Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and has a population of 7 million. It was formed in 1950 from the 3 cities of Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang. Joined together to form Wuhan, the city sprawls out from both banks of the Yangzi and the 3 cities are linked by impressive bridges that cross the river. Wuhan's position on the Yangzi, halfway between Chongqing and the coast, has ensured that Wuhan's fortunes are linked to the "long river". Many Yangzi River cruises either start or finish in Wuhan
Hankou is perhaps the best known of the 3 cities of Wuhan. It became a treaty port in 1841 and was once the center of the China tea trade. Disputes and bombings in Hankou were catalysts in the 1911 revolution, and during the uprising much of the city was burned to the ground. A few 19th century buildings can be found in the former foreign concessions along the north embankment of the Yangzi. Today Hankou has a large passenger ship terminal for Yangzi cruises and is a thriving commercial port.
Wucheng is the oldest of the 3 cities and was founded in the 1st century AD. Once the capital of the region Wucheng has now outgrown its city walls and spreads out to the expanses of the East Lake. The symbol of Wuhan, the Yellow Crane Tower is located in Wucheng. Wuhan's industrial developments are centered on Hanyang, which is the smallest of the 3 cities.
Wuhan is famous as the place where Mao Zedong made his famous swims across the Yangzi. First in 1956, and then to a worldwide audience in 1966, he used his river swims to prove he was still alive and active.
Wuhan is the hub of transportation in central China and its extensive railway network and river traffic has attracted investment. For visitors pausing in Wuhan before or after their Yangzi cruise, there are a few attractions to enjoy such as the Yellow Crane Tower and the scenic East Lake area. The city's relationship with the Yangzi and its history adds interest to Wuhan. Be prepared for the heat if you travel in summer. Along with Chongqing and Nanjing, Wuhan is known as one of the "3 furnaces of China" as temperatures rise towards 40C in July and August.