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Wuhan Travel guide

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Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, is an iron and steel city on the Yangtze.
With a population of nearly four million, Wuhan is one of China's largest cities. It is actually a conglomeration of what were once three independent cities: Wuchang, on the south bank, Hanyang, and the former treaty port of Hankou on the north.

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Wuhan lies on both sides of the Yangtze River. From Wuchang on the south-eastern bank, the city spreads across the Yangtze to the sectors of Hankou and Hanyang, the two separated by the Han River.

The city's south and north end were respectively linked by the Yangzi bridge and a new bridge. A shorter bridge spans the Han River to link Hanyang with Hankou.

The city's real center is Hankou, especially the area around Zhongshan Dadao. Most of Hankou's hotels, department stores, restaurants and street markets are within this sector, which is surrounded by quieter residential areas.

On the other side of the river, Wuchang is a modern district with long, wide avenues lined by drab concrete blocks. Many recreational areas and the Hubei Provincial Museum are on the Wuchang side of the river. The city's second railway station is in Wuchang.

Wuhan is now enjoying a boom in foreign and local investment that may help it catch up to the comparatively sparkling cosmopolitan citadels of Nanjing and Shanghai.

Wuhan tends to be seen merely as an embarkation or disembarkation point for the Yangtze River cruises, but the old city center, improved recently, has some attractions.

Some of the popular sight-seeing sites are: Guiyuan Temple, Guqin (Ancient Lute) Pavilion, Donghu Lake, Huanghe (Yellow Crane) Tower and Wuhan Changjiang River Bridge.

A major-scale inland fishery gives Wuhan its best-known fare and agriculture in the region produces everything from wheat to tea, so local chefs have had a lot to work with over the centuries - and have established an enviable reputation among Chinese gourmets. Wuhan steamed dumplings are justly famous, steamed wild goose is a well-known local treat, and the fish is so good that Mao Zedong wrote a poem about it.

Wuhan's retail shopping is very diverse and offers lots of choice. Handicrafts include paintings, bambooware, paper-cuttings, wood and stone carvings, and the city's light industry provides an interesting selection of manufactured goods. Popular Wuhan souvenirs are carved wooden rolling pins for making dumplings. Prime shopping areas are near the railway station in Hankou and along Zhongjiacun in Hanyang.

One can reach Wuhan by Yangtze river, as already mentioned. Many river cruises necessarily go through Wuhan.

According to Center For Global Environmental Education, The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia and third longest in the world. The headwaters of the Yangtze are situated at an elevation of about 16,000 feet in the Kunlun Mountains in the southwestern section of Qinghai. It flows generally south through Sichuan into Yuanan then northeast and east across central China through Sichuan, Hubei, Auhui, and Juangsu provinces to its mouth, 3,720 miles, in the East China Sea north of Shanghai. The river has over 700 tributaries but the principal tributaries are the Hun, Yalong, Jialing, Min, Tuo Jiang, and Wu Jiang. The climate ranges from 96 degrees in the summer to cold, brisk temperatures in the winter. Precipitation is high due to the height of the mountains. 

China covers an area of almost 3.7 million square miles and is the most populous country on earth having more than one billion people. The bordering countries include Mongolia, Kazakhstan, India, Nepal, Burma, Vietnam and Korea. The People's Republic is led by Chinese Communist Party and governed by the State Council. The main language spoken is the Mandarin dialect of Chinese but there are more than 150 languages and dialects spoken throughout the country. Approximately 350 million people inhabit the region of the Yangtze. There is plenty of wildlife along the river as well which include the Tibetan antelopes, Mongolian gazelles, and snow leopards, just to name a few. 

Waters of the Yangtze are often used for rice and wheat irrigation. It also has enormous and inexhaustible hydroelectric resources. In 1995 construction began on the Three Gorges Dam near Yichang and is scheduled for completion in 2009. The dam will measure about 600 feet and about 1.5 miles wide. The dam is expected to help control the flooding of the Yangtze River Valley. The Three Gorges (the Qutang Gorge, the Wuxia Gorge, and Xiling Gorge) will also be the largest electricity generating facility in the world. The hydroelectric generators will provide 1/9 of China's total power output.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the construction of the dams. There are 140 villages, 1,600 factories and over 80,000 acres of growable land that will be destroyed. It may also cause animals to become extinct. The area is very prone to earthquakes because it lies directly on a fault line. Actually, the plateau and gorges were created by collision of the Indian-Australian plate, drifting northward, with the Eurasian plate that began over 40 million years ago and continues today.

The Three Gorges Dam area of the Yangtze is becoming quite famous. A lot of cruises go through the flooded area and the gorges produced. Many cruise ships of various types are welcoming the international passengers on board. Among them a side propelled one to improve its emergency disposition ability, symbolizing the new trend of Yangtze River cruises construction. Cabins of 3 m width, sightseeing lifts and Europe-style balconies create a complete harmony between man and nature. Magnificent and splendid 5-story-high lobby with spiral staircases, convenient and comfortable bathrooms, top-grade leisure Internet bars, multifunctional entertainment lounges, observation sundecks and multi-channel TV reception systems, sauna & massage centers, all to the passengers best comfort.

Ecology



An important piece of news reached worldwide friends of Nature some time ago: Chinese scientists have found more than 20 white-flag dolphins during one week of monitoring the Yangtze River.

White-flag dolphins, a rare mammal found only in the Yangtze, is one of the most endangered cetacean mammals in the world. Less than 100 are believed to be alive. White-flag dolphins are under first-degree national protection for wildlife in China.

About 500 researchers traced white-flag dolphins and black finless porpoises simultaneously along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest. This is the first time that monitoring work was done at the same time in different sections of the river.

The researchers found eight white-flag dolphins on the first day of monitoring, according to sources from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and more on succeeding days in Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. With careful handling, combined with the potentiality of the new Three Gorges reservoir, these rare creatures may have a more secure future.

Many more black finless porpoises were traced. Researchers even found groups of newborn black finless porpoises in Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Province and in some sections of the Yangtze River.

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