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Yellow Crane Tower

Huáng Hè Lóu

For a mere 80 kwai the Wuhan tourist is invited to climb a billion steps to the top of the beautiful Yellow Crane Tower and wander round the extensive gardens buying over priced drinks as they go. In general I'm not usually one for tourist traps but as one of Wuhans few big tourist attractions I felt that I should at least visit, I'm glad I did.


After a few weeks living in among the chaos of suburban Wuhan the yellow crane tower and surrounding grounds presented an area of calm I hadn't realised I was wanting so desperately until I was there, whether it was the peaceful gardens or the mere proximity to actual plant life, I felt like I could breathe again. The gardens are beautiful and the view atop the tower really is worth seeing, just to experience the view of a city-scape and the yangtze river stretching as far as the eye can see.

In researching the tower (Wikipedia got me through my degree it can sure as hell get me through China) I read that there are two main legends surrounding the yellow crane tower, they both include immortal guys on yellow cranes, whether stopping for a nice little rest in the case of Fei Wenyi or as a place of departure as in the case of Wang Zi'an. The original tower was built was built in commemoration of them, it has since been rebuilt atop Snake hill which is where i found it this smoggy day in September. I imagine the original tower was lacking an electric elevator.


As the tower attracts tourists from all over China it was interesting to discover that there are many Chinese people that consider a western face worthy of holiday pictures to show the people back home, apparently just not my western face. Apparently I’m odd enough to be stared at all day, especially on those days that I’m hungover and look like am hanging on by a thread, but I’m not exciting enough for Chinese tourist pictures. The American guy I went to see the tower with got dragged a way for photos repeatedly while I was of no interest, heartbreaking feeling of rejection.


Stepping back onto the streets of Wuhan was a little harder after the visit, the engine smoke and stinking stinky tofu were just a bit more unbearable after the quiet and calmness of the yellow crane gardens. Still loving the bizarreness of this place though, as calming as the yellow crane tower and gardens are, they've got nothing on seeing a guy on a moped 'walking' a dog down the middle of a busy road or seeing little old ladies dancing in the middle of a shopping mall. The best things about China so far have been the things I've seen, that haven't cost me a penny.

Posted by Jessica_l_ball 03:27 Archived in China Tagged buildings history china tourist wuhan yangtze tefl yellow_crane_tower wuchang

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