Brief of Shangtang River Section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal
Shangtang River Section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal(京杭大运河上塘河段), a lesser-known gem in the crown of the Grand Canal, is noted for its antiquity and serenity. The water town and communities along its bank reminiscent to Zhouzhuang, will transport you back in time.
Charter a tourist boat or walk along its scenic bank are best ways to familiarize with its timeless charm.
Shangtang River Section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal dates back to the Qin Dynasty. Tucked away in northeast Hangzhou, it is Hangzhou’s first man-made canal. It stretches 48km long and spans a water area of 245 sq m.
Shangtang River Section starts from Shijia Bridge(施家桥) and empties into the Qiantang River at Yanguan Town of Haining City. It spans from 30 to 50m wide. At its widest, it reaches 70m.
Shangtang River Charm Town(上塘河风情小街), where I have lived for several years, is an oasis in the bustling Hangzhou.
I love the three to four-storey folk residences of whitewashed walls, black-tiled eaves, whose style and décor are unique to the Qing Dynasty. The courtyards brim with gaily-hued flowers year-around. The riverbank is fully restored. Belts of green zones, parks, pavilions and bridges delight every visitor. Cherry, willow and peach trees are planted alternatively, which come in full blossom during Mar to Apr. The water of this river is not crystal-clear, but not so bad. Fish can survive in it, so do shrimps. From time to time, you can hear frogs sing and egrets glide by elegantly.
In a word, if you are looking for countryside charm thrown into urban hum, Shanghai River section of the Beijing Hangzhou Grand Canal is a must-see.