The canals have always been the artery of ancient China, fulfilling the important function of food transportation. The transportation, economy, migration, commerce and taxation that come with the canals have a profound impact on the politics, economy and culture of the country. Since the building of the Grand Canal by Emperor Yang of Sui, Jiangsu has been at the central position of canal transportation, and has been an important production and transshipment center for tribute rice. Canal transport has left rich cultural heritage to Jiangsu. This tour will take you to learn more about the history of canal transport in Jiangsu and trace the prosperous past of the thousand-year canal.
Route: Yanzong Temple, Yangzhou - China Canal Transport Museum, Huai'an - Qing Yan Garden, Huai'an - Jiangsu Salt Tax Museum, Taizhou
Located on Kangshan Street in Yangzhou City, the Yanzong Temple is one of the world heritage sites along the Grand Canal and the first Yanzong Temple in the salt production area of Huainan and Huaibei. The temple is dedicated to the worship of the three founders of salt industry, namely the founders of salt production, sales, and administration (Sushashi, Jiao Ge, and Guan Zhong), and is the only one of its kind in China. The temple is also a practical place for salt merchants to maintain their relation and emotionally a place to call home.
China Canal Transport Museum
The Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal has been flowing for a thousand years, bringing Huai'an infinite glory. And Huai'an is the only "vital transportation hub of nine provinces".
Located in Caoyun Square, north of Zhenhuai Tower in Huai'an District, the China Canal Transport Museum comprehensively displays the magnificent history and splendid culture of Chinese canal transport. The main exhibition hall sits on the first basement level. When you go down the stairs and enter the main door of the exhibition hall, you will step on a big ship that displays the culture of canal transport.
Standing on the deck and facing the lobby, the concepts of canal transport are presented concisely with a huge projection scroll and artistic sand table models, presenting a multi-sensory visual feast.
When you step down the deck, the prosperous past of the canal capital is on both sides, with the Hall of Canal Transport Origin (History Hall), the Hall of Thousand-Year Canal Transport (Canal Hall), the Hall of Canal Administration (Huai'an Hall), the Hall of Vision, and the Hall of Canal Legacy (Heritage Hall), presenting a complete picture of canal monuments and history, and telling the legend of the thousand-year canal.
Qing Yan Garden
Located at Renmin South Road in Qingjiangpu District of Huai'an City, Qing Yan Garden is the only well-preserved government office garden in the history of water control and canal transport in China, and is the most representative classical garden in northern Jiangsu Province. It has the openness of north China and the sophistication of south China, and is reputed as "the best garden of Yangtze River and Huaihe River area". The garden has pavilions, winding corridors, rockery and flowing water, and luxuriant flowers and trees in all seasons.
Jiangsu Salt Tax Museum
On the bank of the ancient river for salt transport in Taizhou, there is the museum that first focused on the theme of salt tax culture in China. It displays how sea salt was first discovered, the worship of the salt god, the rise of Huai salt, the iron woks used to boil salt out of seawater, and the collection of salt tax from the Shang Dynasty to the Sui Dynasty. The most precious treasure in the museum is a bronze seal of government taxation from the Northern Song Dynasty. It has the engraved script that reads “Official Seal for Taxation of Tea, Salt and Wine in Xixi Town, Taizhou”. The third exhibition hall also displays some silver for customs tax and tax receipts.