The Beauty of the Grand Canal

Connecting southern China with northern China, the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal brings to Hangzhou an admiring world heritage, picturesque scenery and a wealth of delicacies for all people to appreciate. The beauty of the Grand Canal can be seen in many things, the morning chanting in Xiangji Temple, the many fancy and delicious dishes and snacks at noon in Shengli River Food Street, the shadows on the white walls of Fuyi Granary at sunset and the quivering of Guqin strings in the hands of street artists along its banks.

Morning: Praying and Burning Incense in Xiangji Temple

At dawn, when the bell ringing of Xiangji Temple breaks the stillness of the night here, among the drifting fog, one can burn incense with a pious heart.

Xiangji Temple
Xiangji Temple used to be the most famous temple in the Hushu area, which is along the Grand Canal. Back then, the canal was always packed with boats loaded with pilgrims from Hangzhou, Jiaxing and Huzhou setting off, by way of the Grand Canal, to pray at the temples of Lingyin and Tianzhu.

Address: No. 1 Xiangjisi Lane, Dadou Road
Ticket: 20 RMB
Bus stop: Cangji New Village (Cang ji xin cun: 仓基新村)

Lunch: Whetting Your Appetite in a Creative Restaurant

The restaurants flanking the Grand Canal infuse all types of tastes from all corners of China and every dish has its own meaning. Abundant flavors, creative cooking methods and romantics atmosphere … there will always be one to whet your appetite.

Dadou Road Historic Block
Dadou Road Historic Block is built along the Grand Canal, with Fuyi Granary to the south and Xiangji Temple to the east. The white-walled and black-tiled Fuyi Granary is the accumulation of history, and now a creative cultural space fulfilling young people’s dreams. The restaurants here are all of water town style, featuring white walls, black tiles and wooden doors.

Recommendation: Yunhe A Er (运河阿二), Green Tea (绿茶), Cuizhuang Village (翠庄), WASABIYA (山葵家), Shan Dian Shui (山点水), Jianan Inn (江南驿)

Afternoon: Having an idle afternoon, listening to opera, reading books and sipping a cup of green tea

Afternoons are the most appropriate times for sipping a cup of green tea whilst listening to some music; or reading a book, napping from time to time; they are also the best time of day for strolling along the Grand Canal, viewing the white clouds, bridges and residential houses reflected in the still water’s below.

Qiaoxi Historic Block
Meander along the quaint Qiaoxi Historic Block, where traditional houses and historical relics show you the tracks of old folk customs and the daily life of ordinary people. Head to Laokaixin Teahouse to sip fragrant tea and listen to Hangzhou-style storytelling and afterwards, visit China Grand Canal Museum to learn about the history and current situation of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal.

Gongchen Bridge
Standing on the bridge and looking over the rails into the water, you first see the century-old history of the Grand Canal and then its prosperity. Walking along the bridge, is like you have walked past thousands of years.

At Dusk: Touring the Grand Canal in a Water Bus

Starting from Wulinmen wharf, tour the Grand Canal on a water bus or leisure boat and experience the prosperity of Hushu Area and the characteristics of Tangqi Ancient Town. Sailing along the canal, you will see people shuttling between the past and future of the Grand Canal.

Water Bus
Wulinmen Passenger Wharf: No. 138 Huancheng North Road
Stops: Xinyifang Stop, and Grand Canal Cultural Square.

Dinner: Satisfying Your Palates in Food Street

Food has the function of curing everything, and the food street, in night fall, is the epitome of paradise. Here, you can find a wealth of flavors.

Shengli River Food Street

Shengli River Food Street is a hotchpotch of regional delicacies, including Sichuan Cuisine, Xinjiang Cuisine, Cantonese Cuisine and various types of Zhejiang cuisines.

Lingshui • Gebi Restaurant (Waterside• Neibouring邻水•隔壁餐厅), Zhangshudi Restaurat (樟树底食府), Laotouer Deep-fried Shrimps (老头儿油爆虾), Shenjiamen (沈家门) etc.

The canal is a great river, that passes through eighteen cities and 1600 years. Come rain or shine, the Grand Canal is here to welcome your arrival.