With a population of 60.85 million, Hubei Province is situated in the middle reach of the Yangtze River and covers area of 190,000 square kilometers. On this vast and rich land of “Province of A Thousand Lakes” and ,“Land of Fish and Rice” live in harmony diligent people of different ethnic groups for generations and generations, unfolding a colorful array of folklore pictures.
Charmingly sheer and respectively distinctive are Qutang Gorge, Wuxia Gorge and Xiling Gorge, the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. Taking a downstream cruise on the river, you were as though strolling in a “Landscape Gallery”, absorbed by waterfalls, springs in green ranges, the singing of birds and the screaming of monkeys. It becomes a hot destination with the completion of the Three Gorges Dam Project in 2009.
Shennongjia, one of the primeval forests and nature reserves in China, is veiled by its mystery: the mysterious legend of “wild man” and leading-nowhere streams. The Wudang Mountain is one of the four famous “Taoist mountains in China. Its complex of ancient structures was built in Zhenguan Period (627-649) of the lang Dynasty and expanded in a large scale in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in the manner of royal constructions of the Palace Museum in Beijing, both taking on a regal bearing. It has been included in the World Heritage List.
Over 1,800 years ago this land time and again witnessed fierce battles among the Three Kingdoms of Wei (220-265), Shu (221-263) and Wu (220-280), which left more than 50 historical remains. Standing on the historical sites of the ancient Chi Bi battlefield, the ancient Jingzhou City, the Yellow Crane lower, the ancient Guanling Tomb, the ancient capital of Wu State and ancient Longzhong, one cannot help recalling the bygone days and indulging in a welling of myriads of sentiments.
The hospitable people open their arms to home-and-abroad friends in their shared enjoyment of fantastic scenes of the Three Gorges, Shennongjia, the Wudang Mountain, the Three Kingdoms relics and Wuhan.
Consisting of Wuhan, Huangshi, Xianning, Huanggang, Ezhou and other cities, the area is chiefly of cultural sites: the Yellow Crane Tower, Hubei Provincial Museum, Guiyuan Temple, Dongpo Chi Bi, Wuzu Temple and the hometowns of celebrities. Its scenic beauties of East Lake, Liangzi Lake and the Dabie Mountain also draw a large number of visitors.
The Yellow Crane Tower
Viewed as Number One Tower among the three famous towers south of the Yangtze River, the Yellow Crane Tower stands at the head of Snake Hill. It is famed for its beauty and cultural significance. For ages it has been praised in innumerable poems, fu (Chinese rhapsodies) couplets and inscriptions. The tower is five-storied and 50.4 meters high. Climbing up to the top and looking into the distance, one feels relaxed and joyful. Around it there are constructed Shengxiang Pagoda, the Stele Pavilion and a decorated gateway.
The Yangtze River Bridge of Wuhan
Linking Snake Hill in Wuchang and Tortoise Hill in Hanyang, it is the first highway-railway bridge over the Yangtze River. The bridge balustrades of each side are carved with patterns of animals and birds themed from Chinese folklores and mysteries. At each end of the bridge there is a seven-storied bridge tower of dual eaves with strong national elements. In the tower are displayed clay sculptures of the bridge builders for commemorating their great deeds.
Situated in the east suburbs of Wuchang, it is the largest lake in Wuhan. Its major spots are of rich cultural significance, including Tingtao (Listening to Surging Waves), Baima (the White Horse), Luoyan (the Diving Wild Goose), Moshan (the Millstone Hill), Chuidi (Playing Flutes), etc. A special area is dedicated to the display of the Chu culture.
Mulan Tianchi (Heavenly Pond)
Situated in Mulan Township to the north of Wuhan and at a 600-meter elevation, it is renowned for its picturesque scenes and Buddhist and Taoist temples. It is where the story took place that a girl named Mulan, dressed up like a man, enlisted in the army and fought bravely with the enemy. Near it there are the Mulan Lake where the migratory bird is a special scene, and Mulan Mountain where the Buddhism and Taoism coexisted harmoniously.
Huangshi National Mine Park - Daye Iron Ore
Located in the Tieshan District of Huangshi City, this is China’s first national mining park and the country’s leading industrial tourism demonstration spot. Famous for its richly endowed mineral resources, the Park covers an area of 23 square km. Composed mainly of the Hanye Mining Sightseeing Area and the Land Reclamation and Ecological Sightseeing Area, it shows the long history and profound culture of the Daye iron ore mining, and is held as a best place for studying ore mining.
The Three Kingdoms' Chi Bi (Red Cliff)
38 kilometers to the northwest of the city of Chibi, it is situated at Chibiji on the right bank of the Yangtze River. The spot includes a statue of Zhou Yu, an Exhibition Hall of the Chi Bi Battle and a few named pavilions. The Chinese characters “Chi Bi” carved on the rock are allegedly the handwriting of Zhou Yu. The sight of it brings many associations of the fierce battle fought ever here.
Changsheng (Winning Forever) Street in Hong'an
Situated in Hong’an County, Hubei, it is so named because in the late Qing Dynasty (1616-1911) the people there prayed and wished that the Taiping Army would win one victory after another forever. Visitors will see a typical little town of the late Qing Dynasty with cobbled streets and black-tiled roofs and eaves. It is the testimony of the Chinese revolution in the past hundred years.
Dongpo Chi Bi (Red Cliff)
Different from the Three Kingdoms’ Chi Bi, Dongpo Chi Bi is located in Chibijitou, Huanggang, where Su Dongpo (1037-1101) once toured when he was staying in Huangzhou in demotion. It consists of a showroom of Su Dongpo, the Scissors Hump, the White Stone Tortoise, Erfu Hall, Qixia Tower, Liuxian Pavilion, Leijiang Kiosk, Poxian Kiosk, etc..
Dabie Mountain Forest Park
Located in the north of Luotian County, it is a comprehensive national forest park featuring mountainous landscape, primeval forests and historical sites. It has five scenic areas: Tiantangzhai Peak Landscape Area, Qingtai Pass Ancient Temple Area, Bodao Peak Resort Area, Jiuzi River Country Landscape Area and Tiantang Lake Aquatic Paradise.
Southwest Hubei Tourist Area stretches from the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River to the Qingjiang River basin, containing Yichang, Enshi Tujia & Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Shennongjia primeval forest area. Most attractions of Hubei are located in this area. Visitors are fascinated by the cultures of ethnic groups of Tujia, Bachu, the Three Kingdoms (220-280) and Buddhism, the Tenglong Cave and drifting along the Xihe River, Gezhouba Dam, gorges scenes, ect..
It is one of the world’s largest water conservancy projects with an embankment of 2,607 meters. The opening of the sluice gate works an awing spectacle of the vigorous gushes of water soaring high and roaring deafeningly. When passing through the dam on a 10,000- ton cruiser and being elevated scores of meters visitors are marveled at the human beings’ feats that have smartly changed our surroundings.
Extending from Xiling District of Yichang to Badong County of Enshi Prefecture, it falls into four smaller orqes called Xiangxi, Shangduan, Miaonan and Xiaduan. Cruising downstream visitors can view that little gorges are encompassed in larger ones. Almost all the gorges have been given descriptive names. The two banks are full of currents, shoals, rapids, springs, rocks, caves and cultural relics.
Ancient Xiaoting Battlefield
Situated in Xiaoting District of Yichang, it is the site of the combat between the Wu (222-280) and Shu (221-263) states of the Three Kingdoms Period (222-280). The battle has left over ten relics such as the Zhaowang Hill, Gunzhong Slope, the horse mounting stone block, old plank roads. Most of them have been restored and they are Hanque Watchtower Gate, Xisai Tower, Longmen Sentry Post, Jiuxian Pavilion and Liu Bei (161-223) Fortress and so on.
Three Gorges Dam
It covers an area of 15.28 square kilometers. Up to now five spots has been opened to the tourists. Standing on the Tanzi Ridge you can have a bird’s eye view of the whole of the Three Gorges Dam project. At Jieliuyuan (Damming Park) you can watch the spectacular scene of the damming of the Yangtze River, a hundred-year old dream of the Chinese people.
Qu Yuan Memorial Hall
It is the birth place of the great poet Qu Yuan (340B.C. – 278B.C) of the Warring States Period (480B.C. – 221B.C.). Located to the northeast of Zigui County, Yichang Qu Yuan Temples built in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) times respectively have fallen, into ruin. The present one was reconstructed in 1988 in the style of civilian dwellings of the Qing Dynasty. In it there are an original statue of Qu Yuan and seven stone tablets since Qianlong (1736-1795) reign of the Qing Dynasty. Other relics include his homestead, a study cave, Lepingli Archway and so on.
Quanling Tomb of Dangyang
Located three kilometers to the northwest of the city of Dangyang, it is the honored burial place of Guan Yu (?-220), first built in 1467. It is a solemn and repectful, magnificently grand temple. Guan Yu’s burial chamber is seven meters in height and 50 meters in perimeter. Inside the beautiful tomb park, old pines and cypresses reach high to the sky and around the tomb is a vast expanse of featureless flat land.
Hometown of Zhaojun
Situated in Baoping Village, Xingshan County, it is the birth place of Wang Zhaojun, a beautiful woman of the Western Han Dynasty (206B.C.- 25A.D). Visitors can visit her residence, dressing table, well, Zhaojun Terrace, Moonwatching Tower. Newly established spots are her statue, a showroom and a hometown corridor.
Lesser Three Gorges in Qingjiang
Within Changyang County it is at the lower reach of the Qingjiang River, consisted of the gorges called Banxia, Bashan and Pingluo. Banxia Gorge is pretty while Bashan Gorge is sheer and grotesque, both of them are around five kilometers long. Pingluo Gorge is 14 kilometers long and known for its 18 roaring shoals. With the completion of Qingjiang Geheyan Hydroelectric Power Station it has become a smooth lake on the high gorge. The Zhongli Mountain in Wuluo and drifting on the Danshui River are its particular attractions.
Shennongjia Forest Area
Lying in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in the west of Hubei, it is one of the most famous primeval forests and nature reserves in China. In 1990, UNESCO accepted it into the protection network of “Man and Biosphere” and it is recognized as the most loved homeland of man and nature. Moreover, Shennongjia Skiing Resort opened in 2004 makes Shennongjia a winter tourist attraction also.
Yumu Stockaded Village
Situated along No. 318 National Highway in the west of the Lichuan City, the Village is surrounded by sheer precipices, and four towering peaks and there is only one old two-meter-wide flagstone passageway leading to the village gate. Tourists can visit ancient dwellings, coinage relics, up to a hundred coffin pits, 10 graves of the Qing Dynasty (1616- 1911), three sections of cliff plank road and so on. In the village live people of Tujia, Miao and other ethnic groups, presenting strong local colors.
Situated in the suburbs of Lichuan City at the upper reach of the Qingjiang River, it is the largest karst cave in China and one of the famous caves in the world, featuring a comprehensive attraction of grand hills, pretty waters, grotesque caves and still forests. Here caves contain hills which yet contain smaller knolls. All major and minor caves and dry and wet caves are interlinked. It has been viewed as an ideal resort for tour, adventure, rest and geological exploration.
Made up of Jingzhou, Tianmen, Jingmen, Xiantao, Qianjiang and other places, the area is characterized by the Chu Culture, especially the cultural relics of the Three Kingdoms. Jingzhou is the site where Wei (220-265), Shu(221-263) and Wu (222-280) fought for power. Besides, lakes, waterside gardens and rural scenery are also its attractions The north part of the area, namely Jingmen’s mountainous landscape, is distinctively beautiful.
Ancient City Wall of Jingzhou
Situated in Jingzhou District, Jingzhou city, it was first built in the late Eastern Han Dynasty and rebuilt in 1646 in the style of the city wall of the Ming Dynasty. Based on stones, the brick wall is 8.8 meters high, 10 meters wide and 10.5 kilometers long. It has six dual-gates with one tower and barbican each except the east gate The great north gate and the wall around it is the most magm icen and is the symbol of the ancient city wall of Jingzhou.
Located in the city of Jingzhou, it is the largest lake of Hubei and one of the seven largest freshwater lakes in China. It is on the north bank of the Yangtze River. The limpid lake, dotted in the Jianghan Plain, takes the shape of a polygon and has a rippling light green surface and an even bed. The opera “Red Guards On Honghu Lake” makes it a household lake in China.
Xianling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty
Situated at the Chunde Mountain to the north of the city of Zhongxiang, it is the co-tomb of the parents of Emperor Jiajing (1507- 1566) of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). So perfect are the exquisite patterns of bas-relief, the secure connection of structures and the ingenious layout of Baocheng City, Minglou Tower, Ling’en Temple and Lingxing doors that it is acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece of the Ming and Qing dynasties. In 2000 it was included in the World Heritage List.
The area is composed of the cities of distinct cultures: Xiangfan, Shiyan and Suizhou, ect.. Xiangfan features the culture of the Three Kingdoms, while Shiyan and Suizhou, that of Taoism and the hometown of Emperor Yandi respectively. Its scenic attractions are unique, represented by mountainous and gorge landscape: the Wudang Mountain, Mount Dahong, the Nanhe River and Wudao Gorge, etc..
Located in Danjiangkou and as a national scenic spot, it is one of the four famous Taoist mountains in China. It is famed all over the world for its enchanting scenery, splendid ancient buildings, valuable cultural relics, martial arts, Taoist culture and moving legends. Its complex of ancient buildings was listed as one of World Heritage Sites.
Ancient Xiangyang Town
Located on the south bank of the Hanjiang River in Xiangfan, it is encircled by the moat on three sides and the mountain on one side. First built in the Han Dynasty (206B.C. – 220A.D.) and destroyed in the late Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), it was reconstructed in the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The appearance of the city and the wall in the north is well preserved. In 1986 Xiangfan was awarded a national historical city.
Situated 13 kilometers to the west of the city of Xiangyang, it is the place where happened the historical events that Liu Bei (161-223) paid three visits at Zhuge Liang’s thatched cottage and Zhuge Liang (181-234) put forward his Longzhong Plan for reviving the Han Dynasty. Now this beautiful scenic and cultural attraction highlights the residence of Zhuge Liang and includes five spots, such as ancient Longzhong, Shuijing Village, Cheng’en Temple, Qili Mountain and Hezichuan, etc..
Homehown of Emperor Yandi
A Chinese legend goes that Emperor Yandi is Divine Peasant (Shennong) and one of the primogenitors of the Chinese nation. It is located at Lieshan, Lishan Town Suizhou, including Shennong Cave, Shennong Temple and other over 20 spots. For thousands of years on the days of his birth and death tremendous Chinese descendents will come from home and abroad to pay homage and worship to their common ancestor.
Recommended Tourist Itineraries
Three Gorges Tour of the Yangtze River (Four-Day Tour)
Day 1: Yichang Railway Station — Yichang International Hotel
Day 2: Yichang Harbor — Three Gorges Households — Xiling Gorge — Three Gorges Dam — Hometown of Qu Yuan
Day 3: Lesser Three Gorges at the Daning River — Wuxia Gorge — Baidi City
Day 4: Three Gorges Dam — Gezhouba Dam — Xiling Gorge — Yichang International Hotel
Culture Tour of Three Kingdoms (Six-Day Tour)
Day 1: Wuhan Railway Station — Shangri-la Hotel — the Yellow Crane Tower
Day 2: Shangri-la Hotel — Three Kingdoms’ Chi Bi
Day 3: Ancient City Wall of Jingzhou — Jingzhou Museum
Day 4: Yichang International Hotel—Three Gorges Dam — Ancient Xiaoting Battlefield — Yichang International Hotel
Day 5: Guanling Tomb of Dangyang — Bronze Statue of Zhao Yun — Yuquan Temple — Changbanpo — Ancient City Wall of Xiangyang
Day 6: Longzhong — Shangri-la Hotel
Wuhan City Tour (Two-Day Tour)
Day 1: East Lake — Hubei Provincial Museum — Wuchang Red Mansion — the Yellow Crane Tower — the Yangtze River Bridge of Wuhan
Day 2: Qingchuan Bridge — Qingchuan Pavilion — Iron Gate Pass — TV Tower at Tortoise Hill — Guqin Terrace — Guiyuan Temple — Wuhan Zoo
Wudang Mountain & Shennongjia Tour (Four-Day Tour)
Day 1: Yichang International Hotel — Wudang Mountain Tourist Area — Taizipo — Nanyan Palace — Zixiao Palace
Day 2: Jinding (Golden Summit) — Shennongjia Scenic Area — Rainbow Bridge — Hongping Gallery — Greater Dragon Pond — Natural Bridges
Day 3: Lesser Dragon Pond — Jinhouling Ridge — Fengjingya Pass — Liaowang Watchtower — Greater Dragon Pond — Natural Bridges
Day 4: Hometown of Wang Zhaojun in Yichang — Sleeping Buddha Mountain — Suspended Coffins at Xiaofeng — Yichang International Hotel
Festivals and Celebrations
Yangtze River Three Gorges International Tourism Festival
Venue: Wuhan / Chongqing
What’s on: Tourism show, visit the Three Gorges, Bachu art show and opening ceremony
China Wuhan International Tourist Festival
What’s on: Cultural performances, night visit to the Yangtze River, and negotiation for tourism cooperation
Qu Yuan's Hometown Dragon Boat Festival
What’s on: National Dragon Boat Invitational Races, International Rafting Competition, Cross-Straits Cultural Forum on Qu Yuan, Dragon Boat Festival Poetry Party, and visit to Qu Yuan’s hometown
China Xianning Hot Spring International Tourism Festival
What’s on: Large-scale theatrical performance hot spring travel seminars, and hot spring tourism projects symposium
World Chinese Yandi Hometown Roots Festival
Time: May or June (Yandi’s birthday on the 26th day of the 4th lunar month)
What’s on: Live broadcast of the worshipping ceremony, Suizhou Tourism Product Exhibitions, Cross-Straits Cultural Forum on Yandi Shennong
Huangshi Mining Culture and Tourism Festival
What’s on: Art show at the opening ceremony, Sino-German Forum on sustainable development of resource-based cities, and 10,000 People’s One-day Tour of Mining Culture
World Traditional Wushu Festival
Venue: Wudang Mountain
What’s on: Night art show at the opening ceremony, traditional martial arts competition
Jiugong Mountain Summer Tourism Festival
Venue: Tongshan County Jiugong Mountain Scenic Area
What’s on: Rock climbing and other outdoor activities
Shennongjia Eco-Cultural Tourism Festival
What’s on: Folk tourism, cultural performances, and tourist site examination
When people speak of the food of Hubei they are referring to Hubei cuisine, one of Chinese cooking branches. It comprises four distinctive styles of Wuhan, Xiangyang, Jingsha and Ezhou. The characteristics of Hubei cuisine are striking. Its delicate techniques emphasize steaming, stewing, stir-frying and deep-frying, distinguished by starch and thick soup. The seasonings are fresh, pure and light. Its specialties are fresh water fish and a great variety of vegetarian dishes. Hubei cuisine caters to the people of the Jianghan Plain, whereas it endeavors to attract people from other places with its new and creative recipes and menus.
There are many star-rated hotels and guesthouses in Hubei. They offer convenient facilities for different types of visitors, whether you are touring, or doing businesses, or enjoying holidays. Their quality service is warm and professional, making you just feel at home.
There are airports in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Yichang, Xiangfan, Enshi. Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan opens many international and domestic air routes.
Railway lines running through Hubei include Beijing- Guangzhou, Xiangfan-Chongqing, Wuhan-Danjiang, Jiaozuo- Zhicheng, Zhicheng-Liuzhou and Wuhan-Daye. From Wuhan you can go directly toother places in Hubei and such cities outside Hubei as Beijing, Zhengzhou, Tianjin, Chongqing, Xi’an, Kunming, Guiyang, Changsha, Guangzhou, Nanchang, Shijiazhuang, etc..
Hubei is crisscrossed by highways. The two completed expressways are Wuhan-Huangmei going through Huangshi and Wuhan-Yichang via Jingzhou. The expressways under construction are Wuhan- Xiangfan-Shiyan, Wuhan-Xinyang (in Henan), Jingzhou- Jingmen-Xiangfan, Yichang-Lichuan, Wuhan-Chibi.
The Yangtze River runs over 1,000 kilometers within Hubei and the developed shipping on it is very convenient and busy. There are passenger liners all the way along the river from Chongjing downstream to Shanghai, linking several provinces and cities.
Hubei boasts quality local specialty of famous brands: citrus, red flowering Chinese cabbage of Hongshan, Longevity Vine walking sticks, Wudangshan Daqu liquor, Cactus tea, all of which are worth your choice.
Hubei is deep-rooted in its long history of the Chu Culture, which has given birth to many noted forms of operas, dramas and dances, such as Han Opera, Chu Opera, flower-drum drama. Side by side with traditional ones are modem forms of entertainment like concerts and dances of all sorts and art performances rendered at restaurants, bars and cafe which are very popular with the public.
Hubei has a humid subtropical monsoon climate with a long frost-free period and abundant rainfall. The average annual temperature ranges from 15°C to 17°C. The four seasons are distinct here: a changeable and unpredictable spring; a rainy season in late spring and early summer; a hot, sunny and humid summer; a dry and cold winter with sporadic foggy and snowy days; a clear and crisp autumn, an ideal season for traveling.