Why is Grand Canal special?
Celebrated as the longest canal with the length of 1,776 km (1,103 miles) in the whole world, the Grand Canal, also well known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, starts at Beijing and passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou.
The Grand Canal Highlight
Currently, the course of the Grand Canal is divided into seven sections which from south to north are Jiangnan Canal (Zhenjiang-Hangzhou, Zhejiang), the Li Canal (Huaiyin-Yangzhou, Jiangsu), the Zhong Canal (Tai’erzhuang-Huaiyin, Jiangsu), the Lu Canal (Linqing-Tai’erzhuang), the South Canal (southern Tianjin-Linqing, Shandong), the North Canal (Tong County-Tianjin), and the Tonghui River (Beijing-Tong County).
The Jiangnan Canal
Among the seven sections, the Jiangnan Canal is very heavily used by barge traffic bringing coal and construction materials to the booming delta. It is generally a minimum of 100 meters wide in the congested city centers, and often two or three times this width in the countryside beyond. In recent years, broad bypass canals have been dug around the major cities to reduce ‘traffic jams’.
The section of the Grand Canal that passes through Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces are most important part for cruise. Since launched in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province, in the early 1980s, the first cruise line has attracted numerous visitors worldwide and later it expanded to more major cities such as Suzhou, Yangzhou and Hangzhou.