South Central China Travel Guide
South Central China is comprised of Anhui province, Chongqing municipality, Hubei province, Jianxi province, Hunan province and Sichuan province. The largest and best known cities are Chengdu, Nanchang, Wuhan, Yichang and Chongqing.
Most visitors to South Central China will start their journey in Chengdu as there is a large international airport here. It is worth taking a few days to explore Chengdu as there are plenty of interesting attractions and entertainment options. Visit Tianfu Square at midday or dusk to watch music, water and colored lights erupting from the square’s fountains. The scene is watched over by a large statue of Mao.
Those who are traveling with children will probably want to pay a visit to the Chengdu Zoo, while there are numerous colorful temples to explore in amongst the chaos of the city such as the Wenshu Temple and the Qingyang Temple. Evening entertainment is provided by the Sichuan Opera, which shows authentic Chinese dramas.
Another interesting city to explore is Nanchang, which is situated in Jianxi province and often referred to as Heroes’ City as it was the site of the communist uprising in 1927. Head straight to the Star of Nanchang, which is a 160 meter high Ferris wheel, for an interesting viewpoint over the city.
No tour of South Central China would be complete without taking a cruise on the Yangtze River. Running through a large part of China, sailing slowly along the Yangtze River is an excellent way to see the area’s scenery. There are plenty of companies offering cruises along the river, and a good place to start from is the city of Yichang.
Also near Yichang is the famous Three Visitors Cave, which is situated in a large and lovely park. Inside the cool cave is some poetry engraved into the rocks. The park is also a good place to relax and enjoy views of the Yangtze River.
Mountain climbers are really spoilt for choice in South Central China. Many head to Mount Emei in Sichuan province, which is situated at an elevation of 3,099 meters. Another popular spot is the Wudang Mountains, which is also the birthplace of Taichi.
Communication can be difficult in this part of China as few people speak English outside the main cities. Those who plan to go trekking, hiking or mountain climbing would be best off hiring a guide and perhaps joining up with a group in order to stay safe and get the most out of the experience.
The weather tends to be extremely cold in South Central China during the winter months, making travel difficult. Most people prefer to visit this part of the world during the summer, when the weather is warm and the clean air provides spectacular panoramic views from atop mountains.
Those who arrive during the summer will find that getting around South Central China is relatively easy as there is a railway line running through the region. It is possible to travel between many of the region’s towns and cities within a few hours. There are also numerous bus routes running through the region and airports in most of the major cities.
Getting There & Away
The main access point to this region of China is through the international airport at Chengdu, which receives flights from a number of destinations such as Amsterdam (12 hours), Taipei (5 hours), Osaka, Bangkok (3 hours) and Phnom Penh. It is possible to reach many towns and cities in South Central China by train in around 3 or 4 hours.