Many travelers find themselves drifting into Hubei (湖北; Húběi) through the Three Gorges, the precipitous marvel that's a continuation of Chongqing's uniquely lush and hilly landscape. This classic trip down the Yangzi is the perfect introduction to Hubei's natural beauty.
Sliced by rivers and dappled with lakes, Hubei's western regions are dominated by stunning mountain scenery, from the national parks of Shennongjia and Enshi to the historic Taoist retreat of Wudang Shan. In 1944, the only variety of redwood growing outside of the USA, the dawn redwood, was discovered in these mountains.
While eastern Hubei is better known for its industrial belt rather than scenic beauty, the region's central location has ensured it played a key role in China's history. Vestiges spanning thousands of years, from the ancient state of Chu to the modern Wuchang Uprising, which led to the downfall of dynastic China, are woven into the province's very fabric.