Chuhehanjie!

Something to check out on my next visit to Wuhan is the “Chu River / Han Street” area (chuhehanjie, 楚河汉街). Basically, they took the point where the tunnel under the Yangtze River comes out in Wuchang and extended the road across the Sha Hu, the large lake in the middle of Wuchang between the (even larger) East Lake and the river. In the section of the road between the two lakes they squeezed in a canal and a Jianghan Lu-style walking street, complete with the Euro-style architecture and narrow streets of the foreign settlement area in Hankou.

It appears to have opened on October 1, 2011 and is not even on most maps yet; Google’s satellite view show the area in the early stages of construction. Could end up being just a cheesy shopping center, but it looks much more ambitious and clever than Wuhan Tiandi (which was disappointing and mostly empty the last few times I visited, though I hear it’s now more lively due to a lot of new apartment and office buildings going up around it).

More links and pics, mostly in Chinese:

http://www.cnhubei.com/xwzt/2011/twolake/index.shtml

http://www.eemap.org/id/137477

http://news.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2011-10/04/c_122119490_33.htm

http://jinzi306198963.banzhu.net/article/jinzi306198963-14-3054690.html

http://www.echinacities.com/wuhan/city-in-pulse/han-jie-shopping-area-along-the-chuhe-river-opens-soon.html

The last link, which is in English, boasts that the street will have “the biggest Starbucks in Asia, the biggest McDonald’s in China, the Nike global image store, and a Michelin Restaurant!” I will definitely be hitting the McDs and Starbucks but will skip the Michelin restaurant (doubt they can beat reganmian, mianwo, shaokao, and all my other Wuhan street food favorites) and get my “Nikes” from the guys in the dark alleys around Jianghan Lu.

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