs, playing Rn'B, Hip-Hop, Rap...
- Topone Bar, On the north end of Luoshi Lu（珞狮路） close to Wuhan University （武汉大学）, ☎ 13016464840. Chinese style 'club', lots of tables, live entertainment and not a lot of dance floor. Beers start at about ¥30.
- Queens Bar, Luoshi Road（珞狮路）. Nextdoor to Topone. Lots of tables, a dance floor which bounces up and down, dancers. Modern interior. Beers start at about ¥30.
- Box, If you stand facing Chongwen book city on Xiongchu Dadao（雄楚大道）this bar is down the small road to the left. Small bar and difficult to find. They probably don't get many travellers in here. Go and surprise them. I think its cheap.
- Sawa, Opposite Wuhan Prison on Lumo lu（鲁磨路）(near CUG中国地质大学), ☎ +86 15072306120 (chinese and english). Opens in afternoon. Opposite Wuhan Prison, and around the corner from VOX, Sawa is a small Hookah/shisha bar that serves a wide range of alcohols (that are cheap) and also does food (which is all foreign-styled), it's a really good place to start before heading to Vox. During the day, they sell coffee and food. Beer from ¥5, cocktails are mostly ¥20, Shisha starts at ¥35 for 2 pipes.
- Toucan, On the ground floor of the Holiday Inn Wuhan Riverside on Qingchuan jie (晴川街). Irish bar, pool table, watch sports, Guinness on tap. ¥25 for a something which resembles a pint..
- Blue Sky Cafe, On Xibeihu Lu (西北湖街）, .
- Brussels Beer Garden, Also on Xibeihu Lu, directly below Blue Sky Cafe. A good range of Belgian and German beers on draft and bottled. (西北湖街）.
- Holiday Inn Wuhan Riverside, (At the heart of city a few minutes away from the shopping and entertainment district). Built near the banks of the Yangtze River,opposite to the well-known Yellow Crane Tower,neighbor to the ancient Qing Chuan Pavilion. 315 well-furnished rooms including 10 suites ,80 non-smoking rooms ,2 disabled rooms and 50 rooms on Executive Club floor.
- Haiyi Jin Jiang Hotel, 1 Hongshan Road, Wuchang District, . An intelligent building in the heart of the Wuchang District, offers 72 rooms with cutting edge amenities that are perfect for busy executives. It also has a variety of event venues to suit every function, as well as dining options where you can have the best of local cuisine.
- Wuhan Pathfinder International Youth Hostel (武汉探路者国际青年旅舍), 368 Zhongshan Road, Wuchang District (武昌区中山路368号) (Cannot be seen from the street, and may be difficult to find, so make sure to write down the address in Chinese and phone number to give to your taxi), ☎ +86 27 88844092, 88851263 (email@example.com, fax: +86 27 88844092), . Free wireless access, and very nice and extensive common area(s). Restaurant on site with extensive menu of quite good Chinese and Western dishes (¥10-28 per dish). Although quiet hours are listed as 11PM-8AM, this is barely a suggestion and not enforced too rigidly, so request a secluded dorm. Not a hotel for light sleepers. Dorm from ¥40(¥35 YHA member), single ¥80 (¥70 member), double ¥158 (¥138 member).
- Super 8 (速8酒店), 98 Donghu Road, Wuchang District (武昌区东湖路98号), ☎ +86 27 67811788 (fax: +86 27 67811766). Free internet in rooms. Free simple buffet meals. From ¥180.
- Wuhan Jin Jiang International Hotel, 707 Jianshe Avenue, Jianghan District, . A 5-star business hotel with over 400 guestrooms replete with the essentials for the traveling businessman. Also has fully-equipped ballrooms made for business conferences and other special events that can accommodate up to 400 guests. The hotel has restaurants offering Chinese and Western cuisine, and a cigar bar.
- Novotel Wuhan Xin Hua (武汉新华诺富特大饭店), (In Hankou), . 5 star hotel.
- Shangri-La Hotel, 700 Jian She Avenue, Hankou, ☎ +862785806868, . An upscale hotel offering massages, a fitness room, and a swimming pool. Internet is available in all rooms for no extra fee. From around ¥700.
- France, New World International Trade Tower Room 1702, 568 Jianshe Ave, Hankou 430022, ☎ +86 27 6579-7900 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 27 8577-8426), .
- United States, New World International Trade Tower I, 568 Jianshe Ave, Hankou District, ☎ +86 27-8555-7791 (email@example.com, fax: +86 27 8555-7761), .
- Republic of Korea, 4F, Pudong Development Bank B/D, 218, Xinhua Road, Jianghan District 430022, ☎ +86 27-8556-1085 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 27 8574-1085), .
There are two train stations in Wuchang (Wuchang station and Wuhan station, the latter for high speed trains) and one in Hankou. There are also long-distance bus stations; one in Hankou, and near the Wuchang train station.
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