There are two wonders in China, one is the Great Wall, and the other is the Grand Canal. For its size and grandeur, the Grand Canal has always been regarded as the pride of Chinese people and a symbol of Chinese cultural achievement. As the earliest, greatest and longest artificial river in the world, the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal enjoys the great historical and cultural importance.
The Grand Canal has a history of 1,300 years with its eldest part dating back to the 5th century BC. It's also known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal which appropriately starts in Beijing and ends in Hangzhou. The Grand Canal passes through Tianjin Metropolis and the Provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and links the two longest rivers in China --- the Yellow River and Yangtze River. The total length of the Grand Canal is 1,794 kilometers.
The Grand Canal was first dug to transport grain and luxuries to Beijing. Later, it was used by merchants to ship commodities which made the its corridor develop into a prosperous economic belt. Meanwhile, it served as a powerful force for unifying Chinese culture and integrating Chinese politics. The Emperor's River was another name given to the Grand Canal by foreign visitors because of its strong connection with numerous Chinese Emperors. In Chinese history, many Emperors from different dynasties made ship-trips along the Grand Canal to Southern China. In the Qing Dynasty, Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors made twelve adventurous trips to the south.
The Grand Canal's significant role in China's culture, economy and politics has blessed it with numerous historical and cultural landscapes and earned it the title ---- “the Gallery of Chinese History, Ancient Technology, and Local Customs”.