At first glance, the City of Wuhan is an industrial town. But under that industrial face is a rich history and culture. It is an education center for central China with a long history in the arts. Along Hankou’s riverfront are many buildings remaining from the 19th Century foreign trading communities.
The biggest tourist attraction in the Port of Wuhan is unquestionably the Yellow Crane Tower atop Snake Hill near the First Yangtze River Bridge. The Yellow Crane Tower and the Mao Pavilion are open to visits in Snake Hill Park. Behind the tower are a huge bronze bell and a teahouse that features regular performances of Chu-era traditional music. Today’s tower was completed in the 1980s, replacing five earlier towers on the same site, each of which was destroyed by natural disaster or war. Today’s tower is wheel-chair accessible.
The first floor is a big entrance hall decorated with large decorative lamps and a ceramic fresco telling the story of the tower’s first construction. The second floor balcony encloses the hall and displays traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy. Visitors will find souvenir shops there, too. The third story is a reproduction of a Chu-stile residence fit for nobles of the time. The fourth floor contains displays of models of the tower over its five incarnations, illustrating its development from a military watchtower to a residence and tourist-oriented showplace. The top floor contains telescopes for viewing the Port of Wuhan (which may be blurred by smog) and art displays.
The Port of Wuhan’s Jiging Street is a night-time maze of restaurants and street performances of dance, music, opera, and comedy. Visitors can find abundant affordable food, including local cuisine, and performers reward generous contributions.
Jianghan Road in the Port of Wuhan is a pedestrian mall that is a common consumer market by day. But at night, it becomes a busy market with thousands of stalls where every conceivable type of product can be found.
The Wuhan Botanical Garden on the East Lake at the foot of Moshan Hill covers 70 hectares and contains many gardens and walks. It is the largest botanical collection in central China. One of the biggest zoos in China, the Wuhan Zoo, on the bank of Moushuihu Lake, covers 48 hectares and contains over 300 species of rare wild animals.
The Port of Wuhan’s Three Kingdoms Castle on the Tortoise Hill, in the Hanyang district on the east side of the Yangtze River across from Snake Hill, features a 900-meter-long road, the tomb of Lu Su (172-217 AD), ancient cooking vessels, 120 statues of heroes from the Three Kingdoms period, and the new Chibi Battlefield Panoramic Art Gallery telling the story of the terrible battle fought in the area more than 1800 years ago.