Ling Canal

Ling Canal, also called Xianggui Canal, Xing’an Canal or Qinzao Canal, is located in Xing'an County, about 70 km north of Guilin. It was built by Emperor Qingshihuang in the 214 BC of Qin Dynasty. It connects the Xiang River (which flows north into the Yangtze) with the Li River (which flows south into the Gui River and Xijiang River), and thus is part of a historical waterway between the Yangtze and the Pearl River Delta. It was the first canal in the world to connect two river valleys and enabled ships to travel 2,000 km from the latitude of Beijing to Hong Kong. Together, Ling Canal in Guangxi, Dujiang Weir (aka Dujiangyan Irrigation System) in Sichuan and Zhengguo Canal are three water projects in Qin dynasty. Ling Canal is not only one of the oldest canals both in China and in the world, but also is a monument to the diligence and wisdom of the laboring people of China.

Ling Canal is 34 km in length. Divided into two parts, the south canal and the north canal, Ling Canal consists of a plough share, a water diversion dam, a south canal and a north canal, a spillway as well as boatlocks. The canal was scientifically designed and constructed. The plough share is just out into the Xiang River and divides the water into 30 and 70 percent. Passing through the north canal, the major part of the water joins again the Xiang River, while the rest flows into the south canal (namely the Ling Canal) and then empties itself in Li River. The Ling Canal connected the two water systems of Yangtze River and the Pear River, thus playing a great historical role in the unification of China and the consolidation of the southern frontier areas. Over the past two Millennia, Ling Canal always has been being a central hub for economic and cultural exchanges in south of the Five Ridges and Central China. It was once an important means of transports serving the region before railways and roads were constructed.

Nowadays, the history of being an important means of transport is end, but this canal still serves a purpose by irrigating about 2,700 hectare of agricultural land. And it attracts nearly 200 million people to visit every year. Ling Canal is one of the famous Guilin tour attractions. The local sights include Feileishi (Flying in From Elsewhere Rock), the Su Bridge (aka Zhuangyuan Qiao or the Bridge of the Number One Scholar), Doumen Gate, Daxiao Tianping (the Big and Small Draining Weirs), Xieshui Tianping (the Draining Weir), Qin Embankment, Qin Culture Square, Huazui (the Mouth of Ploughshare) and the something called the Memorial Hall of the Four Local Worthies.

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