When I first saw the tower from afar, it finally hit me that I was in China. The buildings and the Lion statues, this is the China I grew up seeing in movies and television. The atmosphere was relax. No pushing or shoving, just people enjoying their time. Getting lost in the moment, it was hard not to notice how peacefully things looked. The whole area surrounding the Yellow Crane tower reminded me of flushing, queens. Might be the fact that Flushing Queens was Nyc’s little China at one point. Still couldn’t help noticed the mixture of urban with the touch of suburban.
Started walking closer and I noticed, this tower reminded me of that Pokemon game gold and silver. If you ever played them, there was a tower that was burnt down. It looks very similar to this. I wonder if the game developers were influenced by this landmark. Just a little reference to a childhood moment. Now back to the story!
The closer you get to the tower, the more you hear tourists walking around. As mentioned before, people from all over china come here to see this landmark. There is something special about this to tower to the Chinese. Which I will go in detail soon. You do have to pay to get into the tower. You pay upfront at the entrance to the park/landmark. Took me about 15 mins from the entrance to the tower. Along the way, I saw even more cats!! You know I had to stop and get close. Weirdly enough, this park had a lot of wild domesticated cats running around. I wonder if there some hidden mystery there.
The history of this tower is very interesting. There has been many poems made about this tower. The tower we see today is actually a modern version. Over the years, the tower has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times. This one was built in 1981; however, the original tower that stood in it’s place can be dated back to AD 223. That means, this place has been important to the Chinese culture for more than 1600 years! The yellow crane is one of the four great towers of China. It’s somewhat hard to think about because the USA and all the countries in the Americas have only been around for 500 to 600 years. Just a fraction of the age of this landmark. This is why I love traveling to places outside of the USA. Just wrapping your head around the fact you are standing in a building, tunnel or on a street that is over 1000 years old.
Got to the very front and I was lost for words. It looks a lot bigger up close. Everybody around were getting their phones out to take a selfie. A little reminder of the world we live in today. Saw a few westerns here in awe like me. I’m pretty sure they assumed I was from India. Everybody kept asking me that on my trip throughout South East Asia. It’s hard not to appreciate, the detail put into this tower. It’s really a piece of art. Which makes senses why the tower has the hearts of many Chinese poets.
Once inside, every level has a form of art. The art shows different stories from Chinese culture. To get to the top, you need go up the stairs. There is an elevator for those that can’t do stairs. If you don’t have knee problems, I recommend taking the stairs. Seeing the different levels and the views of the city looks different at each one.
At the very top, I walked to the sides of the tower. I wanted to see the city’s skyline. When I got there, to my surprise the city of Wuhan looks a lot bigger than I thought. It almost looked like a smoggy Manhattan. Although, I still saw San Francisco mixed with Chicago while going around the city. The skyline really looked like you are in Brooklyn looking at Manhattan. I’m still in somewhat disbelief to what is happening in Wuhan now. Since this was in the middle of December in 2019, everything changed so quick.
Got back into the building and saw the inside art at the very top. The whole ceiling is filled with Ancient Chinese painting mixed with a modern style to match the building. There is a story being told through the painting. The local legend is that the tower was built in honor of a Taoist priest. The priest used to come visit a pot house and asked for wine. The owner of the pot house ignored him but his son did not. The son gave the priest wine regularly for about half a year. Then one day, the priest drew a crane on wall of the pot house. As a repayment for his kindness, the priest enchated the drawing. The crane was magical and would dance at the son’s request. The whole city heard about this and the family became rich. They built the yellow crane tower as a symbol of gratitude. If you want to read more about the legend, here is a link.
Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!
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