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Wuhan(武汉; Wǔhn) is an interesting large city in the inland central area of China that somehow feels less modernized than China’s coastal cities or Beijing, but it is one of China’s main high-tech, education and financial centers. It is China’s 10th largest city. It is interesting for tourists because there are scenic areas and the big Yangtze River. The people are unusually cordial to foreigners. Because it is right in the middle of the navigable part of the Yangtze River between Shanghai on the coast and Sichuan and Chongqing far to the west, it has long been a transportation hub. The old town of Hankou that is now a part of modern Wuhan was China’s second largest commercial center after Shanghai during the 1800s and early part of the 1900s. Prices for meals and transportation are low, transportation to the city is unusually convenient, and it is an interesting tourist destination and a good place to start a tour of the Yangtze River basin.

Wuhan is now the capital of Hubei Province that is an inland province. It has a population of about 10 million people in its administrative area, with about 6,000,000 people in the main urban area and about 4,000,000 people in surrounding suburbs and towns. It is divided into three parts by the Yangtze River and Han River. The Wuchang district is the education center with many universities and research centers, the Hankou area is the financial and business district, and the Hanyang district is the industrial center.

This city has a certain charm about it. The people are unusual friendly compared to those in other cities. And if you have the time for a cruise, you might really enjoy going up the Yangtze on a cruise liner.


The city was originally three different towns around the place where the Han River merged with the Yangtze River (Changjiang, 长江, “long river”). The Yangtze River generally flows west to east across central China, and in the area of Wuhan, it flows from the southwest to the northeast. The much smaller Han River enters from the west.

The town on the southern bank of the Yangtze was called Wuchang. It was long known as an education center for Confucian scholars and literati, and for its arts, and it was a provincial capital during the Yuan (Mongolian) Dynasty. The town on the north bank of the Han River and the Yantze was called Hankou.

It was a financial and merchants center, and when the British controlled it during the 1800s, it became the second biggest financial and merchant center in China after Shanghai. The town on the south bank of the Han River between the Han and the Yangtze was called Hanyang. Now, it is the industrial area of the city with car factories, heavy industries, and advanced industries.

The British invaded the area during the middle of the 1800s, and used Hankou as a trading port. Goods from all over the British Empire, 1/7 of the world’s land area, came in on ships and were traded for goods from all over China, the most populous country in the world. The British had a small enclave along the river in Hankou of about 30 kilometers in area, and they built some buildings that still stand.

There is a large beautiful customs building that is still standing. It must have seemed very imposing then, since the architectural methods were advanced. Railroads were built that connected the British port with northern China, so it became one of the busiest ports in China. The Yangtze River allowed steamboats to carry merchandise more than 1,000 kilometers inland from the coast.

Modern History

In the last century, the area that is now called Wuhan was the scene of some important political events. First, starting about 1906, the Qing Dynasty governor of the area promoted the development of modern industry and education by founding important industries and opening modern schools and universities. Most of these universities were built in Wuchang. He wanted to modernize the area under his jurisdiction, so Wuhan became a leading city in China for industry, education and culture.

In 1911, there was a revolt against the Qing Dynasty government in the city promoted by Sun Yat-Sen, and then there was conflict all over China. In 1927, the Chinese KMT Nationalist government organized the old towns of Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang into a city that was the capital city of China. The national government met in the Hankou District for a short time. In 1939, Wuhan became a Japanese military headquarters, and the city was destroyed by the US Air Force in 1944.

Tips & articles

Guiyuan Temple This Buddhist temple on Cuiwei Transverse Street, Hanyang, Wuhan was built at the end of the Ming and early Qing dynasties, with a history of approximately 400 years. "Guiyuan" in Chinese means achieving sainthood and becoming a Buddha. In this ...Read More
Red Cliff / Chibi If you don't know the history of Chibi (Red Cliff), the place won't look much more than a village to you. But back in 208AD, Chibi was the site of a major battle. At the time, after unifying the north, Caocao lead massive navy forces down the ...Read More
Yellow Crane Tower / Huanghe Lou Yellow Crane Tower is located on Snake Hill in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Enjoying the fame of 'The First Scenery under Heaven', it is one of the most renowned towers south of the Yangtze River. Its cultural significance led to its ...Read More

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Recent posts

by Alina 2011-05-23
Guiyuan Temple is a Buddhist temple and a National AAAA Level Tourist Attraction, located in the Hanyang District of Wuhan. The temple houses five hundred Lohan stone carvings, which took nine years to complete. Guiyuan Temple was built during the reign of Emperor Shunzhi of Qing Dynasty, and consists of the Sutra Collection Pavilion, The Mahavira Palace and ...
by Latif 2011-05-23
Yellow Crane Tower is on the summit of Snake Mountain, and enjoys renown on a par with Yueyang Tower in Hunan Province and Tengwang Pavilion in Jiangxi Province. It was first built during the Three Kingdoms period (223 A.D.). At present, it is a sign construction of Wuhan. Yellow Crane Tower has five floors, and is 51.4 meters tall. On each floor, there are ...
by Prabhati 2011-05-23
Linking Snake Hill in Wuchang and Turtle Hill in Hanyang, the Yangtze River Bridge at Wuhan was the first steel bridge across the mighty Yangtze River. The bridge was built in 1957 and allowed north and south China to be connected by rail for the first time. It is 1,670 meters long and 260 feet high, with road traffic on its upper deck, and rail on its lower...