The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, with a history of over 2000 years, spans more than over 1700 kilometers and empties itself into Qiantang River in Hangzhou. It is an ancient Chinese wonder frequently mentioned in books and a witness of Hangzhou’s ups and downs.
The Grand Canal starts at Beijing and stretch southwards to Hangzhou, passing by six provinces/cities, Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It connects five water systems including Haihe River (海河), the Yellow River, Huaihe River (淮河), the Yangtze River and Qiantang River and is a main artery of transportation that runs through the south and north.
Today, take a cruise ship to glide along the ancient Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and you will see tall buildings on both sides of the canal. Looking back at the ancient bridge, the long history and modern urban landscape are subtly merged into a beautiful picture accompanied by sounds of paddling and light shadows.
Gongchen Bridge is the tallest and longest stone arch bridge among the ancient Hangzhou bridges. It is also the southernmost end of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, marking the end of the Grand Canal in Hangzhou. Today's arch bridge still retains the appearance of an ancient bridge and is still accessible by pedestrians and boats. The two ends of the bridge connect modern tall buildings and traditional buildings. Walk across this bridge, and you'll feel as if you can travel back in time to explore the past.
China Grand Canal Museum
The China Grand Canal Museum is not a museum in a simple, ordinary sense. It is a large-scale museum that reflects and displays the natural characteristics and cultural essence of the Canal from all angles.
Entering the museum, a quaint canal transport ship of ancient simplicity is placed in the center and the floor is paved with glass fiber reinforced plastic, giving people a feeling of walking on the water surface of the canal. In the front, a sailing boat approached slowly, and the ceiling was designed as a brilliant starry sky. Stay in the museum and you will feel like you are boating along the canal.
Qiaoxi Straight Street
Go west from the canal square to Gongchen Bridge, turn left and walk southwards in the direction of the canal and you will find the Qiaoxi Straight Street. Stroll along the quaint and quiet Qiaoxi Straight Street and you will feel that time has slowed down here. You can also find a small shop to sit down, drink tea, bask in the sun, and reminisce the past.
Fuyi Cang was originally built in the Qing Dynasty. In the late Qing Dynasty, rice and grain consumed in Hangzhou were transported by the canal and stored in Fuyi Granary. With 13 buildings, Fuyi Granary is the only ancient grain granary in Hangzhou.
Entering the ancient courtyard of the blue-tiled wooden house, visitors could not help but slowing down and softening their voices. There seems to be a magical power that calms the hearts of every visitor in an instant.
Take a boat north and you will see the incense-filled Xiangji Temple. According to the Records of West Lake Excursion and Wulin Fanzhi, the Grand Canal in front of the temple used to be flocked with more than a thousand boats every day, and the lights were bright at night. It was a must for religious believers in Hangjiahu Lake from the canal to Lingyin.
After years of reconstruction, in addition to being a cultural relics protection unit, Xiangji Temple is the protagonist of the new night scenes of the canal. Visit the temple during the day to worship Buddha and eat vegetarian food; at night, the white pagoda is decorated with bright lights, adding more charm to the night scene.
Tangxi Ancient Town
Tangxi Ancient Town was formed during the Northern Song Dynasty and became extremely prosperous during the Ming and Qing dynasties, ranked first on the list of “Top Ten Noted Towns in Jiangnan Region (the regions south of the Yangtze River)”. The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal passes through the town, making it a key port on the waterway passing through Suzhou, Shanghai, Jiaxing and Huzhou. Throughout the dynasties, Tangxi has been a water gateway to Hangzhou. The Jiangnan water town is built by water and the water of the canal nourishes it, giving it a distinctive temperament.
Tip: Hassle-free Hangzhou Guided Tours include Grand Canal recommended by Hangzhou Private Tour
The Grand Canal, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, is the earliest and the longest artificial river in the world. The Grand Canal Hangzhou is definitely one of the best place to have a glimpse of the world-famous waterway.
Hangzhou Day Trip: Hangzhou Grand Canal Culture and History from US$80 P/P
(Laokaixin Teahouse,Xiangji Temple,Fuyi Granary and Yunhe Bookstore,Hangzhou Arts and Crafts Museum,Dadou Road Food Street)
Hangzhou 1 Day Tour: Hangzhou Grand Canal Culture and History from US$80 P/P
(China Grand Canal Museum,Gongchenqiao,China Umbrella Museum,Dadou Road Food Street,Xiangji Temple)
Hangzhou Half Day Private Tour To Enjoy the Charming view of Grand Canal from US$50 P/P
(Grand Canal, Gongchen Bridge, Grand Canal Museum, Making Local Handcrafts)
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