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A Picture Journey Along the Oldest Waterway in Asia

Edited By: Natalie Smith

 You’ve surely heard of the Panama Canal and probably even the Grand Canal in Venice. But how many of you know about the Great Canal in China? It’s not well known to many, and this is a pity - because it is one of the oldest and longest waterways in the world, certainly on the Asian continent where it sits. So, to get to know the Chinese Grand Canal a bit more, and the exotic beauty that hides on the 1,794 kilometers along which it is built, you are invited to take a look at some wonderful pictures and learn more about this magnificent canal and the path it crosses in this vast and mysterious country.

The construction of the Grand Canal was initiated by King Fu Chai, who ruled China in the 4th century BCE and planned to lead his troops to the north of the country on a journey of conquest. The route of the Grand Canal opens in the south, from the peaceful city of Hangzhou, which is fully visible in the two pictures above, and runs thousands of miles north, to Tongzhou city, near Beijing.

Great Canal
Great Canal

From Hangzhou, the canal runs along the eastern bank of Lake Tai, passing through the city of Suzhou, a top tourist attraction in this part of China, as well as an important center of the Chinese silk industry.

Great Canal
Great Canal

From Suzhou, the canal route passes through the fertile and verdant land of Jiangsu Province, which can be seen in the next picture.

Great Canal

Later in Jiangsu Province, the canal passes through the ancient city of Wuxi, with a history of more than 3,000 years, but also an impressive present as an industrial center on an international scale.

Great Canal

In the city of Zhenjiang, the former capital of the province, which still serves as the hub of transportation in the region, the canal makes its way and creates a beautiful view.

Great Canal

"The Inner Canal," is the section of the canal that runs from the area of Zhenjiang to the cultivating city of Huai An, which is seen in this magnificent picture taken just as the sun rises.

Great Canal

Another center that enjoyed its settlement alongside the canal route is Shao Bo Zhen, a town of more than 1,600 years, which in the distant past was a bustling business hub. In this photo, you can see an aerial photograph of it.

Great Canal

In the next beautiful picture, you can see the evening descending on the canal in the section next to the city of Pizhou, which enjoyed the flourishing of Imperial China in ancient times, where it played a more central role today.

Great Canal

Our journey along the canal continues and now we’ve reached the city of Jining, which was once known as "the capital of the Grand Canal" because it sits at the highest and northernmost point of its route, and whoever controlled it was able to control the entire path.

Great Canal

From Jining, the canal continues and stretches a few hundred kilometers to the big city and Central Tianjin, which, as can be seen from the photo before us, is also in an impressive construction and development phase alongside the section of the canal passing through its territory.

Great Canal

We begin to approach the end of our journey, another 180 kilometers in all until the canal ends in the Beijing area, but until then you can enjoy the passing of the Hebei Province, within the cities of Changzhou and Da Zhou, which you can admire in the 3 following photos.

Great Canal
Great Canal
Great Canal
Here is the end of our journey along the magnificent course of the Grand Canal, a model of long-term planning and construction, through which we were exposed to the unknown charm of one of the most populous but also closed countries in the world. The last point of the canal is here, in Tongzhou City, where the impressive "Green Canal Park" is located.
Great Canal
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