About to Put a Foot in Wuhan ? Follow the Guide !

Welcome to Wuhan, Dear Reader.

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Tintin, lost in Wuhan in "The Blue Lotus"

Whoever you are and for whatever reason you have won your ticket to Wuhan, the city located in the middle of the Middle Empire, well done! That’s the first step. Now don’t panic, we have thought about everything to help you getting through the beginning of your new life.
No matter if you speak Chinese or not, don’t worry, Wuhan Social has thought about you and has prepared a few tips to follow in order for you not to feel (too) lost in the crazy city that is Wuhan!

But first of all, what is Wuhan ?

img_3392Historically, Wuhan is an artificial city made of 3 cities now observed as huge districts: Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang. According to the reasons you are soon arriving in Wuhan, you will automatically notice after a while that these three districts are truly different and will bring you the whole of Wuhan: a city different everyday (and not only because of the continuous construction)!

  • ZOOM IN – WUCHANG

Wuchang is known to be the student district because of its large amount of universities. You will thus find a lot of students coming from many different countries. Exchange students for a year or two who wish to learn Chinese, some others here to study another specialty in a Chinese University, Wuchang possesses a wide culture which reflects its foreign population. By living in Wuchang, you will be introduced to new nationalities, which will certainly enlighten your experience as a student or a young worker in Wuhan.

Well connected thanks to buses and different subway lines (2 and 4), it will be easy for you to travel through the area and have fun. In this big area, prices are usually cheaper than in other districts but Wuhan changes every day and life is getting more and more expensive.

One of the famous streets in Wuchang is, without a doubt, Hanjie. An area full of bars, restaurants, fancy hotels, shops and even the great Hanshow, a daily show worldwide known. But that’s not all of it. All Wuchang can be surprising and will provide what you need to have fun. If you feel a bit lost and wish to hang out in a cool place, we have a few bars and places in store for you to check out in Wuchang. You won’t be disappointed !

Want to keep some Western taste in your kitchen whilst living in China ? You will be able to find some imported food products in major Western supermarkets such as Carrefour and Metro in Wuchang. The products may be a bit more expensive than Chinese average products, trust us, being able to cook like if you were home will help you coping with Wuhan winter !

Wuchang is a very entertaining and interesting district to explore, no matter if you are a student, a teacher or another expat coming to Wuhan.

  • ZOOM IN – HANKOU

Well-known as the business district of Wuhan, Hankou is on the other side of the Yangtze River and is considered as « the expensive area » of the city. Very trendy, you will find a lot of different places to hang out and many awesome bars and restaurants to help you meeting people and compensating with your busy working life. A lot of English teachers and businessmen live on this side of the river and different Embassies are located there.

Xibeihu, Huanyuandao or Wuhan Tiandi, be ready to have a great time and to enjoy your life in Wuhan!

Hankou is easily connected thanks to the subway line 2, buses and ferries. Although the traffic can get pretty intense around certain hours, Hankou can be easily reached from both Wuchang and Hanyang.

Helpful shops also can be found in Hankou that will well help you dealing with the lonely moments you’ll be missing Western taste, such as Olé and Auchan.

Hankou is more internationalized than Wuchang and you’ll be more likely to meet working people there than students.

Yet, when it’s time to have fun and hang out with nice people, who cares really ?

  • ZOOM IN – HANYANG

Let’s be honest, nobody really dares adventuring in Hanyang too much. Yet, if you are a French expat soon to be arriving in Wuhan to work in one of the existing automotive industries, you will probably end up living within the French community located there.

Considered as a manufactured area, Hanyang is not especially the most attractive district of Wuhan.

Yet, a few places are worth the try if you want to have a good time and keep enjoying the Wuhan way of life.

Hanyang, like the two other districts, is connected by buses, by the ferry and also the subway line 4 (some more will come soon, that’s the magic of Wuhan !).

In a Nutshell

I love WuhanThe city might not be as popular as Beijing or Shanghai, Wuhan remains a place where you can have a lot of fun while living in a real Chinese city. I lived in Beijing for a year but the Wuhan experience is so much more delightful for many reasons. Once you will get use to the Wuhan way of life, you will start exploring the city and will probably fall in love with it, just like all of us.

WECHAT – It’s a Kind of Magic

As you are probably aware of that little but yet significant detail, a few websites and social medias are censored in China. No big surprise here, especially because thanks to a VPN ( Virtual Private Network), those doors will be unlocked.

However, you will soon realise that, no matter how useful it can be to keep in touch with your family and friends abroad (or to check the last video of a cute puppy eating a vegan burger), Facebook has not the same influence at all over here. When it comes to social needs such as events coming up in Wuhan, chat groups based on hobbies and other social life aspects, Facebook won’t help you. As an alternative, China brings you WeChat and trust me, you will need it.

Wechat advertisement with Messi holding a phone
Even Messi is on WeChat !

With its different functionalities, WeChat is a perfect mix between Facebook and WhatsApp. And it will be the foundation of your social life in Wuhan.

  • How does it work ?

1. Moments – Your WeChat Wall

If on Facebook, your wall is full of content coming from various sources, WeChat is ad-free and only presents you what your contacts have posted. In that way, to be able to check comments on one of your friend’s picture, you will have to be friends with his friends who commented on it. WeChat, in comparison with Facebook works as a “private” social media.

2. Groups – A Good Opportunity to Add Contacts

WeChat is a very simple messaging tool with a lot of stickers and gifs which make the whole of it even funnier. But this application also benefits from other features Facebook cannot compete with: groups. Okay, you can create groups on Facebook, but they are not as efficient as they are on WeChat. In here, groups are chat rooms which can be filled up to 500 people. It is very simple to get involved in any kind of group you want to join: a bar you like, a hobby, a sport, a community, etc. Socializing through WeChat groups can be very useful if you are seeking for information. WeChat groups are the open door to your social life.

Useful tip: To enter a WeChat group, you have to scan a QR code. But if the group already contains more than 100 people, the only way to join this group will have to go through a friend’s invitation. Don’t be scared, Wuhan Social will be your friend and will help you finding what you look for!

  • Wuhan Social: We Are On WeChat As Well !

Once you will have installed WeChat on your phone, the next step is very simple: subscribe to the Wuhan Social account and stick it on the top of your WeChat contacts!

By following us, you will get all the latest news and pieces of information you’ll need in order to enjoy your life in Wuhan. Events, places to check and to visit, causes people tend to fight for in the city, alerts…

Created by foreigners who wanted to make their life in Wuhan better, Wuhan Social is and will be your friend, no matter what.

So all I have to say here, dear reader, is: see you on Wechat!

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Violette R.
Violette is a young French expat ready to go on adventures to introduce you to new places and events in Wuhan. Enthusiastic and joyful, she is passionate when it comes to performing art and has a penchant for old movies and rock’n roll. Her saying: Make them laugh.