Top 5 places to visit in Hubei Top 5 prod­ucts in Hubei

Asian Geographic - - Feature: Sylvia Kho -

YEL­LOW CRANE TOWER

As its name sug­gests, this tower’s five roofs re­sem­ble the wings of a great crane about to take flight. The cur­rent pagoda is a replica of an older tower one kilo­me­tre away from its orig­i­nal site, where it had been de­stroyed and re­built seven times through­out its his­tory. What Yel­low Crane Tower of­fers is not just a bird’s eye view of Wuhan, but also a beau­ti­ful gar­den sur­round­ing its base.

HUBU AL­LEY

If food ad­ven­tures are right up your al­ley, this will be your haven. Hubu Al­ley pro­vides a heavy dose of lo­cal cul­ture through un­usual street food such as bar­be­qued frogs, pig’s blood balls, duck neck and fried snails. A must-try is the hot dry noo­dles, a sta­ple break­fast for lo­cals.

THREE GORGES DAM PROJECT

A man- made struc­ture so colos­sal it is vis­i­ble from space with the naked eye, the Three Gorges Dam is our planet’s largest power sta­tion. Re­gard­less of its con­tro­versy for harm, it has brought to its sur­round­ings ben­e­fits like flood con­trol and clean en­ergy. The dam is also a breath­tak­ing sight to be­hold.

WU­DANG MOUN­TAINS

For those in­ter­ested in Chi­nese kungfu, this is one of the places to put on your bucket list. A coun­ter­part to the Shaolin Tem­ple, Wu­dang Moun­tains is the birth­place of taichi. The 700- year- old build­ings and paths are still in­tact and well- pre­served, mak­ing a visit to th­ese moun­tains a travel back in time.

EN­SHI GRAND CANYON

This canyon bears lit­tle sem­blance to its Amer­i­can coun­ter­part of the same name. Its karst land­scape car­peted with lush green­ery re­minds one of the ma­jes­tic Zhangji­a­jie that in­spired the Avatar’s Hal­lelu­jah Moun­tains. Apart from stairs, there are ca­ble cars and es­ca­la­tors to as­sist clim­bers, mak­ing hikes up the tow­er­ing spires man­age­able for peo­ple of all ages.

TEA

Over 300 years ago, Wuhan was the heart of China’s tea trade. Loaded with com­pressed bricks of tea, camel car­a­vans would plod north on long jour­neys to Rus­sian ci­ties like Moscow. With an ideal cli­mate for tea stor­age, this re­mains one of Hubei’s top ex­ports.

WUCHANG FISH

Dwelling in silty depths of the Yangtze, this fish is a type of bream popular in Hubei cui­sine. Most com­monly steamed or braised, it has gained fans from all back­grounds from the city dweller in Wuhan to even Mao Ze­dong him­self. In one of his poems, Mao wrote about savour­ing a de­lec­ta­ble meal of Wuchang fish.

JADE

Val­ued at prices even higher than gold, the im­por­tance of jade is deeply em­bed­ded in Chi­nese cul­ture. Apart from be­ing a sta­tus sym­bol and rep­re­sen­ta­tion of wis­dom, the word’s char­ac­ter bears close re­sem­blance to the Chi­nese char­ac­ter for “king”. Jade is of­ten sold in the form of pen­dants and bracelets.

FEATHER FANS

Un­like other tra­di­tional pa­per Chi­nese fans, th­ese ones found in Honghu are made of feath­ers. The pop­u­lar­ity of this hand ac­ces­sory stems from its use by the leg­endary Zhuge Liang char­ac­ter in the Ro­mance of the Three King­doms epic.

LAC­QUER­WARE

With var­nish har­vested from the sap of lac­quer trees, crafts­men would care­fully dec­o­rate ves­sels and other items with in­trin­sic de­signs to cre­ate beau­ti­ful wares. This art has been prac­ticed as early as 1600 BC, and was es­pe­cially popular in Hubei prov­ince be­cause it had an en­vi­ron­ment where lac­quer trees could thrive.

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