A spectacular, sprawling city and the capital of China’s Hubei province, Wuhan may not be a place you’ve heard much about right now, but that is set to change. Wuhan is fast becoming one of the country’s most important commercial centres and a hub for tourism, offering shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues to compete with any city in the world, as well as such stunning sights as East Lake as well as the Han and Yangtze rivers, which run through and divide Wuhan. There are also cultural delights such as Hubei Provincial Museum, which features relics from as long ago as the fifth century BCE. On any trip to the city, you’ll have the chance to purchase items that commemorate your holiday, and below you’ll find the perfect list of what to buy in Wuhan, China, as a handy guide for souvenir shopping.
1. Hand-drawn city maps
In any new city, it’s always useful to have a map that will help you find your way around, whether that’s in the form of a GPS satellite navigation or the more analogue handheld street maps you can pick up at the airport. In Wuhan, though, there is a third option. Visit the Tan Hua Lin district, which is the city’s craft hub. There you will find charming hand-drawn city maps that allow you to navigate the city and will also serve as delightful wall art when you return home from your trip.
2. Traditional black tea
In China, the growing and manufacture of tea is a major industry, and the drinking of this globally popular beverage is part of the national culture. Visiting the teashops and markets of Wuhan, you’ll be able to take your pick from a cornucopia of teas, including the famous Chinese black teas, which are famed for their benefits to your well-being. Commonly used as a digestive aid, for heart health, and for its antioxidant properties, this traditional Chinese drink is well worth opening your wallet for.
3. Turquoise jewellery
The street markets of Wuhan are among the best places to look for bargains and pick up souvenirs. If you want to grab some symbolic, beautiful jewellery, then your best bet may be to head to Hanyang, the tourist area of the city, and find Hangjiang Street, where fashion is a passion. There, you will find some of the most stunning pieces of turquoise jewellery, showcasing the craftsmanship of skilled artisans in the use of a precious stone that is rare and expensive in most Western countries.
4. Silk flowers
Anytime that you take a break in a new city, make sure to purchase some local crafts as a way of commemorating your visit. In Wuhan, perhaps the best way of doing this is to purchase some of the silk flowers that have for centuries been a speciality of Hubei province. Women in royal courts as long ago as the fourth century have been recorded as wearing such exquisitely crafted flowers, and the expertise of local craftspeople has only grown in the time since then.
5. Bamboo baskets
The plentiful supply of bamboo throughout China has been a definite boost to the nation as a whole, with different parts of the plant being used in building, furniture, and indeed in food. In the case of the ornate bamboo baskets that are a speciality of the Tujia people, bamboo is put to excellent use to create sturdy, eye-catching baskets that make for excellent souvenirs of your trip to Wuhan.
6. Lusong jade sculpture
One of the specialities of the Hubei province is the hardy, iridescent form of jade known as Lusong. Commonly mined at the other end of the province, in Yunyang, Lusong jade is sculpted into small ornamental items and sold as souvenirs in the markets of Wuhan. The verdant beauty of the pieces you can buy here makes for some of the most eye-catching jewellery you’re likely to find anywhere.
7. Fridge magnet
Civic pride is at a high level in Wuhan, which in such a short span of time has gone from being a quiet, nondescript city to being one of China’s most significant tourism and shopping destinations. This means there is no shortage of stores and market stalls selling items that bear the name of the city. Among the most plentiful are a wide range of Wuhan fridge magnets—easy to fit in your luggage and an instant reminder of your Wuhan holiday.
8. Duck neck
One standout aspect of any overseas holiday is always going to be the chance to try local cuisines, and if you want to be with the in-crowd in Wuhan, this means sampling the increasingly popular delicacy that is duck neck. While it may seem like an unlikely contender for the snack food crown, duck neck has become a favourite among people looking for tasty, nourishing food. You’ll find that some of the busiest food stores in town are under the Zhou Hei Ya brand, which specialises in gourmet duck neck sold to a discerning audience.
9. Xiaogan cake
If you’re looking for a sweet speciality in Wuhan, then you won’t go wrong with a tasty and healthy snack like Xiaogan cake. One of the local delicacies of the Hubei province, Xiaogan cake is crispy, nutritious, and aromatic. The ingredients include sugar, sesame, and rice flour, and you can find high-quality versions of the product in any food store or supermarket.
10. Qingshan Mahong cake
An alternative to Xiaogan cake, also made with sesame and sugar, Qingshan Mahong cake is a soft, crispy snack that is every bit as sweet and tasty as the former. It is commonly sold packaged in supermarkets, or you can buy it fresh in restaurants as a dessert. Either way, it is very much a part of the Wuhan experience.
Wonderful Wuhan: A city where you can find anything
Your souvenir-hunting in the commercial centre of Wuhan can be one of the most diverse shopping trips you’ll take. A thriving modern city with a deep connection to the history both of the province and the country where it is found, Wuhan is filled with delights and offers you endless opportunities to find gift items in its markets and stores.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.