Meeting and playing along Hangzhou’s Grand Canal

16th Mar, 2015

In ancient times, prosperity of a city originated from its river, and Hangzhou’s Grand Canal is no exception. Nowadays it is in full vigor, with local people carrying on its history, as well as exploring new possibilities. Various venues and facilities have been built along both banks of the Canal, such as tea houses, coffee shops, art galleries, book stores and bars, and incentives can even be organised along it.

The longest, largest and most ancient canal in world - with total length of 1794 kms! - the Grand Canal, whose history dates back a full 2400 years, is the pride of Hangzhou. Running across four provinces and two municipal cities, it is the living witness to a rich and beautiful past.

Understanding culture
Since forever, the Grand Canal has been a classic tourism destination for understanding water-town culture in the south of China. Today it has even been listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site. The Grand Canal passes through the refined Qiantang Land, witnesses the vicissitude of the prosperous ancient capital Hangzhou and the folk customs of the locals living in white-walled black-tiled residences. Hangzhou’s Grand Canal can be discovered through many means: hiking, boating, cycling or just sitting on its banks.

If you want to stay around the Grand Canal, Crowne Plaza Hangzhou Grand Canal is definitely an option. An upscale international business hotel with 331 spacious guest rooms and meeting space catering up to 2300 people, it is less than 15 minutes drive from the famous West Lake and 45 minutes from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. The only international five-star hotel embracing the Grand Canal JW Marriott Hotel Hangzhou is also a possibility, with 305 luxurious rooms and over 2,314 square metres of function space.

Incentive ideas
But Grand Canal is also synonymous with fun and plenty of incentives can be organised along its banks. Among them, let’s mention the Treasure Hunts or the Boat Tours.

Treasure hunts take place all through a cluster of museums that are located adjacent to the Grand Canal, and which showcase detailed historical materials and precious exhibits. With the help of a Canal tourist map and a list of treasures to find, your team will travel through various facilities, ancient-style buildings, old bridges and distinctive themed blocks, in order to experience Hangzhou’s way of life and understand its cultural foundations.

Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty made six grand cruises to South China on the
Grand Canal, and today you can also enjoy cruises at a leisurely pace. Options include taking a sightseeing tour on a Caofang boat, where you will appreciate the amazing scenery on both banks especially at night when the lights are on all around you!

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