"Da Qiao", or the First Bridge of Yangtze River in Wuhan, was built in the late 50s when my parents were born. Today it still stands grand and firm as a major transportation route across the big river. The bridge is almost at the center of old Wuhan city and conveniently located close to some other attractions: the Yellow Crane Tower, Guiyuan Temple, etc.
There is no cost visiting. Spend half a day walking across the bridge and around both banks of the river in daytime -- ps.you don't want to do this in Wuhan's summer afternoon -- and you'll feel the life in a real, large inland Chinese city (any bridges/river-banks you find in Shanghai are not "real", nor any better either).
Recommend taking a ferry back; don't use private jet-boats, but the large, slow ferry that local people use (~2RMB per trip across the river). It's not much less than the State Island ferry in Manhattan.
About the two banks: On the Hankou side of Yangtze river there are some buildings from colonial legacy and many stylish shopping options (Wuhanese claim that the Hankou Pedestrian Shopping Street is better than Shanghai's Nanjing Road - No comment on this and I don't there lies Wuhan's best part anyway). Try to take a stroll in in the evening around the bridge's stub on the Wuchang side as well, you'll find Wuhanese families having fun in their own ways - folk dancing, singing, taiji, karaoke, or some other hard-to describe group exercises. Then ask for this small street called "Hu Bu Xiang", also on Wuchang side and close to the bridge, where you'll be greeted with local delights. Recommend anything hot & spicy, ask for extra chilli.
Lastly, the Bridge is located close to the intersection between the Han River and the Yangtze River -- at times of high volumes, you can watch the "green" Han plunging down into the "yellow" Yangtze from a difference as high as ten meters between two river levels. Simply amazing scene.
Enough said -- Friend, welcome to my hometown, Wuhan.
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