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Hubei

Hubei is situated in the central part of China with the Yangtze River winding its way through the province. The Hanshui River, the Yangtze River’s largest tributary, flows from northwest through the province. The land of Hubei, beautiful and fertile, boasts its long history, and rich heritage. Wuhan, Jingzhou, and Xiangfan the famous Chinese historical and cultural cities and four state protected scenic areas the Three Gorges are all proud to be in Hubei, offering abundant natural beauties and historical interest.

Hubei province is located at the hub of the communication network from Beijing to Hong Kong, and Shanghai to Chongqing, in other words, from north to south, and from east to west.

Hubei has many excellent facilities and high-class accommodations of every type for the tourist. Wuhan is actually the name given to three closely linked cities: Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang. These three cities were physically across the Yangtze, was completed. The city’s central location in China has made it an important hub of transportation by air, land and water making it convenient for the tourist to go to any other city both inside and outside Hubei. Ancient Three Kingdom Tour have already started here.

Map of HubeiHistory
By the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), Hubei was home to the powerful state of Chu. Chu was nominally a tributary state of the Zhou Dynasty, and it was itself an extension of the Chinese civilization that had emerged some centuries before in the north; but it was also culturally unique, and was a powerful state that held onto much of the middle and lower Yangtze River, with power extending northwards into the North China Plain.

Detail of an embroidered silk gauze ritual garment from a 4th century BC, Zhou era tomb at Mashan, Hubei province, China.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), which began to assert itself by outward expansionism. As wars between Qin and Chu ensued, Chu lost more and more land: first its dominance over the Sichuan Basin, then (in 278 BC) its heartland, which correspond to modern Hubei. In 223 BC Qin chased down the remnants of the Chu regime, which had fled eastwards, as part of Qin's bid for the conquest of all China.

Qin founded the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC, the first unified state in China. Qin was succeeded by the Han Dynasty in 206 BC, which established the province (zhou) of Jingzhou in what is now Hubei and Hunan. Near the end of the Han Dynasty in the beginning of the 3rd century, Jingzhou was ruled by regional warlord Liu Biao. After his death, Liu Biao's realm was surrendered by his successors to Cao Cao, a powerful warlord who had conquered nearly all of north China; but in the Battle of Red Cliffs, warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan drove Cao Cao out of Jingzhou. Liu Bei then took control of Jingzhou; he went on to conquer Yizhou (the Sichuan Basin), but lost Jingzhou to Sun Quan; for the next few decades Jingzhou was controlled by the Wu Kingdom, ruled by Sun Quan and his successors.

The incursion of northern nomadic peoples into northern China at the beginning of the 4th century began nearly three centuries of the division of China into a nomad-ruled (but increasingly Sinicized) north and a Han Chinese-ruled south. Hubei, which is in southern China, remained under southern rule for this entire period, until the reunification of China by the Sui Dynasty in 589. In 617 the Tang Dynasty replaced Sui, and later on the Tang Dynasty placed what is now Hubei under several circuits: Jiangnanxi Circuit in the south; Shannandong Circuit in the west, and Huainan Circuit in the east. After the Tang Dynasty disintegrated the 10th century, Hubei came under the control of several regional regimes: Jingnan in the center, Wu (later Southern Tang) to the east, and the Five Dynasties to the north.

A family's ancestral hall, Yangxin CountyThe Song Dynasty reunified China in 982 and placed most of Hubei into Jinghubei Circuit, a longer version of Hubei's current name. Mongols conquered China fully in 1279, and under their rule the province of Huguang was established, covering Hubei, Hunan, and parts of Guangdong and Guangxi. During the Mongol rule, in 1334, Hubei was devastated by the world's first recorded outbreak of the Black Death, which spread during the following three centuries to decimate populations throughout Eurasia. (Citation needed, as most authorities say Central Asia, some say India, and at least one says Africa).

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 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.

 
A monument with Mao's dedication to the people of Wuhan overcoming the Flood of 1954During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, Wuhan saw fighting between rival Red Guard factions.

As the fears of a nuclear war increased during the time of Sino-Soviet border conflicts in the late 1969s, the Xianning prefecture of Hubei was chosen as the site of Project 131, an underground military command headquarters.

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.

Geography and Climate
The Jianghan Plain takes up most of central and eastern Hubei, while the west and the peripheries are more mountainous, with ranges such as the Wudang Mountains, the Jingshan Mountains, the Daba Mountains, and the Wushan Mountains (in rough north-to-south order). The Dabie Mountains lie to the northeast, on the border with Henan and Anhui; the Tongbai Mountains lie to the north on the border with Henan; to the southeast the Mufu Mountains form the border with Jiangxi. The eastern half of the Three Gorges (Xiling Gorge and part of Wu Gorge) lies in western Hubei; the other half is in neighbouring Chongqing. The highest peak in Hubei is Shennong Peak, found in the Daba Mountains and in the forestry area of Shennongjia; it has an altitude of 3105 m.

Boats on the Yangtze River, upstream from the Three GorgesThe Yangtze River enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorges; the Hanshui and Shen Nong Stream enter from the north. Shen Nong Stream is a tributary of the Yangtze River which has also been degraded by the Three Gorges Dam project. The Yangtze and Hanshui rivers meet at Wuhan, the provincial capital. Thousands of lakes dot the landscape, giving Hubei the name of: "Province of Lakes"; the largest of these lakes are Lake Liangzi and Lake Honghu. The Danjiangkou Reservoir lies on the border between Hubei and Henan.

Hubei has a subtropical climate with distinct seasons. Hubei has average temperatures of 1 - 6 °C in winter and of 24 - 30 °C in summer; punishing temperatures of 40 °C or above are famously associated with Wuhan, the provincial capital. Important cities are Wuhan, Jingmen, Shiyan and Shashi.

Language
People 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.

Cuisine
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.

People
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 wise Hubei people." . Wuhan is one of the major culture centers in China


Tourism
Hubei is home to the ancient state of Chu, a local state during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty that developed its own unique culture. Chu culture mixed with other influences, ancient and modern, endows Hubei richly with tourist resources. Famous attractions include:

Mount Wudang
Gezhou Dam
Three Gorges
Jingzhou City
Mount Jiugong (in Tongshan County)
Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan

The Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, with extensive archeological and cultural exhibits and performance presentations of ancient music and dance.
In 1994, the ancient building complex of the Wudang Mountains was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The province also has historical sites connected with China's more recent history, such as the Wuchang Uprising Memorial in Wuhan, Project 131 site (a Cultural-Revolution-era underground military command center) in Xianning, and the National Mining Park in Huangshi.

Numerous tourist boats (as well as regular passenger boats) travel up the Yangtze from Yichang through the Three Gorges area and into the neighboring Chongqing municipality.

The mountains of western Hubei, in particular in Shennongjia District, offer a welcome respite from Wuhan's and Yichang's summer heat. The tourist facilities in that area concentrate around Muyu in the southern part of Shennongjia, the gateway to Shennongjia National Nature Reserve.

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