Ling Canal

Xing’an Lingqu Canal, which is a water conservancy project of the Qin dynasty as famous as Dujiangyan Canal. Built in 214 B.C., by the time of Qin Shi Huang (the first emperor of China), Ling Canal is one of the oldest canals in the world, and also the best well-preserved ancient water conservancy project in the world. It is located in a small county called Xing'an, 40 miles (65 km) north of Guilin.

Ling Canal is divided into the northern and the southern sections, with a total length of 34 km. The dividing point is a V-shaped dyke in the east of the county, commonly known as Tianping (the balance). The sharp point of the dyke is called HuaZui (Plough Share), which bifurcates the water from the upper reach of Xiang River into two parts, of which one part, 30% of the whole flow, goes to the Li River, and the remaining 70% to Xiang River, which finally flows into Yangtze River.



- In Chinese: 灵渠

- Location: Shuangling Street, Xing’an County, Guilin

- Opening time: 07: 30 – 19:00 (May 1st to Oct 31st); 08:00 – 18:00 (the rest of the year)

- Best time to visit: summer & autumn

- Entrance fee: RMB40; RMB115 (including cruise)

Why Did Qin Shi Huang Build the Ling Canal?

The construction of Ling Canal connects the Li River and Xiang River (from Hunan Province), making Yangtze River and the Pearl River navigable. It provided an important support for the Qin Shi Huang to unify the south of China, which offered a channel to ship a large number of army provisions to guarantee the needs. In 214 B.C., the year when the Lingqu Canal was opened for navigation, the Qin army conquered the area of the south of Qinling Mountains, and then established three counties of Guilin, Xiangjun and Nanhai, which formally incorporated the southern China into the territory of the Qin dynasty.

From the Qin dynasty to the Republic of China for more than two thousand years, it has become the only water traffic channel connecting the area of the south of Qinling Mountains and the central China. Ling Canal was once served as an irrigation and transportation canal. Now it still plays its role in irrigating about 2700 hectare of agricultural lands.

ling canal


Other than taking a boat to enjoy the waterway and nature scenery here, there are also lots of historical and human remains left in Ling Canal scenic area, like the Memorial Temple for Four Saints (Si Xian Ci), Flying Stone, Mausoleums of Three Generals, Surging Waves Bridge, Water Street, etc. among them, Water Street is the most leisure and popular place for visit.

Water Street refers to the ancient Ling Canal flows through the north and south sides of Xing'an County with the length of 980 meters. Because the street was built against the Lingqu waterway, so people call it Water Street.

Water Street is an important part making up the history and culture of Ling Canal scenic spot. The whole street mainly showed 5 aspects of the characteristics including the culture of ancient architecture, ancient bridge, stone carvings, waterway culture and city customs of south China. The ancient buildings, pavilions, bridges, sculptures and other carriers here vividly reflect once the vicissitudes of life and glory the world's oldest canal. Here is a clear interpretation of the collision and integration of the cultures. Therefore, walking around Water Street is like walking in a historical and cultural corridor, which highlights the characteristics of the water town in the south of the Yangtze River, and integrates the characteristics of stilted buildings in south China.

lingqu water street

How to Get to Lingqu Canal from Guilin?

From Guilin to Xing’an County, you can take a coach at Guilin Bus Station or Guilin North Bus Station to Xing’an County, or ride a train at Guilin North Rail Station.

After arrival, you can change Bus 2 or 17 to the gate of Ling Canal Scenic Spot; pedicab riding is also available.

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