The Grand Canal
Second only to the Great Wall, the Grand Canal was imperial
China's largest building project from more than 2,000 years
ago. The Emperor was more interested in moving troops
quickly than commerce. Much of the Grand Canal is silted in
and unusable today. But like the Great Wall, segments of the
Grand Canal still look the part and can handle boat traffic.
It's another scene best captured on my video.
Many Grand Canal boats look like they are sinking
under the weight of their cargo. Not the case. It's their
ability to survive in the Grand Canal's shallow waters
that somehow manage to keep these crafts afloat.
The Grand Canal can get really crowded. Most
boats post a lookout on the bow to avoid collisions.
Many boats appear to be family enterprises, with husbands,
wives, and children on board. I suspect the boats are their only
real home. Still, it's a friendly atmosphere on the Grand
Canal, as tourists exchange waves with the kids and parents.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the Intrepid
Berkeley Explorer's free film of this trip by clicking on:
The Last Emperor's Home Video