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Wonderful Wuhan

Picturesque, serene, historic…. these are but three adjectives used to describe Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in Central China.

Wuhan is the amalgamation of three smaller cities of Hanyang, Hankou, and Wuchang on 1st January, 1927. In the same year, Wuhan became the capital of China, albeit for only six short months.

high speed trains in Wuhan (Credit: Chinanews.com)
high speed trains in Wuhan (Credit: Chinanews.com)

Due to its strategic location and geography at the confluence of Han River and along the middle reaches of Yangtze River, Wuhan is a major domestic transportation hub that connects to all parts of China; north, south, east and west. Wuhan is, after all, also the most populous city in Central China.

In modern-day China, Wuhan is an important financial centre and industrial zone. While Wuhan is often overlooked as a tourist attraction, it is fast becoming a destination to be reckoned with.

Wuhan icon
One of the most famous icons of Wuhan is the Yellow Crane Tower, a Chinese pagoda-like tower situated atop Wuchang District’s Serpent Hill. Said to have been built since AD 223, it was destroyed and rebuilt numerous times over the years, and was even burnt down once.

 Yellow Crane Tower (Credit: chinaexploration.com)
Yellow Crane Tower (Credit: chinaexploration.com)

The current structure is a result of a complete reconstruction exercise in 1981, featuring modern materials with an elevator added in, although its external traditional design has been thoughtfully preserved.

One of the Four Great Towers of China, tourists should make a visit to Yellow Crane Tower to validate their trip to the city. The top of the tower offers a panoramic view of the Yellow Crane Tower Park and beyond, where Yangtze River can be seen in the horizon.

Scenic Wuhan
If you had been impressed with the beauty of Hangzhou’s West Lake, you need to check out East Lake Scenic Area in central Wuhan. Five times bigger than the former, East Lake Scenic Area is easily China’s largest urban lake.

East Lake Scenic Area (Credit: China.org.cn)
East Lake Scenic Area (Credit: China.org.cn)

Divided into six areas, each with its own unique features, are: Tingtao, Moshan, Luoyan, Baima, Luohong, and Chuidi.

No matter the season, you will be welcomed by lovely blossoms of the season, from orchids in spring to plum flowers in winter.

Create even more lasting memories when you take a boat ride to Moshan Zoo, on the bank across the lake.

Visiting Mulan
If you are a fan of Disney’s animation, Mulan, which is to be released in 2020 as a live-action feature film, Mulan Mountain is where you should explore.

This well-known geopark is named after Hua Mulan, a legendary female warrior from ancient China.

Whether truth or fiction, it is said that she took over her aged father’s place in the army and went to war for twelve long years, attaining the rank of General, achieving much glory in the process.

 Mulan Mountain (Credit: Changjiang Daily)
Mulan Mountain (Credit: Changjiang Daily)

An hour’s car ride from Wuhan city, Mulan Mountain boasts a history of 1,500 years and is home to seven palaces, eight Taoist temples, as well as uncountable statues of Buddha, making it a religious landmark for both Taoists and Buddhists.

Nature lovers would thoroughly enjoy the mountain but do be prepared for lots of walking, along paved path (thankfully!), and climbing of stairs.

Official snack street of Wuhan
Hubu Lane is where you should explore if you wish to try the best of the city’s street snacks, especially for breakfast.

Located in Ziyou Road, Hubu Lane is possibly the most famous street in Wuhan, with a long history that dates back 400 years ago.

Hubu Lane (Credit: wh-china.com)
Hubu Lane (Credit: wh-china.com)

Originally a narrow lane, it has been expanded to a length of 150 metres and width of 3 metres, carrying the distinction of being Wuhan’s official snack street. Besides food stalls selling 170 types of snacks, other businesses that make up the 160 stores include shopping booths and entertainment venues.

Recommended food items are hot dry noodles, fried tofu skin and steamed pork dumplings. Be ready to jostle your way among the crowd, as Hubu Lane receives an average of 10,000 visitors a day, and some 25,000 on weekends.

Best time to visit
Wuhan is not known as one of the three furnaces of China for nothing. Its extreme summer heat and freezing winter may not be suitable for everyone. Hence, suggested time to visit is between March and April, when the climate is most pleasant.

 Wuhan University on Luojia Hill (Credit: Xinhua)
Wuhan University on Luojia Hill (Credit: Xinhua)

During this time of the year, to be included in your itinerary is a trip to Wuhan University on Luojia Hill, surrounded by Donghu Lake.

Said to be one of the most beautiful campuses in the whole of China, a most glorious sight of cherry blossoms awaits. You should also schedule a cruise along Yangtze River, to get the most out of your visit to Wuhan.

Note: An edited version of this article is published in the December 2018 issue of Malindo Air in-flight magazine. Photos used here are for illustration purposes only.

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