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  Hankou is the main commercial area of Wuhan. Between its long main shopping street, Zhongshan Dadao, and the high embankment along the river are numerous street markets. The old foreign concessions line the embankment for three kilometres(two miles) and this area is still very much intact. The vicinity of Hankou Railway Station is always busy and interesting to walk around. The old Customs House on the waterfront is a distinctive landmark. Jiefang Park and Zhongshan Park, across the railway line, are the sites of the former racecourses.

   Opposite Turtle Hill (Gui Shan),which overlooks the Han River, is the Hanyang Workers Yangtze RiverCultural Palace Gardens, encompassing the charming Lute Platform, a smalI complex of courtyards, pavilions and gardens enclosed by a tiled wall. It was built in commemoration of two musicians,Yu Baiya and Zhong Ziqi, who lived 2,000 years ago. While visiting Hanyang, Yu played his lute but only Zhong understood and appreciated his performance. They became fast friends and arranged to meet again at the same time the following year. Yu returned only to find that his friend had died. At Zhong's grave, Yu played a farewell song and, vowing never again to use the instrument, broke its strings.

   The Lute Platform is now a haven for Chinese opera lovers (mostly men) who gather on Sunday mornings to sip tea and Iisten to the performers. In the gardens,wushu and taijiquan (martial arts and exercise) classes are held. Paintings by locaI artists are on exhibition and for sale in the main hall. Nearby is a Qing memorial stone dedicated to the lute player.

    This fine Zen Buddhist temple on Cuiwei Lu, where monks from the surrounding provinces gathered to study the scriptures, is 300 years old. The striking architecturaI complex includes Drum and BelI Towers, temple halls, the Luohan Hall and the Lotus Pond. The Luohan Hall contains 500 gold-painted wooden statues of Buddhist monk-saints, no two are the same. lt is said the two sculptors employed on this task took nine years to complete it. The main hall has a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha which was carved from a single block of jade--a gift from Burma in 1935. The scripture collection includes the rare 7000--volume Long can Sutra. The temple runs a vegetarian restaurant, the Yunjizhai, for visitors.

  The original pavilion was a 16th-century Ming-dynasty structure. The current pavilions a 1983 reconstruction. The top floor of the pavilion offers a fine view of the YangtzeRiver and the Yellow Crane Tower, situated on the opposite bank.


   On Snake Hill (She Shan) is the site of the ancient Yellow Crane Tower (Hung HeLou), widely celebrated by Chinese poets throughout the ages. Cranes are one of the traditional Chinese symbols of long life. The legend concerns a Daoist (Taoist) sage who flew away on a yellow crane to become an Immortal. The tower has been rebuilt many times. The tower has five levels covered with yellow tiles and supported by redco1umns. Being over 50 metres high, the top level offers a wonderful view of the entire Wuhan area. Beside the new Yellow Crane Tower (completed in l986) is a white sputa that dates from the Yuan dynasty (1279--1368).

   Off Donghu Lu, near East Lake, this small provincial museum has a rich collection of artifacts excavated in the province. Of special interest is a display of finds from the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng from the Warring States period (480--22l BC).Among them is a set of 64 bronze chime bells. Replicas of these have been made and concerts of ancient music are given by a special chime--be1ls orchestra under the auspices of the Hubei Provincial Museum and Art institute of Wuhan. The second floor of the museum is devoted to the province's revolutionary history.Yangtze River

    Known as the Red House, this building on Shouyi Lu was the headquarters of thel9l l Revolution against the Manchu Qing dynasty, led by Dr Sun Yatsen. Today, the building, in front of which stands a statue of Sun, is a museum to that revolution. lt is locatcd at the foot of She Shan on Wuluo Lu.

   Mao Zedong directed this institute between 1926 and 1927. Its object was to trainmen to organize the peasants into associations to carry out underground activities.
 EAST LAKE (DONG HU)Yangtze River
   A large scenic area, in the eastern suburbs of Wuchang, is centered on East Lake. Established in 1949, this enormous park covers 73 square kilometres of lake shore.The lake itself is six time the size of West Lake (Xi Hu) in HangZhou. The park is full of natural beauty, containing over 372 plant varieties as well as more than 80 species of birds and fish. Around its shores are numerous pavilions, museums and halls, including a memorial to Qu Yuan, the third-century BC poet , and a monument (Jiu Nudun) to nine heroines who died fighting the Manchu troops during the Taping Rebellion in the l9th century. A low causeway1eads to Moshan Hill and its botanical gardens with views across the city and the beautiful countryside.
   On the north bank of the Yangtze, just west of Huangzhou city, is the Red Cliff of SuDongpo. On its summit are pavilions and halls dedicated to one of China's great poets, Su DongPo (1037--1101). Having passed tile imperial examinations at the young age of 20, he held various important scholarly posts in the Northern Song capital of Kaifeng but fell from grace when he criticized new law reforms. After arrest and imprisonment, he was demoted to the status of assistant commissioner to the Huangzhou militia. He lived in considerable hardship with his household of 20 members, tilling a few acres of land himself. The Red Cliff became one of his favourite haunts, and he and his guests, boating beneath the cliff, would compose poetry, drink wine, admire the moon and carouse all night long. In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) this cliff was named Dongpo Red Cliff to distinguish it from the other Red Cliff that was the scene of a batt1le in the Three Kingdoms period . The Qing-dynasty halls contain examples of Su Dongpo's beautiful calligraphy, poems, essays and paintings carved on both stone and wooden tablets.
   A Buddhist temple located on the slopes of Hong Shan. It features a Grand Hall,Meditation Hall and Abbots Hall. There are two gargantuan iron bells here, almost 900 years old, dating hack to the Southern Song Dynasty. It is located inside Hongshan Park.
   The largest and best-preserved Taoist temple in Wuhan. The temple consists of numerous corridors and stone staircases with grand eaves and arches. Decorating theha1ls are life--sized carvings and niches. Most of the religious relics were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Since restoration, the temple now displays a wide range of Taoist cultural relics. It is located in the Dadongmen area, near the intersection of Zhongshan Lu and Wuluo Lu.
   Founded in 1913, it is still considered one of the best universities in the country. Its campus displays many examples of pre- l949 Chinese architecture. It is located at the foot of Luo Jia Shan near Dong Hu.

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