Climb the Yellow Crane Tower
Wuhan’s Yellow Crane Tower is the city’s most revered landmark. The building as it currently stands was erected in 1981; however this historical pagoda has been torn down and rebuilt more times than most people care to remember. Once a military watch tower, the five-floor structure now serves purely commemorative purposes. As a source of pride among locals, it’s a universally accepted truth that no trip to Wuhan is complete without climbing to the fifth floor and checking out the bird’s-eye view.
Visit Baotong Temple
Despite being repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over the years, this Buddhist shrine has managed to maintain a unique and intricate beauty. A strong aroma of incense wafts through the grounds of the fully functioning temple as monks meditate and visiting worshippers drop by and show their respects. Atop a hill behind the buildings sits Hongshan Pagoda. To top off your temple experience, be sure to take the opportunity to wend your way up the historical winding staircases to the seventh floor and take a look out over the grounds from the balcony.
Wander down Han Street
Stretched alongside the Chu River, Han Street is understandably one of Wuhan’s most celebrated attractions. The street’s lively centre is packed with snack booths, drink stalls and restaurants, all nestled under trellises of willow-like fairy lights. Walk a little further and you will discover a mix of traditional Chinese and modern architecture housing all of your favourite high-street stores. Furthermore, if the timing is right, you may even be lucky enough to catch an open-air performance taking place on the street’s very own public stage.
Discover East Lake
As well as being the largest scenic area in Wuhan, East Lake is the biggest inner-city lake in the whole of China. Famed throughout the city for its distinct, tranquil viewing platforms and its beautiful springtime blossoms, it certainly takes more than one day to discover what East Lake has to offer. From tea-houses and restaurants to biking and boats, there are endless surprises to be discovered on these shores. If you’re visiting in May be sure to check out the annual Dragon Boat Festival celebrations.
Have a snack in Hubu Alley
Positioned in the shadows of the majestic Yellow Crane Tower, Hubu Alley is Wuhan’s most important and visited snack street. With more than 100 vendors holding permanent positions, it’s no wonder this alley is treasured by tourists and locals alike. Since the street is famed for the abundance of food on offer, it’s hard to decide what to go for. However hot dry noodles, tofu skin, duck necks and Chinese pork sandwiches are all local specialities. Braver, more daring travellers might want to have a taste of China’s infamous ‘stinky tofu’. It is massively popular on Hubu Alley, so simply follow the smell and join the queue.
Shop in style at Jianghan Street
Welcome to Wuhan’s shopping capital, an area famed for its colonial past as well as its cosmopolitan present. As a historical British concession, this street is a fascinating combination of old European style architecture and rapid Chinese consumerism. Often compared to Beijing’s Wangfujing area, Jianghan Street is a symbol of modern Wuhan. Shop in style, pick up lunch or simply grab a coffee in a trendy joint and watch as the night falls and evening dance classes begin to fill up the square.
Cycle around Wuhan
Wuhan is a city on the move – it’s developing from every angle and the only way you can get the full picture is by taking a look around. Since it’s certainly too big to explore on foot, it’s time to boycott the subway and grab yourself a bike. Thanks to China’s ever-expanding bike sharing opportunities, securing yourself a set of pedals has never been easier – simply scan the QR code and you’re off. New developments in Wuhan mean that cycling is becoming safer and ever more convenient. Cycle around East Lake, or along the banks of the Yangtze; just don’t forget your helmet.