Provinces of China: Hubei - land of thousand lakes and where the Three Gorges Dam is located
General informationArea: 180,000 square kmPopulation: 60 million (2005)Capital City: WuhanNationalities: Han (95.6%), Tujia (3.7%), and Miao (0.4%)GDP : CNY915 billion(2007)Average temperature:1oC to 6oC in January, 24oC to 30oC in July; high temperatures on the northern side of the southeastern mountains and in the Three Gorges.Mountains: Wudang, Jingshan, and Wushan Mountains in the west; Dashennongjia Mountain in the Shennongjia Forest Region, among the western mountains; Tongbai and Dabie Mountains along the northeastern border; Mufu Mountains along the Hubei-Jiangxi border.Rivers: Yangtze River and its tributary the Hanshui River.Lakes: Honghu, Liangzi, Futou, Zhangdu, Longgarl, Changhu, and Diaocha Lakes (Hubei is known as the land of a thousand lakes).Administrative divisions:1 autonomous prefecture, 25 cities, 51 counties, 2 autonomous counties, and 1 forest district.Neighboring areas: Anhui, Jiangxi, Hunan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Henan Provinces.Major cities: Wuhan, Huangshi, Yichang, Shashi, Xiangfan, Shiyan, Enshi, Jiangling.Tourist attractions: Gezhouba Dam project near Yichang, Shennongjia Natural Reserve in western Hubei. Hubei (Chinese: 湖北; pinyin: Húběi) province is located in Central China. Its abbreviation is 鄂 (pinyin: È), an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the Qin dynasty. The name Hubei means "north of the lake", referring to Hubei's position north of Lake Dongting. Hubei borders Henan to the north, Anhui to the east, Jiangxi to the southeast, Hunan to the south, Chongqing to the west, and Shaanxi to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dam is located at Yichang, in western Hubei.A popular unofficial name for Hubei is Chu (Chinese: 楚; pinyin: Chǔ), after the powerful state of Chu that existed here during the Eastern Zhou dynasty.
Geography of HubeiSituated north the middle reaches of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River, Hubei, a province with numerous rivers and lakes, has been called the "land of thousand lakes". The Changjiang (Yangtze) River cuts through the Wushan Mountain as it flow eastwards, forming the famous gorges linking Hubei with the neighboring Sichuan. The Province has an area of 180 thousand square kilometers and a population of 60 million (by 2005) comprising the Han, Tujia, Hui, Manchu, Miao and Mongolian nationalities. The capital city is Wuhan.
Climate of GuizhouHubei has a sub-tropical, humid and monsoon climate. It hasdistinctive for seasons with a changeable spring, a humid and hot summer, a clear and peasant autumn and a dry and cold winter. Its annual mean temperature ranges from 13ºC to 18ºC (55.4 ºF to 64.4 ºF) with lowest monthly mean in January being 1C to 6C and highest monthly in July being 24ºC to 30ºC (75.2 ºF to 86 ºF). Its annual precipitation averages is between 750-1,500mm, which is concentrated in summer.Wuhan is one of the three Stoves of China. The other two is Chongqing, Nanjing. In summer these three cities are very hot as temperature reaches as high as 40oC.
Economy of HubeiHubei is often called the "Land of Fish and Rice" (鱼米之乡). Important agricultural products in Hubei include cotton, rice, wheat, and tea, while industries include automobiles, metallurgy, machinery, power generation, textiles, foodstuffs and high-tech commodities.Mineral resources that can be found in Hubei in significant quantities include borax, hongshiite, wollastonite, garnet, marlstone, iron, phosphorus, copper, gypsum, rutile, rock salt, gold amalgam, manganese and vanadium. The province's recoverable reserves of coal stand at 548 million tons, which is modest compared to other Chinese provinces. Hubei is also well known for its mines of fine turquoise and green faustite.Once completed, the Three Gorges Dam in western Hubei will provide plentiful hydroelectricity, with an estimated annual power production of 84,700 Gwh. Existing hydroelectric stations include Gezhouba, Danjiangkou, Geheyan, Hanjiang, Duhe, Huanglongtan, Bailianhe, Lushui and Fushui.Hubei's economy ranks 11th in the country and its nominal GDP for 2009 was 1.28 trillion yuan (188 billion USD) and a per capita of 21,566 RMB (2,863 USD).
History of HubeiBy the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), the territory of today's Hubei was part of the powerful state of Chu. Chu was nominally a tributary state of the Zhou Dynasty.During the Warring States Period (475 BC - 221 BC) Chu became the major adversary of the upstart state of Qin to the northwest (in what is now Shaanxi province). In 223 BC Qin conquered Chu regime. Since then, Hubei remains part of China.The Ming Dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368, and their version of Huguang province was smaller, and corresponded almost entirely to the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan combined. The Manchu Qing Dynasty which had conquered China in 1644, soon split Huguang into the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan in 1664. The Qing Dynasty continued to maintain a viceroy of Huguang, however; one of the most famous was Zhang Zhidong, whose modernizing reforms made Hubei (especially Wuhan) into a prosperous center of commerce and industry. The Huangshi/Daye area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of mining and metallurgy.In 1911 the Wuchang Uprising took place in modern-day Wuhan, overthrowing the Qing Dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. In 1927 Wuhan became the seat of a government established by left-wing elements of the Kuomintang, led by Wang Jingwei; this government was later merged into Chiang Kai-shek's government in Nanjing. During World War II the eastern parts of Hubei were conquered and occupied by Japan while the western parts remained under Chinese control.The province - and Wuhan in particular - suffered severely from the 1954 Yangtze River Floods. Large scale dam construction followed, with the Gezhouba Dam on the Yangtze River near Yichang started in 1970 and completed in 1988; the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, further upstream, began in 1993. In the following years, authorities resettled millions of people from western Hubei to make way for the construction of the dam. A number of smaller dams have been constructed on the Yangtze's tributaries as well.
Administrative divisionsHubei is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions (of which there are twelve prefecture-level cities and one autonomous prefecture), as well as three directly administered county-level cities and one directly administered county-level forestry area.# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat— Sub-provincial city —1 Wuhan 武汉市 Wǔhàn Shì Jiang'an District— Prefecture-level city —2 Ezhou 鄂州市 Èzhōu Shì Echeng District3 Huanggang 黄冈市 Huánggāng Shì Huangzhou District4 Huangshi 黄石市 Huángshí Shì Huangshigang District5 Jingmen 荆门市 Jīngmén Shì Dongbao District6 Jingzhou 荆州市 Jīngzhōu Shì Shashi District7 Shiyan 十堰市 Shíyàn Shì Zhangwan District8 Suizhou 随州市 Suízhōu Shì Zengdu District9 Xiangfan 襄樊市 Xiāngfán Shì Xiangcheng District10 Xianning 咸宁市 Xiánníng Shì Xian'an District11 Xiaogan 孝感市 Xiàogǎn Shì Xiaonan District12 Yichang 宜昌市 Yíchāng Shì Xiling District— Autonomous prefecture —13 Enshi (Tujia & Miao) 恩施土家族苗族自治州 Ēnshī Tǔjiāzú Miáozú Zìzhìzhōu Enshi City— Sub-prefecture-level city —14 Tianmen 天门市 Tiānmén Shì Tianmen15 Qianjiang 潜江市 Qiánjiāng Shì Qianjiang16 Xiantao 仙桃市 Xiāntáo Shì Xiantao— Forestry district —17 Shennongjia 神农架林区 Shénnóngjià Línqū Shennongjia
Guizhou Local Cuisine
Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of HubeiSince ancient times, Hubei has been a well-developed area both in economy and in culture due to its superior, central location. For those who love natural beauty, Hubei has green carpets of rice fields, clear lakes, blossoming cherry flowers in its east part, and wild mountains with primitive forests, caves, and cool fountains in its western part. If you are more interested in historic events, travelling along the Yangtze will let you enjoy sights of ancient war sites and hear heroic stories of the ancient generals and warriors and martyrs of the republican revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.Hubei boasts both beautiful scenery and historical artifacts. The best-known natural scenery is the Three Gorges of the Yangtze River. Wudang Mountain and Jiugong Mountain are the sacred places of Taoism. Shennongjia is an important natural preserve, attracting attention from the world not only because of its rare species but also because of the mystery of the Apemen. Hubei's historical ruins include Emperor Yan's Temple in Suizbou, the hometown of Quynan in Zigui and of Zhaojun in Xingshan, the ancient city of Jinan, Guqintai in Wuhan, the Yellow Crane Pavilion, the Red Cliff in Puqi from the Three Kingdoms' period, the site of the government of the Wuhan revolutionary army, and the Museum of the Erqi Strike of the Beijing Hankou Railway Workers. These sites allow tourists to learn of many significant events in China's history.
HUANGHELOU (Yellow Crane Tower)Located on the south bank of the Yangzi River, the Yellow Crane Tower is perhaps China's most badly treated historical monument. It is said to have been built in 333 during the Three Kingdoms period. In the centuries that followed, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In history, the tower inspired many poets and artists. It was last rebuilt in 1983.
WUDANG MOUNTAINSA trip to Wudan Mountains is a very worthwhile outing from Wuhan. Located in western Hubei, Wudang is an ancient sacred Taoist shrine. The first Taoist temple there, the "Five Dragon Temple, " was built 1,300 years ago in the Tang Dynasty. In the 15th century, the Ming court sent 300,000 soldiers and workers there to build 160 monasteries, temples, pavilions and other structures. It took more than 10 years to complete the construction. It then became a major center of Taoism. Although many of the old structures deteriorated in the ensuing centuries, there are still many well-preserved temples. The mountains are also linked with a school of martial arts. It is said that Taiji boxing was invented there by a Taoist priest.
The Three GorgesThe Three Gorges (Chinese: 三峡; pinyin: Sānxiá) region is a scenic area along the Yangtze River in the Hubei（湖北）province of the People's Republic of China with a total length of approximately 200 km. The Three Gorges occupy approximately 120 km within this region. Although it is primarily famous for its scenery, the Three Gorges region is historically and culturally an important region in China. A representation of the westernmost gorge appears on China's currency in the back of the paper 10 yuan note.Gorge↓ Chinese↓ Length (km)↓ Range↓Qutang Gorge 瞿塘峡 8 from Baidicheng (Fengjie) to DaxiWu Gorge 巫峡 45 from Wushan to Guandukou (Badong)Xiling Gorge 西陵峡 66 from Zigui to Nanjin Pass (Yichang)The Three Gorges region is located along the Yangtze River between the cities of Fengjie (奉节) and Yichang in Chongqing municipality and Hubei province.The Three Gorges region attracted attention globally due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, which is changing the scenery of the region.
Three Gorges DamThe Three Gorges Dam was constructed at a place called Sāndòupíng (三斗坪) in the middle of the Xiling Gorge. The reservoir was completed in the summer of 2006, and the water level in the Qutang, Wuxia, and the western portion of the Xiling Gorges has already begun to rise. The dam itself is projected to be completed in 2009. In addition to the impacts of the dam on the ecology and people (i.e. the mass relocation of towns and villages) of the region, the dam will also change the scenery of the Three Gorges. Because the water level will be higher, the river will be wider and the mountains will appear lower. Proponents of the dam point out that because the mountains reach several thousand feet above the river, the gorges are still likely to offer spectacular views of the surrounding cliffs, and most riverboat companies that operate in the Three Gorges intend to continue to offer tours of the region. The increase in width of the Gorges will also allow larger ships through the gorges, and it is anticipated that river traffic of all kinds will increase.
Hubei CulturePeople in Hubei speak Mandarin dialects; most of these dialects are classified as Southwestern Mandarin dialects, a group that also encompasses the Mandarin dialects of most of southwestern China.Perhaps the most celebrated element of Hubei cuisine is the Wuchang fish, a freshwater bream that is commonly steamed.Types of traditional Chinese opera popular in Hubei include Hanju and Chuju.The Shennongjia area is the alleged home of the Yeren, a wild undiscovered hominid that lives in the forested hills.The people of Hubei are given the uncomplimentary nickname "Nine Headed Birds" by other Chinese, from a mythological creature said to be very aggressive and hard to kill. "In the sky live nine-headed birds. On the earth live Hubei people." (天上九头鸟，地上湖北佬)Wuhan is one of the major culture centers in China.
Transportation in HubeiAirports and portsThere are 7 airports in Hubei Province.Wuhan Tianhe Airport, the largest airport in Central China, has now opened international airlines to Japan and Korea, etc. The airports inYichang, Xiangfan, Enshi and Jingzhou have now also opened airlines to many cities in China.There are 163 inland river ports in the Province, among which 2 are ports with capacity of 5 million-10million tons. The Wuhan Port Passenger Terminal is the largest inland river passenger station in China. The portsin Wuhan, Huangshi, Shashi and Lyichang have been opened to the outside world successively, the seagoing vessels of which can directly reach the rivers and seas in Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia, etc. The ports can be open to navigation to 130 countries through transfer shipping lines.HighwaysThe highways under use totals 89, 673 km, of which the express way is 1, 353 km. The province aims to extend its express way to 3500 km by the end of 2010.RailwaysJing-Jiu, Jing-Guang, Jiao-Zhi and Zhi-Liu Railways run from the north to the south of the province; Wu-Da, Han-Dan and Xiang-Yu railways run from the east to the west. In Hubei two High-speed rail lines are under construction, one is north-south from Beijing to Guangzhou, one is east-west from Shanghai to Chengdu.