Getting There

 Tianhe International Airport is 26km (16 miles) northwest of Wuhan. Destinations include Beijing (six or seven flights daily); Guangzhou (at least seven flights daily); Hong Kong (one flight daily); Shanghai (seven flights daily); Chengdu (four or five flights daily); Chongqing (four or five flights daily); and Fukuoka and Tokyo (two flights weekly).

An airport bus between the airport and Hankou (¥15), Hanyang (¥20), and Wuchang (¥30) departs when full; board near the airport entrance. The trip takes 1 hour and the bus stops at Hangkong Lu, The Yangtze Plaza, and terminates at Fujiapo Bus Station. A taxi to Hankou should be ¥50 to ¥70, plus a ¥15 toll. Stand in the taxi line and use the meter. Ignore independent drivers who will offer to drive you for hundreds of yuan.

Wuhan has a number of railway stations, but the two major terminals are Hankou Huochezhan (mostly northbound) and Wuchang Huochezhan (mostly southbound). D-series trains from Wuchang Station are Shanghai (5 1/2 hr.; ¥279), Changsha (3 hr.; ¥112), and Yueyang (2 hr.; ¥67). Beijing (Z12, Z38; 10 hr.; soft sleeper only ¥411); Guangzhou (T95, T96; 10 1/2 hr.; hard sleeper ¥281); Kunming (K109/K110; 35 hr.; hard sleeper ¥399); and Shanghai (Z25/28; 9 hr.; soft sleeper only ¥400). Major connections with Hankou Station are fewer: Beijing (D122/D123; 9 hr.; ¥373); and Chongqing (T257/T258; 15 hr.; hard sleeper ¥281).

Tickets can be booked 20 days in advance at the respective stations. Hotels and CITS will book tickets for a ¥5 fee.

The two main long-distance bus stations are the Hankou Changtu Qichezhan on Jiefang Da Dao at the Youyi Lu intersection (mostly northbound), and the Wuchang Changtu Qichezhan, northeast of the railway station on Wuluo Lu (mostly southbound). Buses for Shanghai leave from both stations (12 hr.; ¥307). It's best to buy tickets a day in advance.

A light rail line, began operating at the end of 2004, is currently exclusive to Hankou but is being extended to Wuchang. It runs along the old rail line on Jing-Han Da Dao, making stops every kilometer. It is operational between 6:30am and 9:30pm, and tickets cost ¥3.

Getting Around

 Standard taxi rates are ¥3 for the first kilometer (2 miles), then ¥1.40 for each additional kilometer up to 7km. Above 7km (4 1/3 miles), the rate is ¥2.1 per kilometer. A ¥.5 fuel surcharge is added to each ride.

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- There's a large Bank of China just off the pedestrian street at Zhongshan Da Dao 593 (at the junction with Jianghan Lu; look for a stately old European concession building near the overhead walkway) and it has an ATM out the front. Foreign exchange is Monday through Friday from 8:30am to noon and 1:30 to 5pm. ATM can also be found at the HSBC on the ground floor of New World Trade Centre.

Internet Access -- Several Internet cafes are on Jianghan Street, charging ¥3 to ¥4 per hour. Dial-up is tel. 163.

Post Office -- A useful post office is at the west side of the railway station opposite the city bus terminal. There's another one on Jianghan Da Dao Pedestrian Street, no. 134, which is open from 8:30am to 10pm.

Tours -- China International Travel Service (CITS) is exceptionally helpful and straightforward about prices. They book flights, train rides, and cruises, and arrange guided tours. CITS is located at Zhongshan Da Dao 909, near the intersection with Yiyuan Lu (tel. 027/8277-0344; fax 027/8284-5833;

Visa Extensions -- Applications are available at the Gonganju Waishi Ke (PSB Department of Foreign Affairs) at Zhang Zizhong Lu (tel. 027/8539-5394), which is open Monday through Friday from 9 to noon and 2 to 5pm. The process takes 3 working days.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.