Introducing Hubei Province

Spanning both sides of the Yangtze River, and sheltered by tree-clad mountain tops, Hubei Province is an off-the-beaten-track gem of natural, historical and cultural wonder. Tranquil Taoist retreats dot the countryside, while big cities hum with innovation and the gentle flow of everyday life. As one of China’s most ethnically diverse regions, expect a rich tapestry of traditions and tastes – best savoured in one of the capital’s bustling street markets. 

Things to do

Strike out from the province’s main cities, and inspiring sights lie in every direction. Glide through the soaring Three Gorges on an idyllic river cruise or hike into the Shennongjia Mountains – a UNESCO-protected home to rare flora and fauna, as well as the elusive Chinese yeti. The Enshi Grand Canyon is a striking landscape of natural arches and winding clifftop passes, wild with promise. And even within Hubei’s capital, Wuhan, the mist-shrouded Yangtze River is a commanding presence that draws visitors to its iconic banks.

Freshwater produce abounds, sourced from the many lakes and rivers that wind through the province. While the passage of people and time has left its culinary mark, with hearty influences from the north, and heat from the west. Expect simple, sustaining fare that favours market-to-table ingredients. The hot dry sesame noodles, doused in spicy peanut sauce, have become a signature snack, and are found on almost every street corner.

Colourful and charismatic, Chinese opera is an entrancing experience for all the senses. And two of the country’s most renowned companies can trace their roots back to Hubei Province. It was here that Han Opera first emerged over 300 years ago, and it remains as vibrant today as it was under the Qing Dynasty. This is also the definitive place to catch Huangmei Opera, a folk-inspired performance that was originally sung by the region’s tea-picking women. 

Top Tip from SLH

Journey into the heart of Hubei Province in slow time, cruising along the River Yangtze from Shanghai to Wuhan.