1. Yellow Crane Tower
The Yellow Crane Tower was first built in 223AD next to the Yangtze River. It has been a site of gathering for poets over many centuries despite its being destroyed and rebuilt by wars and fire at least 12 times. The current tower is located on Snake Hill overlooking the site of the original tower. It is a five-storied pagoda looking very traditional yet only completed in the 20th century. The name comes from a legend that a celebrated poet was taken from the original tower by a yellow crane and stopped its flight on Snake Hill. The entrance fee of CNY80 includes the tower and other attractions in the park on Snake Hill.
It is open daily from 7am until 6pm. to visit one of the must see attractions of Wuhan several buses go to the entrance including numbers 61, 64, 413, 19 and 170.
There are ten museums in Wuhan so you should include at least one in your list of places to visit.
The Hubei Provincial Museum on Donghu Road in Wuchang is one of those interesting places to visit and is one of China’s best museums. It is split into three sections, the Chime Bells Exhibition Hall, the Chu Culture Exhibition Hall and the Comprehensive Exhibition Building. It has over 200,000 exhibits including a set of bronze bells (Bianzhong) that are the world’s largest ancient musical instrument. Several relics of the Chu culture dating from the Warring States Period and artifacts from the tomb of the Marquis Yi of Zeng that were recovered nearby.
Entrance is free to all museums in Wuhan but you must show your passport or suitable ID at the entrance. It is open daily from 8.30am until 5pm. Several bus routes serve this museum including tourist buses 402 and 411. Within walking distance of this museum is Wuhan Museum and the Hubei Museum of Art.
3. Wuchang Uprising Memorial
This is one of the top tourist attractions in Wuhan, well actually it is two attractions that can be confusing for some people. To get here take the same bus as you would to the Yellow Crane Tower (described above) and walk across the park into Wuluo Road. The first exhibit is the memorial that was erected in 2011 to commemorate the centenary of the 1911 uprising that led to the overthrowing of the ruling dynasty that led to the China of today. This memorial is a garden full of interesting information about the event. After visiting here walk further along the road until you see a barracks like building, this is the actual barracks from where the uprising began. This is the Uprising Museum; it is free to enter with your passport and shows how life was for the soldiers in the barracks, the equipment they used as well as some information about the uprising. It is open daily from 9am until 5pm.
4. Wuhan’s Natural Attractions
The East Lake Park is a large area of outstanding natural beauty within Wuhan city. The lake itself is the largest lake in China within a city (Wuhan has 166 lakes across the city). The park covers 87 square kilometres including the lake which can be divided into six parts. To go walking, cycling or swimming in the lake visit the Moshan area where the entrance fee is CNY40, or Tingtao where it is free. These areas are open daily from 7am until 7pm. Take bus number 515, 36, 402 or 413 to get to the park.
To the eastern end of the East Lake you will find the Mulan Heaven Pool, it has over 200 examples of natural landscapes including waterfalls, rivers, streams, rock pools and trees. You can walk among the scenery or just sit and drink tea. It is open during daylight hours (7am-7pm) and costs CNY80. There are four tourist buses from the city centre that go to the Mulan Pool.
The Wuhan Botanical Garden is located within the East Lake Park and contains more than 4000 species of flora, entrance is free and it is open daily from 8am until 5pm. Bus number 402 operates directly to the gardens.
5. Hiking on Mulan Mountain
This attraction is not to be confused with the similarly named Mulan Heaven Pool described above. The Mulan Mountain is 50 kilometres north of the city of Wuhan and is a famous religious shrine that has attracted pilgrims for more than 1000 years. It is divided into four parts, the Ancient Village, the Stone Scenic area, the Mountain Village and the Flower garden. It is open from 7am until 7pm every day and is a great location to do some hiking in the mountains while visiting some of the temples located on this mountain of pilgrimage. There is a CNY80 entrance fee to the pilgrimage area; other parts of the mountain are free. Tourist bus number 1 from the Wuhan Passenger Port takes you to Huangpo then you must take a minibus to the mountain.
6. Theme Parks in Wuhan
Happy Valley Wuhan is a theme park located at the Donglu Tourism Resort, to the north of the East Lake and close to Wuhan Railway Station. There are 5 roller coasters in the park each of them are very exciting but expect a long wait in line for each one. There are some water based rides that can be great fun and refreshing on the hot days in Wuhan. I visited here during the October National Holiday, it was busy but you could still get on some rides after a short wait. In addition to the rollercoaster’s there are lots of rides for smaller children and 3D/4D cinemas to escape the heat or just sit down. When we visited the park with the family we arrived about 10am and by 5pm we were too tired to do anymore.
It is open daily from April until late October from 9am until 10pm, a ticket to all areas costs CNY180. They are very strict on height requirements for children on both the rides and entrance tickets. We had a teenager with us, his height meant we had to pay full price for his ticket, and then we had to argue on some rides as they said he was not tall enough. Keep your ticket with you to avoid this problem. Despite this it was a great day out.
7. Shopping Experience in Wuhan
There are lots of shopping malls in Wuhan and the largest one has to be the Valley Mall. Located at Guanggu Square it is currently the last stop on the metro line 2 and known in English as Optics Valley. There is probably every type of shop you will ever need here among the main complex, or several smaller malls that have opened alongside this one. It truly is a huge shopping area and can be packed at weekends and holidays. It’s a good place for you to shop and eat. Nearby there are four customs shopping streets, one each for Germany, Italy, Spain and France. They are not authentic to the country they represent but offer another variation on shopping and eating.
8. Watch a Spectacular Show with a Difference
The Han Show Theatre is one of the highlights of visitor’s tours when they visit Wuhan. It is one of the city’s best kept secrets. The Han Theatre was specially built to hold the show that is performed every evening from 7pm, it is a combination of a solid stage and displays in the water. It is in Wuchang on Chuhehan Street and the easiest way to get there is to the metro station Chu He Han Jie on line 4. The theatre holds 2000 seats and these seats move during the performance to help make the audience feel that they are part of the show. The stage alternates between a dry stage to one featuring performers inside a clear swimming pool, the changes take just 80 seconds. The story is of a man seeking his true love, of his loneliness, grief and eventual happiness. It is truly a magnificent production, do not sit too close to the front, a little further back gives you a better view of all that is happening on the massive stage.
9. Zhongshan Park
In the centre of the city in Hankou you can find yourself in tranquil surroundings away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This park on Jiefang Road is a large area of open grassland, lakes where you can go boating and even a small amusement park for younger children. Lots of Wuhan people come here to walk, do their dancing or daily exercises. The metro line 2 has a station next to the main entrance to the park, there is free entry and it is open until 10pm every day.
10. Time to Visit a Temple
Wuhan has several temples and two of the easiest to visit are the Guiyuan Buddhist Temple in Hanyang and the Baotong Temple in Wuchang.
Guiyuan Temple is located on Cuiwei Road and the nearest metro stop is at Zhongjiachun on line 6. Take exit C walking to the first intersection, then turn right and the temple is just along that road. There has been an active temple on this site since the 17th century; there are a lot of steps to negotiate and it can be very busy at weekends, the best time to visit is during the week.
Baotong Temple has a metro station on line 2 with the same name, its busiest day is Sunday when monks from other temples come here to pray and chant. There is an attractively laid out 7 storied pagoda that is over 1000 years old named Hongshan Tower. This temple is more of a working temple and less of a museum as are some temples within China. It is a great place to come and spend a few hours of relaxation. Both temples cost CNY10 to enter and are open from 8am until 5pm.
The best time to visit Wuhan is in the spring or autumn (fall) when the weather is at its most favourable. The summer is too hot and too wet. Plan your visit away from any Chinese holidays and you are sure to enjoy your time in this city.