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Grand Canal

Suzhou_Grand_Canal
Grand Canal, Suzhou attraction

Brief Introduction
The Grand Canal (also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal or artificial river in the world and a famous tourist destination. Starting at Beijing, it passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou, linking the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The canal is a communication artery connecting north and south China in ancient times. The Grand Canal Suzhou Section refers to the part from Wuqi Bridge (the border of Suzhou and Wuxi) to Yazi Ba (the border of Suzhou and Zhejiang Province),which covers around 82.35 km. Suzhou Section is the essential part undertaking freight transport on the canal.

Beijing_Hangzhou_Grand_Canal

History of Grand Canal
In the history, the Grand Canal was built part by part in different dynasties and has undergone great constructions for three times. The construction of the canal began at the period of Spring-Autumn Period, within the fifth century BC, and the various sections were finally combined during the Sui dynasty (581–618 AD).The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,776 km (1,104 mi). Ships in Chinese canals did not have trouble reaching higher elevations after the pound lock was invented in the 10th century, during the Song dynasty (960–1279), by the government official and engineer Qiao Weiyue. The Grand Canal was renovated almost in its entirety between 1411 and 1415 during the Ming dynasty. 

Because of various factors – the difficulty of crossing the Yellow River, the increased development of an alternative sea route for grain-ships, and the opening of the new railways – the canal languished and for decades the northern and southern parts remained separate. Many of the canal sections fell into disrepair, and some parts were returned to flat fields. Until today, the Grand Canal has not fully recovered from this disaster. After the founding of the New China in 1949, the need for economic development led the government to order heavy reconstruction work. The Grand Canal is currently being upgraded to serve as the Eastern Route of the South-North Water Transfer Project.

Grand_Canal

What to see
Scenery and scenic spots along the Canal
The Grand Canal in Suzhou, with wide surface, abundant and crystal clear water, has been the best part of the Grand Canal for shipping. The old canal is about 35km long from Hushu Pass to Wujiang City, running through the centre of town and there is a network of smaller canals and passageways. It is a wonderful example of a waterside town with whitewashed and black-tiled-roof houses and small bridges.On both sides of the bank, white walls and black tiles are dotted in the open green country. The 53-hole Belt Bridge first built in Tang Dynasty lies across the old canal like a rainbow floating on the wave. The ancient ferries, ancient towing tie paths, ancient bridges along the canal are all witnesses of the economic development of the area along the old canal.

Traveling tips
The best choice to visit the Canal is by cruise. The boat was fairly small and only held about fifteen people. The boat cruised down the canal at a leisurely pace and passed many ancient houses built along the banks. There are evening cruises available, and guests should purchase tickets at the port beside Renmin Bridge within the central urban space of Suzhou. The cruise lasts for concerning eighty minutes. Bring mosquito repellant in summer.

How to get to Grand Canal
Bus Routes: Take buses No.7, 39, 47, 305, 522, 602, or tourist buses No.2, 5 and you will reach Grand Canal.

Travel Guide
Opening Time: 09:00-17:00, 19:30-20:45
Admission Fee: CNY 45
Address: No.789 Panxu Road, Canglang District, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

Recommended Suzhou Grand Canal Tour

1. Private Suzhou Essence Tour of Rickshaw Ride and Grand Canal Ride
2. Full Days Suzho Tour of History and Culture Exploration with Grand Canal
3. Private Tour: Suzhou Night Tour with Grand Canal Cruise
4. Half Day Suzhou Tour From Shanghai of Grand Canal Sightseeing with Boat Ride

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