Wuhan

Wuhan Overview

Situated at the crossroads of central China on the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), Wuhan is far more than just a place to switch trains, buses or boats.

Known as the "Gateway to Nine Provinces" and one of China's "Furnaces," Wuhan is sprawling, industrialized, crowded, and dynamic as any city you'll find in China.

A three-in-one urban mashup, the modern metropolis is made up of the once-independent cities of Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang. Linked by bridges spanning the Yangzi and Han rivers, the three are now districts that maintain distinct feels despite the rampant demolition & construction giving much of Wuhan a makeover. Hankou, in particular, is home to a finely preserved colonial quarter and old Chinese neighborhoods sit side by side with shiny new high rises throughout the three districts.

Wuchang's iconic five-tiered Yellow Crane Tower, dating back to the 3rd century AD, is Wuhan's top must-see attraction.

Other popular points of interest include the Rock and Bonsai Museum with its outdoor garden of exquisitely trained bonsai.

The Hubei Provincial Museum features a fascinating collection of relics from the storied region's long history, including treasure excavated from the tomb of the Marqui Yi and a 64-strong bronze bell orchestra.

The Mao Zedong Villa, where Mao frequenty staid between 1960 and 1974, provides green respite from the bustling city. Surrounded by landscaped grounds, the villa makes for a fascinating window into PRC history, though the "maomorabilia" and a distinct whiff of personality cult can reach overpowering levels for some.

East Lake--the largest city lake in China--is another handy getaway from crowded streets, and Wuhan is a point of departure for riverboat tours to the Three Gorges Dam and Chongqing.

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