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harvey Jul 15th, 2005 01:31 PM

My son is going to be teaching in Wuhan for a year and would like recommendations for the top sights in China and perhaps the surrounding countries.

jimdrew Jul 15th, 2005 02:08 PM

So many "top sights" in China, I'm not really familiar with sights near Hubei Province, but I did just visit Hangzhou and Suzhou. I will return next year when I can bring my girlfriend:)

Are you going to China as well? I don't know your son's situation or knowledge of China and living in another country, but that should be his main focus, he'll have plenty of time to plan travel.

I just finished a half year of teaching and plan to return in February for a full year. I would warn that the first month is by far the toughest time of adjustment. I thought I was fine during that first week, but things started to catch up with me. He's in store for such a mind-blowing and life changing experience. I wish him the best of luck!

harvey Jul 15th, 2005 06:52 PM

Thanks for the reply. We have recently been vacationing in Europe and would like to visit China and have considered both a tour and a visit to Wuhan or both.

My son thinks that he will have sometime for independent travel as well as helping with some American school tours, so he would like to know what to plan when he has some time for the independent travel.

Also he'd like to know about any must sees around Hubie Province.

Thanks again. He especially got excited about your last sentence. I envy both of you.

jimdrew Jul 15th, 2005 11:56 PM

I'll just list off the places I was able to visit during my five month stay in China. I lived in northern China, so I did not make it to the "deep south" or south west.

Henan Province: Luoyang and area is host to famous sights such as Shaolin Temple (famous for kung fu fighting monks [maybe you've seen a movie or two]), White Horse Temple (oldest temple in China 82 AD maybe), Longmen Grottoes (large caves with thousands of Buddhas and buddha related gods carved into caves and rocks, very scenic area), and famous for China's national flower, the peony festival.

Beijing: Some of the big ones are here. Great Wall is near, Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square, Temple of Heaven Park, Summer Palace, the Zoo (I like zoos and they have pandas), what I think is good shopping, many other things that I'm missing.

Xi'an: ANCIENT city, the most popular thing is the excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors, I liked the City Wall and moat that surrounds the old town, capital of Tang dynasty I think and home to some famous civil war events.

Shanghai: Big city, I'm having trouble remembering what I liked, oh yeah, Yuyuan garden was very beautiful. Big city with big city things. I would still advise a visit.

Hangzhou: West Lake, and home to China's most famous green tea, Longjing tea.

Suzhou: Many beautiful gardens, I think I visited 5 or 6 in 3 days.

Hangzhou and Suzhou are also famous for silk production, I found that the same articles of clothing were cheaper in Suzhou, so I bought more there.

Nanjing: Memorial to Nanjing Massacre during WWII. Purple-gold mountain is beautiful and contains many sites like Mausoleum of Sun-yat Sen, Linggu Temple and Ming Tombs.

I did most of my travel during the May Holiday (international labor day) and after my classes finished just a couple weeks ago. I only did weekend travel twice because I had to teach a Sunday morning class to bankers.

I don't know much about Wuhan, but I know your son will have a great time. My city was like the Chinese equivalent of Gary, Indiana. Industrial, polluted, congested, but I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. He won't be bored, that's for sure.

rkkwan Jul 16th, 2005 12:38 AM

A few hours drive west of Wuhan is Yichang. That's the city closest to the eastern portal of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. Also where they're building the tallest and biggest dam on earth. If he has time, he can take a ferry or cruise through the 3 Gorges up to Chongqing.

About 450km northwest of Wuhan, or 5 hours by the fastest train, is Wudangshan (Mount Wudang). It's a famous and beautiful mountain, and is home to the taoist monasteries where Wudang Kung Fu (as famous as Shaolin) originates.

About 600km Southwest of Wuhan, in the province of Hunan is the Zhangjiajie National Park. One of the most scenic areas in all of China. It's a long train ride, or a short plane ride to get there.

Those are the top scenic sights closest to Wuhan, in terms of actual physical distance. But since Wuhan is on the main Beijing-Guangzhou train route, places on that line are often easier to get to then places closer. For example, you can get to Beijing (1,200km) on overnight train in just 10 hours.

And domestic flights are plentiful and cheap in China now.

jimdrew Jul 16th, 2005 12:44 AM

rkkwan, do you sleep? I have an excuse, I'm still on China time;)

BigJim Jul 18th, 2005 06:47 AM

Are you asking about top sights in Wuhan or in China??

harvey Jul 18th, 2005 09:53 AM

He wants the top places for China and maybe Asia or Asia near China. He's putting together a wish list. A request for a top ten or hundred on the Europe fourm gets a very large response. Thanks for all your responses so far.

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