Located in a central part of China on the banks of the mighty Yangtze River is the city of Wuhan. Capital of the Province of Hubei, Wuhan is an important transport hub, especially is it almost equidistant from the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
As well as having the Yangtze River flowing through the city, the Han River also passes through Wuhan and river traffic can be quite busy.
Wuhan is a city in which traditional buildings blend quite well with modern high rise blocks, and although it is one of China’s most populated cities, there are parks and lakes within the city limits which are quite serene.
One of the most popular spots is East Lake which, with a total area of 80 square kilometres, is popular with locals who hire boats for a peaceful paddle on the lake. There are many attractive and abundant gardens and parks on the shores as well as beaches which fill up with families during summer.
An impressive traditional-style building is the Yellow Crane Tower which was originally built in AD 223, during the Three Kingdoms Period as a Wu Kingdom military tower. The one you visit today is a recreation that has been given a more impressive setting than the original, and it is considered to be one of the four best towers in China. It is 52 metres high and has been built atop Snake Hill from which you can enjoy a 360 degree view from the top of the tower overlooking Wuhan city and presenting a magnificent view northwards over the great Yangtze River.
Hubei Provincial Museum is also worth a visit as it contains artefacts from the tomb of Marquis Yi, from which 15,000 items were excavated, including 65 bronze bells that have been restored to their original resonance and are renowned for their superb tone quality and timbre.
I enjoyed my time in Wuhan, and was fascinated by the variety of traffic on the Yangtze.
One of my fondest memories was of enjoying the best beer that I have tasted in China. Sadly, I have forgotten the name of the ale, but it was a very tasty German-style beer that was very thirst quenching.
Wuhan is one of the three `furnace cities’ in China, the other two being the Yangtze cities of Chongqing and Nanjing. They are so called because they can get very hot and humid in summer, so it is best to visit during spring or autumn when the temperature is quite pleasant.