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TOUR BELT ALONG THE GRAND CANAL

T he Grand Canal, whose ancient name is “Han Gou” or “Yun He”, is the longest and oldest canal with the heaviest workload in the world, hence one of two great projects in ancient China together with the Great Wall. Starting from Yuhang (the current Hangzhou) in the south, it passes through such provinces as Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong and Hebei, and two municipalities, namely, Tianjin and Beijing, to Zhuojun (the current Beijing), linking five systems, i.e. the Hai River, Yellow River, Huai River, Yangtze River and Qiantang River. The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,794 km (it was constructed by Wu State in the Spring and Autumn Period, and was expanded substantially in Sui Dynasty and linked to the capital Luoyang and connected with Zhuojun. In the renovation in Yuan Dynasty, the section to Luoyang was abandoned and the canal was directly linked to Beijing). Up till now, it has a long history of over 2,500 years. As the only south-north river in China, the Grand Canal has given birth to lots of bright pearls with high level of civilization such as Beijing, Yangzhou, Suzhou and Hangzhou.