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Wuhan Is A Really Big Bugger!`So Far I Love It!

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Flight delays. Seriously, you can’t beat them!

Especially when your flight was supposed to leave at the respectable time of eight in the evening (adding in a stopover in Nanning for refueling etc) and should have arrived around elevenish, which then should leave one free to do the 'hotel shuffle’ and find a decently priced hotel for the following few days. But when your flight is delayed by nearly five hours, means you then arrive at your destination five hours later which would make it at around four in the morning and then there is the normal hour long taxi ride into the city to take in to account.

One then becomes a piece of prime rib for the vultures waiting. Which includes both the taxi driver and sleepy hotel staff.

When I arrived at the Bus/Train station area (4:45am) it was around minus three and there was not a thing open except three large hotels and once spotting a foreigner they doubled their prices on the spot, which meant they wanted six to eight hundred Yuan for a toom and that was only until midday. They then wanted another six to eight hundred Yuan for the night and any further night. My poor taxi driver was devastated and after beginning to speak in ‘not so bad’ English called his aunty who met us near the train station as she has her own tiny Guesthouse and was out and about scouting to fill her rooms.

Aunties Guesthouse is so tiny that my single bed fits snugly into my room and when in my little bathroom if I tied mice on my elbows I seriously couldn’t swing them let alone a cat. I have hot water, a squat toilet and TV and do you want to know the extra bonus, I was so awake after chatting for another hour (6am) with Aunty that she went out and came back with four cans of beer and told me that foreigners love to drink beer.

At sixish in the morning I’d disagree. Well, unless it was at the Meredith Music Festival etc!

<u>Now For a Bit On Wuhan & My Day</u>

Wuhan is bloody massive! Seriously, it is so big!

But massive is larger than big so the above should read; Wuhan is so big, seriously it is so massive and it is so because it is actually three river side cities (Wuchang, Hanyang and Hankou) that after growing so large merged into one super city and became known as Wuhan and thanks to the Han River, Yangzi River and the areas many lakes the city is much more comfortable than you may believe. The mighty Yangzi divides the city into two and the Han then divides it into three and all allow for some well needed breathing space between the surrounding skyscrapers and hectic traffic.

In the past many travellers have told me that Wuhan is a super big and boring city.

They knew this because they had only spent an afternoon and a night and used it more for a hub than a stop. I have always questioned this line of thinking as to me this is simply more passing on the same information told to them prior and how would they actually know if Wuhan is super big and boring if they haven’t actually spent time to find out. Honestly let’s get real people! Thankfully others told a completely different story and they were the ones that got amongst it and spent time down its maze of narrow lanes and alleyways, ate at street stalls and BBQ’s and relaxed enough to have a damn fine time.

I only have one and a half days (two and a half at the most depending on the weather &#8211; half a day already used) here this time so I won’t make it across to Hankou where there is a tree lined former concession area along with several pedestrian streets and an ancient street as I believe that would be better experienced in the heat of summer rather than in sandals freezing cold.

OK, back to my day!

After my &#8216;Beery Breakfast’ with Aunty I slept until one and then headed out to begin my day. The plan was several close by temples beginning with the Changchun Taoist Temple just up the road and around the corner a bit. Even though it was close by it took almost an hour to get there as I was starving and filled myself on assorted street snacks along the way and also dropped into the local Chicken Eatery for a coffee. By the time I reached the temple the food and coffee had kicked in and my body began to warm itself. There was a small Temple Fair on and I slowly made my way around the stalls watching as the Chinese purchased &#8216;Good Luck’ charms one after the other, obviously one for each month of the year and others maybe for each hour of the day.

The children had their own stalls where they could throw balls into unbalanced buckets etc and if they did actually get a ball in, you guessed it they won a good luck charm!

On my way west towards Chang Jiang (the Yangzi River) I had planned to visit the Yellow Crane Pavilion as everything I had read about it described it as &#8216;splendidly beautiful’ but the afternoon had almost passed by and I decided that instead of racing through the park to let it wait until tomorrow and hope that it didn’t rain. Instead I spent the rest of the &#8216;light time’ in the &#8216;1911 Uprising Park’.

Which is actually found on the some rather long hill as the Yellow Crane Pavilion.

Once light time was nearing dark time I decided to head down to the Yangzi River which I haven’t set eyes on since my visit to Lu Shan when I spent several days meandering around Juijiang City. I figured that like most sea or riverside towns/cities, the vibrant Snackery/Shopping area would be a block or so in so I began to zigzag my way around getting hungrier by the zig more than the zag and finally I found a crowded market which took me through to Jiefang Lu and here my tongue and stomach decided to make their home for the next several hours. They then took control and made the rest of my body consume countless delicious known and unknown street snacks until they finally lost their grip during an internal argument due to my tongue gloating on the texture of an unknown seafood snack and my stomach having doubts on whether it could actually accommodate it. In the end my brain took control and a time and date for Mediation was set during which a decision of eating only half was reached.

They and the rest of me then walked back to Aunties Guesthouse for an early evening.

<u>Now For a Short History Lesson</u>

Historic relics excavated from ancient tombs tell the city's long history dating back three thousand five hundred years. In the period of Pre-Qin (770 B.C. - 221 B.C.), this was the land of the State of Chu (one of the seven warring states before Qin, in China's first feudal dynasty) and was the cradle of the brilliant Chu Civilization. Starting here, merchants followed the great Yangtze River and lake network to expand businesses throughout the entire country.

In the Qing Dynasty, Hankou became one of the four best known towns in the country.

Wuhan was first opened to foreign trade in 1861, after the Second Opium War, when the British extracted rights to a foreign concession in Hankou. In 1889, the Governor-General, Zhang Zhidong, embarked on a program of industrial modernisation and education which laid the groundwork for Wuchan to become a modern industrial city. In October, 1911, the Wuhan Uprising launched the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty and ended imperial rule in China. In 1927, threatened by the Japanese, the Kuomintang moved the central government to Wuhan. In 1938, the city was taken by the Japanese and became a major logistics center for their operations in southern China. In December 1944, the city was largely destroyed in firebombing raids conducted by the United States 14th Army Air Force. In 1967, civil strife struck the city in the Wuhan Incident, as a result of tension brought on by the Cultural Revolution.

<u>Changchun Taoist Temple</u>

During the reign of Genghis Khan, Emperor Taizu of the Yuan Dynasty built a temple to cultivate Dao and as his literary name was &#8216;Eternal Spring’, the temple became known as &#8216;Changchun Temple’ and became the most famous Daoist Temple in Hubei. It had several hundred houses, several thousand devotees and a large quantity of pilgrims. During the Qing dynasty (in 1851), the temple was destroyed by war and in 1864, He Hechun came from Wudang Mountain and rebuilt it in the current Ming Dynasty style.

Sadly most of the religious relics were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by The Tea Party The album was &#8216;Splendor Solis’ ____________________________________________________________

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park


Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Changchun Temple &#38;amp; 1911 Uprising Park

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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