LIVING IN WUHAN
a guide for visitors and others
[post note, 2013 : This was a project begun in 1998-1999 with the best of intentions since the need was great. I was forced to abandon it because the local residents I encountered resisted giving any kind of information. I thought about this of course, and was driven to two linked conclusions - a) it was beyond conception in the local culture that anyone would do something like this on their own initiative, and that b) I must therefore be some kind of foreign spy. It was rather a rather sad reflection on a society where there is zero public trust, and without trust life is immensely more difficult for everyone. Eventually it seemed to me that any evolution towards a more functional civil society would take generations. I hope I was wrong. Obviously though, this particular project was not viable in a city where bus timetables seemed to be state secrets. I have left the skeleton content here as a framework for anyone considering similar undertakings.]
Welcome to the "Living in Wuhan" site. This site is not sponsored by any organization or government. It began with a new resident's attempt to find the best way of surviving in this large, ancient and interesting city. Contributions are welcome from anyone at all! Good reading.
Introduction to "Living in Wuhan"
Wuhan is a large and impressive city with a rich history and many features to fascinate visitors and residents alike. Within China it is, of course, well known (although perhaps not always as well known as it might be). Outside of China Wuhan is almost unknown, and this is a great pity.
The purpose of this Guide will be to make knowledge about Wuhan accessible to visitors, to people from overseas who come to work in the city, and perhaps even to people from other parts of China. Much of the information will also be relevant to living in other Chinese cities.
At the moment "Living in Wuhan" is mostly just an outline waiting to be filled in. However, there also a limited amount of quite useful information. The present material mainly reflects the two year (1998-2000) local experience of Thor May, and is thus a very narrow sample indeed. Hopefully others will add to this small base. By nature, Thor tends to express strong opinions (sometimes just to start a discussion!). Sometimes he is plain wrong, and he doesn't mind being contradicted if you have a better argument. Don't take anything you read on this site as an unalterable truth. There are no absolute cultural truths common to 20% of the world's population, and China is changing at the speed of light.
The editor always welcomes contributions from anybody who has some knowledge of the city that they would like to pass on. That means we want help from YOU! Both factual information and opinion are welcome from contributors. That is, you can tell me about something (for example, a restaurant or a scenic spot), and also say whether you think it is good/bad/interesting/boring ... and so on. In each case though, please make sure that you make clear whether you are stating a fact, or an opinion. If you have a commercial or financial interest in some part of Wuhan that you want to tell the world about, that is OK too, but please make it clear that you have such an interest. Because this is a free site, I cannot accept direct advertisements for posting.
Where two or more people disagree about something, each point of view will be given space. Although "Living in Wuhan" is being prepared in English, contributions in Chinese are also welcome, provided they come with an English translation.
If and when enough interesting material is collected on this site, the editor may collate and edit it all to be published in hard copy (paper). Also, if enough people show interest, a Chinese language version could be prepared.
Well, happy thinking! Help us to show Wuhan to the world !
copyright (c) Thor May 1999, 2002; all rights reserved