PLA soldiers in Wuhan

PLA soldiers in Wuhan

© Griffster

Wuhan is the capital and largest city in the Chinese province of Hubei and has about 7 million inhabitants in the city, well over 10 million in the metropolitan area.



Events and Festivals

China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.

Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.

The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.




Wuhan has a subtropical humid type of weather, and is considered one of the three furnaces in China, the others being Chongqing and Nanjing. Temperatures in summer can reach 40 °C with high humidity, resulting in unbearable conditions: a time to avoid a visit! Average highs are around 30-32 °C from June to mid-September with nights well above 20 °C, sometimes not even dropping below 28 °C! Winters are drap, with often overcast conditions and temperatures around 10 °C during the day and just above zero at night. It's the driest time of the year though with around 25 mm of rain in December, compared to 225 mm in June! Weatherwise, April/early May and October are the best months for a visit.



Getting There

By Plane

Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (WUH) is the main gateway to Wuhan and all of Hubei. It's one of the fastest growing airports in the country and handles a growing number of international flights as well as domestic flights to nearly all major Chinese cities.

By Train

Wuhan has 3 stations: the Hankou, Wuhan and Wuchang Stations.
Wuhan is a major city connected by new high-speed trains. The Hefei-Wuhan high-speed railway was opened in April 2009 there are high-speend trains to/from Hefei, Nanjing, and Shanghai (6 hours). Most of these express trains leave from the Hankou Railway Station.
The new Wuhan Railway Station opened in December 2009 and China had its second high-speed train with scheduled runs from Guangzhou to Wuhan. It is considered one of the fastest trains in the world, with a topspeed of 394 km/h. The travel time between the two cities has been reduced from 10.5 hours to just 3 hours! Eventually, the rail service will extend north to Beijing.



Getting Around

By Public Transport

The Wuhan Metro opened in 2004 and became the 5th one in the country after Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. It's about 10 kilometres long, but the second phase is planned to be completed in 2010, which will extend the lenght to almost 30 kilometres. Currently, it runs from Huangpu to Zongguan in the downtown area of the Hankou District.





View our map of accommodation in Wuhan



Keep Connected


Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.


China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.


Accommodation in Wuhan

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This is version 9. Last edited at 3:41 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 7 articles link to this page.

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