China Suzhou attractions, The Grand Canal introduced.

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The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal of China, also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is the longest ancient canal or artificial river in the world. It passes through the cities of Beijing and Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. The oldest parts of the canal date back to the 5th century BC, although the various sections were finally combined into one during the Sui Dynasty (581–618 AD).

The total length of the Grand Canal is roughly 1,770 km (1,114 miles). Its greatest height is reached in the mountains of Shandong, at a summit of roughly 42 m (138 ft); ships traveling in canals of China did not have trouble reaching higher elevations after the 10th century, when the pound lock was invented in Song Dynasty China.[2] The canal's size and grandeur had won for it the admiration of many throughout history, including the Japanese monk Ennin (794–864), the Persian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), and the Korean official Choe Bu (1454–1504).

Historically, periodic flooding of the adjacent Yellow River threatened the safety and functioning of the canal. On some occasions, such as times of war, the high dikes of the Yellow River were deliberately broken in order to flood advancing enemy troops. Yet this ultimately caused disaster and prolonged economic hardships. Despite temporary periods of desolation and disuse, the Grand Canal fomented an indigenous and growing economic market of China's urban centers throughout the ages since the Sui.

Jiangnan Canal

The Jiangnan Canal This southernmost section of the canal runs from Hangzhou in Zhejiang, where the canal connects with the Qiantang River, to Zhenjiang in Jiangsu, where it meets the Yangtze. After leaving Hangzhou the canal passes around the eastern border of Lake Tai, through the major cities of Jiaxing, Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou before reaching Zhenjiang. The Jiangnan (or ‘South of the Yangtze’) Canal is very heavily used by barge traffic bringing coal and construction materials to the booming delta. It is generally a minimum of 100 metres wide in the congested city centres, 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’.