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Ling Canal

Bamboo bridge on Ling Canal The Ling Canal was a great engineering feat that connected two major river systems - the Yangtze River System and the Zhujiang River System and once played a very important role in political unification, economic contacts, cultural exchanges, defense reinforcement, water irrigation, and people's daily life in ancient China.

The building of the Ling Canal provided a transportation route for Emperor Qin's crusade of southern China, thus making it possible for him to unify the whole country. It also links Xiang River of the Yangtze System with Li River, which belongs to the Pearl River system.

History of Ling Canal

In the over past 2000 years, the Ling Canal was a very essential north-south pass which had been charged with heavy transportation from China hinterland to southern border area and it has played an important role in the national unification, economic exchange and cultural communication. As the ancient canal is scientifically designed, solid engineering and uniquely accomplished in architecture, it is reserved very well and is praised as a gem of Chinese ancient irrigation works. The canal was once an important means of transports serving the region before railways and roads were constructed.

During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 917), because Ling Canal was the main passageway to transport goods between North and South China, it became especially busy. New problems subsequently emerged. Four months out of View of Ling Canalthe year, it had low water, and boats couldn't sail it. This had a major impact on trade and the economy at that time. To solve this problem, they invented a "lock" that enables boats to sail even on the low water of the canal. It's called a Doumen (Steep Gate) which is just like the boat lift in the Gezhouba Dam, and has been used for over 1,000 years.

Now Ling Canal still serves its purposes by irrigating about 2700 hectare of agricultural lands. Dams were mainly made of woods and stones; slabs of stone were placed against the logs to form an embankment.

Ling Canal is divided into the northern and the southern sections. The dividing point is a V-shaped dyke in the east of the county seat, commonly known as Tianping (The balance). The sharp point of the dyke is called HuaZui (Plough Share), which bifurcate the oceanic water from the upper reach of Xiang River into two parts, of which one part, 30 percent of the whole flow, goes to the Li River, and the remaining 70 percent to Xiang River.

Compared with other projects of the world or China, the conception, the design and the site selection of the Ling Canal shows ingenuity. It improves the occasion and adjusts measures to local conditions. The scale and the benefit of it are peerless. It is the great pioneering work of the close combination of natural state of organisms, scientific technologies, and man and the nature, and is the outcome of the wisdom of the ancient working people.


Ling Canal Tour

The major spots for sightseeing along Ling Canal are the "Plough Share," the "Balance," "Qin Dyke," and "Windfall Rock," etc. During the tour to the canal, you will amaze at the design and the systems.