Located in the eastern central part of the Hubei Province, the bustling city of Xiaogan (Xiàogǎn in traditional pinyin) is a melting pot of history and modernity. This prefecture-level city is situated approximately sixty kilometres northwest of Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei. Xiaogan has five million residents, with seven subdivisions, namely Xiaonan, Yingcheng, Anlu, Hanchuan, Xiaochang, Dawu, and Yunment. This city in Hubei is the sister city of Brest in Belarus.
Xiaogan used to be a part of the historical Jingzhou, and was the capital of a number of city states during the Zhou Dynasty. This city used to be known as the region of Danyang, but was renamed Xiaogan (which means “filial piety) in 924 AD, during the period of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms. Xiaogan holds a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, because it is the birthplace of the Chu Culture. At present, there are nearly 500 historical sites—all of them preserved well—scattered around the city.
The city is situated on the southern bank of the Hanjiang River, and bordered by the Henan Province in its northern parts. There are three major parts of the city, which is divided according to the features of the landscape. Found in the northwestern part of Xiaogan is the mountainous region, the northeastern part with hills and relatively low mountains, and the southern part of the city is with plains. Xiaogan is home to four rivers, and there are also a number of lakes scattered around the city.
Getting to Xiaogan is very convenient. When coming from the provincial capital Wuhan, one can easily take the Wuhan Metro or jump into one of the many bus lines traveling from Wuhan to Xiaogan. If you prefer a slower pace to savor the beauty of the region, you can also opt to get to Xiaogan by ferry through the ports of the Yangtse River—the Hangjiang, Huan, and Fu Rivers in the city is connected to the Yangtse.
Xiaogan has four distinct seasons, with a subtropical monsoon client. Typically, the colder seasons are very short. The weather during the autumn, spring, and early summer is often mild and pleasant, with rainstorms occurring from the middle of June to the middle of July. The winters are mild, and snow and rain is quite uncommon.
The climate in Xiaogan is very pleasant for most of the year, with the average temperature being 16 degrees Celsius. Xiaogan is perfect to visit during the spring, autumn, and the early parts of summer (to avoid the rainstorms).
Aside from the numerous historical sites, Xiaogan is also home to uniquely delicious dishes and beverages. When in the city, tourists must try the Xiaogan ma tang—this regional delicacy is made of glutinous rice, osmanthus, and sesame mixed with a couple of local ingredients. The Xiaogan rice wine is also very famous in the country, and is a great present to bring to your family and friends at home. The famed Xiaogan sesame chips are famous for their delightful fragrance, a perfect complement for the sweet crispiness of the chips. This award-winning snack is a great way to remember the beautiful city of Xiaogan. When in this Hubei city, make sure to try Yunmeng fish noodles, sesame candy, and dou you juan.
As mentioned earlier, Xiaogan is home to hundreds and hundreds of well-preserved historical sites, and is the birthplace of the Chu Culture, which boasted of highly developed industries such as the smelting of bronze, colorful silk weaving and embroidery, and the design and production of delicate lacquer ware. As a result, the city is one of the historical artistic centers of the country.
This scenic mountain is surrounded two other peaks, with the highest clocking in at nearly 3,000 feet. The mountain is also home to one of the largest national nature parks in the country, with a wide variety of scenic spots that will take the visitors’ breath away. The park is around twenty miles from the city’s downtown, and over forty miles from the provincial capital of Hubei.
Tangchi Hot Spring
The Tangchi Hot Spring is great for those who are looking for a bit of rest and relaxation in Xiaogan. This idyllic resort is situated around twelve miles west of Yincheng City. Tourists from all over the country and the world have praised the wondrous effects of the mineral spring water. Tangchi Hot Spring is also ideal for those who are recovering from sickness or fatigue, as the hot waters of the spring can help patients rejuvenate and recuperate.
Baiyun Ancient Village
The village of Baiyun was established during the period of the Northern and Southern Dynasties (from 386 to 589 AD) and was once one of the largest villages in the region. Presently, the village is a site filled with ancient ruins covering three hills, and is a great destination for those who want to learn how life in ancient Hubei was.
This natural karst cave is very close to Wuhan, but still remains in the Xiaogan territory. This deep cave system has been a source of mystery and fascination in the olden times, and a popular destination for the tourists of today. There are plenty of unique and interesting rock formations inside the cave.