Great Canal. Description, photo, interesting facts.

China’s Grand Canal

It’s very easy. You need to take the Shanghai subway to Lujiazui Station on the second line. Right after getting off, you are likely to see the Pearl of the Orient. To avoid wasting a lot of time, we recommend taking the subway exit number 1. There are three exits in total at Lujiajui Station.

If you can’t see the tower, go to the large pedestrian ring or to the figures of the two dragons (pictured right). From this giant walkway you will see the tower exactly (see this photo).

Walk towards the tower (see photo on the left) until you see a large staircase. The ticket office is on the left side of the stairs.

Looking ahead a little bit, you will not see big lines at the ticket office. Many tourists are in a positive mood. But do not get excited ahead of time, queues are waiting ahead at the entrance to the East Pearl.

A bit of history

The ancient Chinese began building the first canals to improve transportation and trade. One of the first sections was the Han Gou Canal, built by Qing Fuchai around 480 B.C. It stretches from the Yangtze River to the Huai River. This is the oldest part of the canal. It is located between the Yangtze and Huayin City (formerly called Qingjiang) in Jiangsu Province. This section was called the Shangyang Canal or the Southern Grand Canal.

Interesting fact – This ancient waterway is still in use today

Another ancient canal was the Hong Guo Canal, which ran from the Huanghe River to the Bian River. These canals became the basis of the Great Canal of China more than 1,000 years later.

The Grand Canal of China in modern history

Some sections of the canal were damaged by the Yellow River overflow in 1855.

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In 1958, work began to rebuild the entire system as a main waterway capable of taking ships of up to 600 tons.

Between 1958 and 1964, some sections of the canal were straightened, widened and deepened. In addition, one new 65 km long section was built and modern locks were added.

Cute bridges are found throughout the canal.

The canal can now accommodate medium-sized barges throughout its length. However, most traffic is concentrated in its southern half.

The southern part of the canal is quite busy these days with water traffic

The canal is now also used to divert water from the Yangtze River to the northern province of Jiangsu for irrigation. This has made it possible to harvest rice twice a year.

The Grand Canal in China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first floor at the base of the TV Tower

Here is the Shanghai Municipal Museum, where you can learn a lot about the history of the city. It’s best to do this with a guide or know English well enough to read the descriptions of the exhibits.

There is also “Number 8 Old Shanghai” restaurant, a small street in the style of the old city (see photo on the right), souvenir stores, chocolate bar, Coca-Cola bar, flower store, wedding palace and bookstore. You can walk here for hours.

In the TV Tower Pearl of the East organize different exhibitions and events. In 2012 there was one of the stages of the contest “Miss World”, in 2011 there was the world contest of models. Exhibitions of photos are constantly held there.

Description of a visit to the Pearl of the East

To get the best experience of visiting the Pearl of the Orient, we recommend choosing the right day for your visit. For example, if you decide to see the Shanghai Museum exhibition, the weather doesn’t matter to you, you will be indoors. If you want to see the Jade Buddha Temple or the Yu Yuan Garden, the weather is not so important, as long as it doesn’t rain. For the best view from the observation deck you need clear weather.

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Our advice. Look at the weather in the morning and if it’s cloudy, go to another attraction in Shanghai, there are many of them.

You buy a ticket and go inside. There’s a line waiting for you and you have to wait in it for 10 to 40 minutes. You can see the interior around, the statue of the lion is worth your attention (picture on the left).

The queue is slowly moving towards the elevator.

Note the uniforms of the TV tower employees, who are dressed as flight attendants. Another part of the stylization of the theme of “space flights”.

The elevator ride up does not promise any magical experience. The elevator rises at a speed of 7 meters per second, which is far from a record. Recall that now the speed record belongs to the Shanghai Tower, standing near the Pearl of the East, – 18 meters per second. Prior to that, the record holder was the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taiwan – 16 meters per second. The Arab Emirates wanted to beat the record for its Burj Khalifa skyscraper, but the economic crisis of 2008 prevented them from doing so.

After stepping out of the elevator, you will go to the most interesting tourist attraction – the observation deck with a transparent floor.

The first feeling is scary, especially if you have not yet been on such observation decks. You know in your mind that it’s thick glass, and people are standing there and even lying down. You know that there haven’t been any falls yet, that the glass hasn’t even cracked once. But, it’s still scary.

The Great Canal of China.

The Grand Canal in China is an artificial waterway that runs from north to south in the eastern part of the country. It is the longest man-made waterway in the world.

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The canal stretches 1,776 kilometers from Beijing to Hangzhou. Sometimes the Great Canal of China is called the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal. In addition to connecting these two major cities, the canal passes through the city of Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang.

Schematic of the Grand Canal in China

This is roughly what the Great Canal of China looks like on the map

The water network of the Grand Canal joins the two main rivers of China: the Yellow River (Huanghe) and the Yangtze. In addition, it includes smaller rivers (these are the Hai, Huai and Qiantang rivers).

Why was the Grand Canal built in China?

The canal was built to facilitate the delivery of grain from the rich farmland in southern China to the nation’s capital.

Besides supplying food to Beijing, it also helped the emperors feed the army guarding the northern borders.

A bit of history

The ancient Chinese began building the first canals to improve transportation and trade. One of the first sections was the Han Gou Canal, built by Qing Fuchai around 480 B.C. It stretches from the Yangtze River to the Huai River. This is the oldest part of the canal. It is located between the Yangtze and Huayin City (formerly called Qingjiang) in Jiangsu Province. This section was called the Shangyang Canal or the Southern Grand Canal.

Another ancient canal was the Hong Guo Canal, which ran from the Huanghe River to the Bian River. These canals became the basis of the Great Canal of China more than 1,000 years later.

Construction of the Great Canal

The grandiose canal was built during the Sui Dynasty. Emperor Yang Sui wanted a faster and more efficient way to transport grain to his capital.

He decided to combine the existing canals and widen them to create a waterway from Beijing to Hangzhou. The construction of the canal became a huge project. It took more than six years of hard work by millions of workers.

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Barges on the Grand Canal in China

The canal is still very important to China

Emperor Yang Sui was a tough ruler. He forced millions of farmers to work on the canal. Many of them died during construction. However, when the Great Canal of China was completed in 609 AD, China had a new waterway that served to develop the country for hundreds of years to come.

Development of the Grand Canal

The Ming dynasty reconstructed much of the canal in the early 1400s. The canals were deepened and widened. New locks and reservoirs were built to regulate water levels in the canal.

Grand Canal locks of the Grand Canal of China

These are now modern locks.

An interesting fact – The locks for lifting and lowering the ships were invented during the Song Dynasty in 984 AD. This very principle of operation is still used in most modern canals, including the famous Panama Canal

It is estimated that during the Ming Dynasty about 45,000 workers were needed to maintain the canal.

Interesting fact – In the 15th century, the Chinese government operated over 11,000 barges on the canal to transport food to the northern part of the country

The main purpose of the canal, as we have said, was to transport grain. But the Grand Canal in China was also used to irrigate the fields. In addition, the Canal was used as a courier route to deliver important government messages.

Grand Canal of China

Some sections of the canal are very similar to Venice

Interesting fact – Sometimes emperors traveled along the Grand Canal of China to view the locks

The Grand Canal of China in modern history

Some sections of the canal were damaged by the Yellow River overflow in 1855.

In 1958, work began to rebuild the entire system as a main waterway capable of taking ships of up to 600 tons.

Between 1958 and 1964, some sections of the canal were straightened, widened and deepened. In addition, one new 65 km long section was built and modern locks were added.

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Grand Canal of China

Cute bridges are found throughout the canal.

The canal can now accommodate medium-sized barges throughout its length. However, most traffic is concentrated in its southern half.

Southern section of the Grand Canal of China

The southern part of the canal is quite busy these days with water traffic

The canal is now also used to divert water from the Yangtze River to the northern province of Jiangsu for irrigation. This has made it possible to harvest rice twice a year.

The Grand Canal in China is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Grand Canal Museum

A large thematic museum located in Culture Square in Hangzhou was built in 2002. Of course, it will introduce you to the history of the origin of the Great Canal, its features. You will be able to see some of its exhibits such as bridges, boats and ferries.

The address of the Museum is No. 1, Yunhe Culture Square, Gongshu District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province More information at the museum’s official website

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